On Monday, the best high school hockey players and bands in the area competed at HSBC Arena for the annual Bowman Cup and Music Is Art Battle of the Bands contest.
Six bands, in alphabetical order, played during the intermissions of the junior and senior hockey games. Larrabe of Alden kicked off the battle, followed by Last Hope of Cleveland Hill, Lumberjack Parliament of Kenmore East, Messenger (comprised of Kenmore East and West students), Miss the Mark from West Seneca and Soul Men of Kenmore East.
In their second appearance at the Music Is Art Battle of the Bands, the energetic and crowd-pleasing Soul Men took the top prize this year.
Frontman Ian Boswell, a junior at Kenmore East, said, "Honestly, we were not expecting this -- it's the icing on the cake."
Soul Men will have a main-stage spot at the Music Is Art Festival in September, along with studio recording time, professional photo shoots and autographed guitars.
A 20-minute showcase for the best local high school girls of club hockey teams was held for the first time this year. The North team beat South, 4-1.
The Junior all-star game between Buffalo and Rochester was a high-scoring affair. Buffalo kept the pressure on Rochester throughout most of the game, but the defense answered back with big hits along the blue line.
Buffalo beat Rochester, 6-5. Tim Uhteg scored the game-winning goal with 1:03 left in the third period.
The Senior game unfolded in a similar fashion. Buffalo opened the scoring and fell behind Rochester, before defenseman Andrew Stein tied the game and forward Seth Hamilton scored the game winner with 5:22 left in the third. Garrett Moore clinched the win, adding a short-handed goal in the dying minutes for a final score of 4-2.
Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in National Hockey League history and the person the tournament is named for, presented the Bowman Cup to the Buffalo Senior team.
Buffalo Junior forward Alex Silvia, who opened the scoring in the first period of the Junior game, sums up the experience of the night best, "Memories I'll have forever, with all my friends and having the time of my life."
Ashley Yager is a junior at Kenmore East.