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Starpoint's Tyler Kalota, Grand Island's Tyler Hunt share state hockey player of year

Starpoint defenseman Tyler Kalota and Grand Island forward Tyler Hunt were named the Division II Co-Players of the Year by the Hockey Coaches Association of New York.

Kalota had three goals and 17 assists and was a substantial part of a defense that allowed one or less goals 12 times in 24 games. For the season, he was plus-35.

Hunt had 14 goals and 32 assists in 21 games and led the team in penalty minutes with 34.

Starpoint coach Clayton Wilson, who led his team to the Section VI title in its third season as a school-sponsored varsity team, was named co-coach of the year in Division II with Rye’s Peter Thomas.

The Spartans finished 20-2-2 after being eliminated in the regionals by defending state champion Skaneateles.

“It’s a heck of an accomplishment and it’s also a credit to the people that I coach against,” Wilson said. “We’re in a good league and they make it challenging. You have to put your thinking cap on to get ready for games.

“The team accolades go to the kids. They’re at the rink and they put in the extra time and in practices. We’re were rewarded at the end with a Section VI title and going to the regionals. It was special team with a lot of leaders.”

Kalota, Blake Dewey and Tommy Mazgaj have been with the program for all three varsity seasons.

After a 3-2-1 start, Starpoint went on a 17-game unbeaten streak (16-0-1).  The third game of the run was a 6-4 win against Frontier in which Starpoint trailed 4-1 entering the third period before scoring five times.

“It’s just a matter of coming together, which is what I preach,” Wilson said. “It takes a while because so many players are with their travel teams and so the coaches have get them under the reins and get them doing what we want.

“When you have seniors and you have leadership, you can be successful and we were. You also have to peak at the right time, just like in any sport, and we did.”

The organization also selected all-state teams from nominated players who participated in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association leagues regardless of association membership.

In Division I, Clarence defenseman J.D. King and forward Ethan Bishara were named to the first team. King had 10 goals, including four on the power play, and five assists in 22 games. Bishara had 21 goals and 17 assists in 20 games.

Lancaster forward Mix Richter was a second team choice with 19 goals and 15 assists in 20 games. Lancaster goaltender Joshua Ruffner was named honorable mention.

In Division II, defenseman Matt Walsh from Hamburg was named to the second team, with three goals and eight assists in 20 games.

Forward Peter Spameni from Lewiston-Porter and goaltender Bobby Currie from Grand Island were named honorable mention. Spameni led the area with 29 goals and 47 points.

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