By Dave Ricci
The Falcons simply weren’t going to lose in their backyard.
Nick Peters scored twice as Niagara Wheatfield topped Section III Syracuse, 3-1, in the NYSPHSAA Division I Regional title game, also at HarborCenter.
The Falcons now move on to the DI state semis and will face Section I Rockland Saturday (9:30) at HarborCenter.
“It’s great,” Wheatfield coach Rick Wrazin said. “It’s everything that the boys wanted. It was one goal at a time. Win the Section, get to states and take it one game at a time when we get there.”
Peters, who also assisted on the Falcons third goal, scored at the 11:06 mark of the first period and midway through the second.
Michael Lotempio extended the Wheatfield lead to 3-1 just 36 seconds after Peters goal.
The back-to-back Falcon goals came in response to Hugh White’s goal that tied the game at 1-1.
Making their first appearance in the regional title game, the Cougars path to Buffalo included knocking off powerhouse teams Baldwinsville in the Section III title game and West Genesee in the semis.
In a very physical game, the Falcons stood their ground while maintaining their focus on getting pucks to the net and creating scoring chances.
Once again, Wheatfield goalie Peyton Siegmann, MVP of the Super Monday sectional title game, was brilliant.
He was especially strongt when the Cougars were applying pressure during a power play early in the third period.
Siegmann stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced.