Mar 22, 2007 Kimberly Michalak Uncategorized
Pee wee hockey team travels to NYC
By Kimberly A. Michalak
Coming into this years season, the Camillus Pee Wee Travel Team for ages 11 to 12 only had four returning players. But they ended up skating all the way to the state tournament.
Pre-season skating started in early October and the team was selected by the second weekend of October. The team consists of 16 players: nine forwards, five defenseman and two goalies.
The kids are on the ice two to three times per week for practice or skills clinic. They played at least two games every weekend.
Their season was a little slow due to some injuries, but the team really came together around the holidays and went on to a 20-2-2 streak.
“Around the first of the year is when the coaches realized that this team had an opportunity to do well and advance beyond sectional play,” Coach Tom Lynch said.
Lynch and the other coaches were right and their team is no stranger to tournament play.
The team played in a number of tournaments this year; including, the Canton Classic, Camillus Cougars Thanksgiving Challenge, Oswego Power Play Tournament and the Tonawanda Lightning Tournament.
Central Section is broken up into two divisions. West and East. Camillus plays in the West division.
In order to qualify for States, Camillus had to qualify for sectionals by being one of the top two teams coming out of the West pre-sectional tournament. We came out of pre-sectionals as the number one seed for with a record of 4-0-1, beating teams like Auburn, Skaneateles, Binghamton,Ithaca and tying Elmira. Pre-sectionals were held in Elmira, weekend of Feb. 9 through 11.
Sectionals were held at Shove Park in Camillus the weekend of Feb. 23 through 25. Camillus and Ithaca represented the West, while Oswego and Rome represented the East. The top two teams from sectional play advanced to the NYS Championship in NYC the weekend of March 9 through 11.
Camillus opened sectional play beating Oswego 2-1 in a very thrilling game. We next played Ithaca and lost 1-0. In a must-win game to qualify for States, Camillus beat Rome 7-0. Ithaca advanced to States as the number 1 seed with a 3-0 and Camillus advance as the number 2 seed with a 2-1 record.
The NYS Championship was held at the Chelsea Pier Arena in Manhattan the weekend of March 9 through 11. The team held a bottle drive to raise money for the trip. Many donations came from the Camillus business community. To name a few, Cam’s Pizza, P & C Foods, Medical Center West, Camillus PBA, Local Labor 333, CH Insurance and the Scolaro Law Firm all helped out. “We chartered a bus to NYC which was filled with 55 friends and families of the team,” Lynch said.
The top 9 Tier II teams were playing for the opportunity to make it to Nationals in Buffalo the weekend of March 23 through 25.
Camillus played their first game on Friday morning against the Westchester Vipers and came back to tie them 3-3. Friday evening they played the NYC Cyclones and won 4-1. Saturday morning they lost to Saratoga 5-0 and were eliminated from the tournament after losing to Bud Bakewell 5-2. The team ended State play with a 1-2-1 record.
Aside from hockey, the team enjoyed the NYC experience spending time in Time Square, Central Park, seeing the Statue of Liberty and visiting Ground Zero. The Big East Basketball tournament was going on as well and they stayed one block away from Madison Square Garden. The final team record was 31-13-7.
The team was lead by their stellar goaltending, with Nate Skidmore and Max Barone between the pipes. The offense was lead by Shawn Lynch, Erik Kurz, Michael McElwain and Matt Skrupa. Rounding out the forwards were Jimmy Sauda, Nate Colabufo, Jason Keyes, Peter Lynch and Chris Lavin. The defense was lead by Michael Mellen, Travis Wager, Sean Lavin, Jake Darrow and Jared Ristoff.
Coaches were Tom Lynch, Jack Kurz and Frank Colabufo.
There was not a lot of expectations placed on this team to start the season. Due to their hard work and commitment to excel, they took their parents on a wonderful ride this year.