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December 7, 2022 - 10:51pm


Sharon Valyear-Gray wanted to make one thing clear: Friends of the Rink is not looking for donations of hockey equipment.

The nonprofit has six containers and then some used goods, from skates and helmets to knee and shoulder pads.

What she also wants to make clear -- similar to the sheen on the ice rink at David M. McCarthy ice arena -- is that these goods are available to kids in need to help them enjoy the sport. 

Friends of the Rink has brought back the used equipment and skate collection with the sole purpose to "help make the sport of hockey more accessible to local families," the group states.

After a free trial session, called Try Hockey For Free, Genesee Amateur Hockey Association introduces families to its beginner program of 15 sessions (from October to December) and again from January to March.  This program is sponsored by Batavia's Tim Horton franchise. Thanks to access to free used equipment and skates, "we can help out the families from the initial purchase of hockey equipment and skates," Valyear-Gray said.

"There is always the anxiety of spending that mone,y and then the youngster becomes disinterested," she said. "Now, once again, we have a collection of gently used equipment and skates totally free of charge to ease that financial burden."

GAHA families have generously been donating items after their own children grow out of the items, she said, which include hockey pants, shoulder and elbow pads, gloves and skates. Supplies of helmets are limited, as they are date-coded with a five-year lifespan. Items are stored in metal bins at the end of the bleachers in the arena. 

"Families are welcome to help themselves to needed items," she said, or for assistance, call her at (585) 344-2248 or email [email protected].

To donate helmets with the code and date within five years old or less, or other clean ice hockey equipment, drop it off in a bin between the two entry doors. 


Top Photo: Sharon Valyear-Gray of Friends of the Rink shows the shelves of ice hockey items, above, available for free at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street, Batavia. Photos by Howard Owens.

November 30, 2022 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia United, Notre Dame, Batavia HS, batavia, Sports, hockey.


Batavia United got its season off to a fast start on Tuesday, scoring three goals in the first period on its way to a 6-1 win over the WFL-Geneva Panthers.

The first goal came at 2:02 on a power play with Jameson Motyka and Brady Johnson feeding  Cooper Hamilton.

Later in the quarter, both Motyka and Ronin Hofmaster would score with assists from Hamilton and Jake Hutchins.

Brady Johnson, Motyka assist, scored in the second period.

Motyka scored on another power play in the third period with assists from Hofmaster and Johnson. 

The Panthers scored their lone goal at 7:34 in the third period and Hofmaster capped off the scoring at 12:06 with an assist from Hutchins.

Goalie Thys Tanner blocked 15 of the 16 shots sent his way.

“All in all, not a bad effort from the squad," said Head Coach Marc Staley. "It’s early in the season, so we are trying to gel as a team and get everybody on the same page. Not sure we have found our identity yet.  We’ve only had 10 practices together due to the storm, and the Thanksgiving holiday. And only two times did we have all of our players on the ice together.   We will learn from this game and get better.  We have a rather large test in front of us this weekend with back-to-back games against Starpoint, and Hamburg, two very strong Section VI teams.  We’re jumping right into the deep end.”

United plays Starpoint at the Northtowne Center in Buffalo on Friday at 5:30pm.  The team faces Hamburg at home at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Submitted photo.

November 9, 2022 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, hockey, Sports, Batavia United.


Hockey players in Batavia have a new learning tool, one that Marc Staley, head coach of Batavia United, said will help younger players improve their technique and help the high school team get more proficient in its play.

Batavia Rotary Club gave a gift of a computer and large-screen monitor for players and coaches to review practices and games at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

"It's an amazing gift by Rotary," Staley said. "It's obviously a pretty expensive piece of equipment, but it puts our local organization and certainly our high school program on par with anyone now in terms of having technology and ability to help these kids develop."

Staley said he's hoping youth coaches will use it to help members of their squads improve how they skate as hockey players.

"It's more technical -- how does your stride look? How's your head position, your knee, bend of your stick?" Staley said. "I mean, all those things when they can see themselves, it's a really impactful teaching tool than just telling a kid, you got to bend your knees, they don't get it, right? So this is something that right after practice, coaches can come off the ice and say, This is what I was talking about. So that's awesome."

For the high school team, which is used to reviewing a lot of film anyway, they now have a location right at their practice site to do it so the review is better synchronized with the practice.

"In particular, where we might run the power play for a couple of minutes then bring them right off, let them watch immediately what they did," Staley said. "Here's where you could have more poise. Here's the back door that's open. Here's where we need more movement. And then they get back on the ice and it can happen in some training. It just speeds up that learning curve for kids instead of waiting two days later when we can get the guy to the high school and they go, 'oh yeah, I remember that.'"

Photo: Marc Staley, head coach of Batavia United, Marlin Salmon, Batavia Rotary Club president, and John Kirkwood, assistant coach. Photo by Howard Owens.

October 20, 2022 - 10:19pm
posted by Press Release in hockey, Sports, batavia.


Press release:

This coming Sunday at Amalie Ice Arena in Tampa FL, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Will and Paul Barton, two brothers Batavia born and raised will be taking the ice in the Sk8 to Eliminate Cancer 3v3 Ice Hockey Tournament. All players who’ve entered the tournament are raising money for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation – an organization dedicated to changing the future of cancer by funding advanced, innovative research that treats the cancer while sparing the patient

The Barton boys both played for the Batavia Ice Devils and Batavia Ramparts growing up. The two brothers are the only sons of the late local businessman and husband, Batavian born and raised Bill Barton, who passed away on Oct. 14, 2020, after living with Multiple Myeloma for 13 years.

Bill volunteered as a coach and fundraising for the Ice Devils and Ramparts when his sons were playing in the early aughts, and was a fixture down at the Royal Rink (David McCarthy Ice Arena) at all of both his son’s games. He loved everything about the game, especially the people and life-long friendships that were forged on those teams growing up.

Reached for comment, Will and Paul offered the following statement:

“Unfortunately, with cancer, everyone knows someone in their family or friend circle that has been directly impacted by this terrible disease. Our father lived to be 63, is gone too soon and is dearly missed – but so often, tragically, cancer happens to young people. We were lucky. Teenagers, children, cancer doesn’t discriminate by age. This is the truly tragic nature of this disease, and this is why it’s so important to support organizations like Scott Hamilton CARES, people working on solutions.

When we found out about the Sk8 to Eliminate Cancer tournament in Tampa being held near two years to the date we lost our Dad, there wasn’t much back and forth, we knew it was time to lace up the skates and pay tribute to our father and everyone who has lived with cancer by doing what he loved to watch us do most, playing hockey.

We want to express our love and gratitude to everyone who has supported our fundraiser to this point, we’re currently in 1st place…and with the continued support of our fellow Batavians, we’re confident we’ll make our hometown proud and finish in first place…in fundraising. In the tournament play…well we’re playing in the A/B division and we’re getting near 40, so we make no guarantees…but hey we’re gonna do our best and forget the rest!”

We are able to accept donations through this Sunday 10/23/22. We are asking for $25 donations, and are encouraging anyone who donates in honor or memory of a loved one from their own life to pay tribute in their comments.
Join the Fight, Donate and Support the Barton Boys and their team, the Gulf Coast Goons: https://fundraise.scottcares.org/tampa/Barton

October 20, 2022 - 9:43pm


Press release:

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association invites children to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on  Evans Street on Saturday, Nov. 5  for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of Hockey  Week  Across  America.  Starting at 11:40 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

“We look forward to welcoming families to David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to try our great sport of ice hockey,” said Sharon Gray, Coordinator of the Event.  “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge. 

All your youngster needs is a helmet (bike or sports) and winter gloves.  Skates are available at the Rink free of charge (due to  the generous offering of the Batavia Sports Facility Management LLC).  The GAHA organization does have some used hockey helmets available for the event as well as a few hockey sticks.

Players in attendance will be given a free hockey jersey to take home.

To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit

www.TryHockeyForFree.com     (Use zip code 14020)

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens from 2015. Brian Gildner teaches his daughter Nora, then 3, how to shoot a puck.

August 30, 2022 - 8:16am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, Board of Education, hockey, notify.


Marc Staley and John Kirkwood, representing Notre Dame and Batavia high schools, respectively, made a pitch — or more accurately, a shot attempt — Monday to the city school board to establish a modified hockey team.

After noticing the number of younger students not qualified for Varsity or Junior Varsity teams, the coaches agreed that there would be enough students for a modified program, they said.

"And we can incorporate these kids already into our summer lifting program into the platform app, and also in our GroupMe app, in which we communicate with them … just to really let the kids know like, even though they're not necessarily in the program right now, that we're aware of them, we want to help start developing them,” Staley said. “And we've seen just tremendous participation from seventh and eighth graders all summer long. Now, I know they're a little younger, they don't have summer jobs and stuff like that, like some of the older kids do. But the numbers really would support a modified program.”

They had originally tallied 16 players and then found two more, a goaltender and a girl hockey player, which lends well to prep for the fastest growing collegiate sport in the country, he said, of women’s hockey.

A fee of $1,800 to cover games and referees would amount to about $100 per athlete, Staley said, not including transportation. A modified program would not compete with youth hockey, though it does “bump up against spring season,” he said.

“We don’t think it’s going to cause much of a problem with schedules,” he said.

Modified teams have one color, and this one would likely be either royal blue or white. The cost of those would be covered by the hockey boosters, he said.

There are 14 modified teams that play in Buffalo, and none in Rochester, he said. There would need to be some practices before they go and play, he said, so “there would be some expense there … less than $1,000.”

Notre Dame would share the cost, and “everything is broken down by kid,” Staley said. Eighth-graders are eligible to try out for junior varsity, however, they must pass a fitness test to do so, Kirkwood said.

“And we don't want to get in a situation where we have an eighth grader who either doesn't pass the test or may not be ready physically for the physicality of a JV team. So to have this option softens the level of effort kids who may not make the JV as an eighth grader but may be a great player,” he said. “So we're trying to mirror some of the most successful programs that are here and saying is this something that we can offer? The only other additional expense would be, maybe before these kids are all going to be in shape, they're going to just play a full hockey season. And they're going to be I think excited to come together for like a little mini-season.”

There are no more league fees, Staley said, which saves thousands of dollars, and “we run a gate now,” which should total $10,000 of admission coming into the program. They have fundraisers for those “soft goods” of gloves, shells and similar needed accessories, and have emphasized the idea of community service, Staley said. Of the 41 kids in Varsity and Junior Varsity, 28 worked at least three hours each at the annual Crossroads garage sale, loading and unloading merchandise.

“I’m a firm believer that, (and tells the kids) if you want the community to come to your games, you better get out there,” he said.

This past year students put in a collective 400 hours of service, “and counting,” he said. He and Kirkwood, a city school district teacher, have challenged the kids to reach 1,000 hours next year. It goes hand-in-hand with playing sports, which would be enhanced by a modified team, he said.

“We think this will be a great step in the right direction, and really give these young kids something to get excited about,” he said.

In his written proposal to the board, Staley offered to be coach of the "United Mod Squad" program without any compensation, as he feels it is part of his role as head coach of the United hockey program. Modified games would be played at Harbor Centre in Buffalo, and go from March 6 through April 23, 2023.

The puck apparently slid into the net. Board members John Marucci, Alice Benedict, Jean Lendvay, Barbara Bowman, Chezeray Rolle, John Reigle, and Korinne Anderson unanimously approved the request.

Photo: John Kirkwood, left, and Marc Staley present their plan to establish a modified hockey program for Batavia City Schools and Notre Dame High School. Photo by Joanne Beck.

August 29, 2022 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia United, hockey, Sports.


Of the 21 teams in Section V hockey, Batavia United Head Coach Marc Staley told participants in a bike rally yesterday, 14 of them charge their players to participate.

Events such as the bike rally on Sunday are fundraisers for Batavia United, so players and their families don't get stuck with those fees.

The funds help buy uniforms and equipment that the players are then able to keep at the end of the season.

The rally isn't a race.  It was either a 5K or 10K ride, depending on how far participants wanted to go, led by Batavia Patrol Officer Peter Post.

Participants also received a Bike Rally T-shirt.




April 4, 2022 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David McCarthy, bnd united, Sports, hockey.


The #6 David McCarthy wore when he played hockey for Batavia will be retired in a ceremony at the David McCarthy Memorial Tournament in December, it was announced last night at the BND United Awards Banquet. 

A banner will be raised in McCarthy's honor at the game in the recently renamed David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

McCarthy died in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29.  He was a 1995 graduate of Batavia High School, where he excelled in baseball and hockey.

Photo and information submitted by Guy Pellegrino.

March 20, 2022 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Men's Hockey League, hockey, Sports, batavia.


Dan Eckerson scored the winning goal in overtime this morning at David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to give the Newstead Homes Kings the Batavia Men's League Champsionship for 2022.

The Kings beat the Kioti Tractor Coyotes 4-3.

The King's roster:

  • Evan Eckerson, 23
  • Paul Greane, 10
  • Dan Eckerson, 22
  • Colton Cole, 3
  • Jake Bower, 5
  • Dan Langendorfer, 2
  • Mike Scinta, 1
  • Eric Bison, 7
  • Mark Brooks, 8
  • Joe Miano, 11
  • Ally Bison, 4
  • Jeff Crane, 9
  • Doug Warren, 6

For more photos or to purchase prints, click here.













March 6, 2022 - 5:40pm
posted by Press Release in Try Hockey for Free, Sports, hockey, batavia.


Press release:

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association hosted 34 children at the Batavia Ice Rink (aka The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Area) on Evans Street on Saturday, March 5th for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of  USA Hockey  Week  Across  America.  Starting at 111:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. local youth, ages 4 to 9, were welcomed at the Rink to experience getting on the ice, learning how to “skate”, get up after falling, basic skills with a hockey stick, and shooting punks into a hockey net (all by being guided by the head coach and on-ice helpers).

“We look forward to welcoming families to Batavia Ice Rink to try our great sport of ice hockey,” said Sharon Gray, Coordinator of the “Try Hockey for Free” event.  “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

The head coach for today’s event is Erik Triftshauser along with Fred Hamilton – both with more than 20 years plus starting out as GAHA players, high school players and GAHA coaches over the years.  Their on-ice helpers are mostly from this year’s United high school teams along with the sons.

The event is hosted by the Try Hockey for Free Coordinators – Sharon and Bob Gray and the GAHA Beginner Player Coordinator – Marcia Barnes.  It is the team’s goal to provide the hockey experience to area youngsters free of charge and encourage them to come October become a player in the GAHA Beginner Program which starts the first week of October.  The Beginner Program consists of two sessions (October to December and January to March) with a total of 15 on-ice hours per session.

The skates used by the youngsters are being provided “free of charge” by the Firland Rink Management Group.

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge. 

Photos by Erin Staley.










March 6, 2022 - 5:16pm
posted by Press Release in hockey, Batavia Ramparts, Sports.


Press release:

The GAHA organization is saluting the Batavia Ramparts PeeWee Empire team as they finished their 2021-2022 hockey season as undefeated league CHAMPIONS!.

Their record for the season was 19-0-1.

This hardworking team of 13 talented and team-focused athletes was led by Head Coach Ian D’Alba, along with coaching staff including Dylan D’Alba, Mark McNeil, Roger Barnes, Joe Pellegrino, and Manager Libby Webster.

Team comradery, focus, dedication, hustle, and drive were all part of the success of this PeeWee Empire team and all that they accomplished together to make this season an unforgettable one. Each team member brought not only skill to the ice but passion for the game as well. The strengths and improvements made throughout the season were the foundation for a phenomenal team and season which allowed them to skate away as league champions. Way to go Ramparts on your success and all the memories created.

Thank you to all of the amazing supporters of the Batavia Ramparts PeeWee Empire team in helping make it a truly unforgettable season.


  • #44  Aidyn Smith - Forward
  • # 2  Chase Banser - Forward
  • #77 Colleen McNeil - Defense
  • #  3 Cullam Finn -  Goalie
  • #29 Cyrus D'Alba - Defense
  • #13 Drew Beachel - Defense
  • #82 James Rachow - Forward
  • # 5  Joseph Pellegrino - Center
  • #28 Lilyana Rodriguez - Defense
  • # 7 Mason Pappalardo - Forward
  • # 8 Reid Webster - Forward
  • #18 Tobias Rockcastle - Center
  • # 80 Xander Morton - Forward
February 17, 2022 - 9:57pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, hockey.


Batavia Notre Dame United’s season came to an end tonight at the hands of perennial hockey powerhouse Victor, 5-0, in the Section V tournament Class A quarterfinals at the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport.

The team – in its first year of the merger of the Batavia High and Notre Dame programs – finishes with a record of 12 wins, seven losses and three ties.

As the clock wound down in the third period, Head Coach Marc Staley said he could only think of seven senior class members of the club who provided the leadership needed to forge such a successful inaugural campaign.

“Right now, we’re just thinking about the seniors; we’re thinking about how far up the mountain we climbed because it’s a lot further than I think people thought we were going to go,” Staley said. “And, tonight we may have just lost to the state champions – on their home ice.”

Victor, now 16-2-2, got goals from five different players – scoring once in the first period, three times in the second period and once in the third period. A deep and talented squad, it limited United to 18 shots and put constant pressure on BND goaltender Frank Falleti Jr., putting 38 shots on net.

“They’re one of the best teams in the state,” Staley said. “So, that’s the level you have to get to; you can’t make mistakes.”

Staley was talking about a turnover along the boards behind Falleti that turned into the game’s first goal at the 10:02 mark.

Senior forward Jon Chapman stole the puck and quickly passed it out front where senior forward Braydon Risenberger, streaking down the middle of the ice, flicked a one-timer past Falleti.

Less than a minute later, United’s Cooper Hamilton had a great scoring chance but missed the open side of the net. Falleti came up with a sparkling save with 3:46 left to keep it at 1-0.

Victor thought it had a second goal in the opening period with 1:42 remaining, but the goal judge ruled “no goal” as Falleti fell onto the puck as it rolled across the goal line.

BND’s freshman forward Brady Johnson, alone in front of Victor's sophomore goalie Max Pitts, was unable to get off a good shot in the first minute of the second period, and less than a minute later, Victor went up 2-0 when sophomore defenseman Michael Peluso’s long flip shot toward the BND goal deflected off Falleti’s pad and into the net.

The Blue Devils capitalized on a roughing penalty on BND as sophomore forward Tanner Radogna batted a shot in mid-air from Asher Erwin past Falleti. Chapman scored an unassisted goal with 6:12 left to make it 4-0. Victor outshot United 16-4 in the period.

United had a few decent scoring opportunities in the third period but Pitts was equal to the task – thwarting seniors Vin DiRisio and Gavin Schrader. Victor senior forward Colin McNamara closed out the scoring with a power play goal with just 2:29 left on the clock.

After defeating Victor, 4-2, on Jan. 27 in Batavia, United was unable to find the back of the net in the teams’ next two meetings, losing 9-0 on Feb. 3 and getting shutout tonight.

Staley said he could sense the disappointment on the bench when the team got down by three and four goals, knowing that Victor gave up as many as four goals in a game just twice this season.

“You could feel it on the bench when they got up by four goals but we never stopped, we never quit. I thought we played a great third period. I'm proud of the way that the kids handled themselves in terms of playing with class right to the end,” he said.

Victor Head Coach Mike Ferreri, who guided the Blue Devils to the state title in 2018 and were on their way to the state Final Four in 2020 before COVID-19 hit, credited the BND coaches for their efforts.

“I think Marc and (Assistant Coach) John (Kirkwood) did a phenomenal job of trying to merge schools,” he said. “We’ve got a handful a merged schools in our section right now and it’s very challenging. I can't imagine how they do it because the culture that we preach – supporting one another and putting the team ahead of your individual goals – would be even harder to do with kids from multiple schools.”

Staley acknowledged that he will be thinking about next season in a day or two but tonight was saddened about losing “a great senior class” – Schrader, DiRisio, Zack Eschberger, Parker Corbelli, Andrew Kasmarek, Thomas Reardon and goalie Courtney Schum.

He said the journey that all of the coaches and players took together this year was special.

“So many stories to be told about practices; what happened in the locker room and great moments of guys supporting one another and being selfless,” he said. “To me as a coach, that's what it's about. Did we make 21 kids better hockey players, probably. But I feel really confident that we made 21 kids better people. And right now, that's what I reflect on.”

Still, he couldn’t help but to speak about the future.

“We certainly have a very positive jayvee team this year. The coaches did a great job developing those kids and a number of those kids are going to be ready to step right in with us next year,” he said. “That was the goal -- to create this type of development model and it was extremely rewarding. It's something personally that I've been privately dreaming about for over a decade and now we’re seeing this unity not only in the hockey locker room, but within the community too.”

Staley said the United club will be involved in raising the bar for youth hockey at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

“We want to help the youth hockey program grow,” he said. “We have a responsibility to help fix up the rink in Batavia a bit and put hockey on a better path long term – and this was a heck of a start.”

Photo at top: United's Vin DiRisio fires one past Victor goalie Max Pitts but just wide of the net.


Pitts grabs the puck as BND's Jameson Motyka applies the pressure.


United's Brady Johnson reaches to control the puck as he battles with Victor's Tanner Rodogna.


United goalie Frank Falleti Jr. dives on the puck with help from DiRisio after a shot by Victor's Simon Kowal.


BND's Ronin Hofmaster looks to skate past Victor's Asher Erwin.


United's Cooper Hamilton and Victor's Christian Kurz meet at the puck in front of goalie Pitts.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

February 17, 2022 - 1:31pm
posted by Press Release in Try Hockey for Free, hockey, Sports, batavia.


Press Release:

The Genesee Amateur Hockey Association invites children to the Batavia Ice Rink (aka The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena) on Evans Street on Saturday, March 5th for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of  USA Hockey  Week  Across  America.  Starting at 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

"We look forward to welcoming families to Batavia Ice Rink to try our great sport of ice hockey,” said Sharon Gray, coordinator of the “Try Hockey for Free” event.  “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge. 

All your youngster needs is a helmet (bike or sports) and winter gloves.  Skates are available at the Rink and will be available Free of Charge through the Firland Rink Management Group. The GAHA organization does have a few hockey sticks available (but must be returned at the end of the clinic).

Players in attendance will be given a free USA Hockey jersey to take home.

To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit (PLEASE NOTE – EVENT IS LIMITED TO 40 PARTICIPANTS)


Photo: File photo from 2016 by Howard Owens.

February 15, 2022 - 10:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, hockey.


No matter how you slice it, the inaugural season of the Batavia Notre Dame merged hockey program has been a successful one. And it became much sweeter tonight before a large, enthusiastic crowd at the newly-named David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street.

Junior forward Cooper Hamilton’s goal with 5:15 remaining in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and Coach Marc Staley’s United squad went on to post a 4-2 victory over the Hilton Cadets in the opening round of the Section V Class A tournament.

The win lifts the seventh-seeded BND’s record to 12-6-3 and sets up a quarterfinal matchup against No. 2 Victor at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Rochester Ice Center on Lyndon Road in Fairport.

Tonight’s contest featured inspired play by both teams – especially goaltenders Frank Falleti Jr for BND and Luciano Chinappi for Hilton, who time and time again came up with spectacular saves.

United fired 50 shots at Chinappi – 19 of them in the decisive third period – while Falleti turned away 31 of 33 shots by the Cadets.

Staley pointed to his team’s ability to dig deep when the game is on the line as a key factor in the victory,


“This team is resilient,” he said. “We've been resilient all year. We’ve been down in the third period and we've come back to win before, and even when they (Hilton) came back and tied the game, there was no panic on our bench, none at all.

“In a pressure moment -- do or die at home and a new merged program. A lot of these kids haven't been in big sectional games before. And they did a great job executing our defensive game plan the last seven or eight minutes by keeping the clock running and getting the pucks deep.”

Hilton opened the scoring 8 minutes and 19 seconds into the game when senior defenseman Rylan Searley’s shot from the point went through Falleti’s legs and into the back of the net. Senior forward Dominic Goodenow picked up an assist.

BND was unable to convert several good scoring chances on two power plays prior to that, and junior Noah Hudson, playing on the front line tonight due to three teammates being out with illness, was thwarted by Chinappi in front with five minutes left.

A pair of stellar saves by Falleti in the closing three minutes of the period kept the deficit at one goal.


United tied it up at the 9:48 mark of period two when senior Gavin Schrader (in top photo winding up for a shot), Section V’s leading scorer, deposited the rebound off the initial shot by junior defenseman Bryce Feldmann.

The home team took a 2-1 lead with 2:05 left in the period when freshman forward Jameson Motyka took a pass from freshman forward Brady Johnson, skated in alone, put a nifty fake on Chinappi and backhanded the puck into the net for a shorthanded goal.

Hilton killed off a United power play with 9:23 on the clock and four seconds later tied the score at 2-2 when Goodenow flew in from the left side and flipped a rebound past Falleti.

Four minutes later, Hamilton came through with what proved to be the game-winning goal (Motyka and Johnson assisted) and Johnson sealed the deal with 2:14 remaining by converting a pass from Motyka.

Staley said he expected a hard-fought game against Hilton, which came into the contest with a 6-10-4 record.

“They’re a great hockey team; much better than their record because of the difficult schedule they play,” he said. “Our plan was to stay out of the (penalty) box and to limit the odd-man rushes, although we did give up a few of those.”


He also credited Falleti and senior defenseman Vin DiRisio for rising to the occasion.

“Frankie was spectacular. I mean, he made four saves in that last period that were probably the difference in the game,” Staley said. “And Vincent was incredible on defense. When he puts his mind to it, and stays focused on hockey, and doesn't get drawn in, he's one of the best players in the league. I think he's learning that and, now he’s seeing the fruits of that labor.”

Staley also singled out Schrader’s ability around the net and said that Motyka’s shorthanded goal triggered the loudest cheer “I’ve heard in this building in 10 years.”

“We had a lot of great individual efforts,” he said. “I thought defensively that (Andrew) Kasmarek was excellent and Feldmann was very strong in the back. We got great minutes from Bartzie (Alex Bartz), (Noah) Whitcombe and Gino Falleti.

“That's really key when we can get that third line in and they can eat 10 to 15 minutes of the clock for us. That just keeps our other guys fresh.”


United only gets a day or so to celebrate before facing Victor, 16-2-2, for the third time in the last three weeks. BND beat the Blue Devils, 4-2, on Jan. 27 but dropped a 9-0 decision on Feb. 3.

“I think the kids are excited to have a third crack at them,” Staley said, adding that maybe Victor might be a bit overconfident coming off of the lopsided win.

“Our kids know we can beat them and we wanted another shot at them because we didn't play well last time,” he said. “The beat goes on. The train keeps rolling.”

Staley said sophomore forward Addison Warriner and junior forward Ryan Hamilton will not be able to play on Thursday, but he is hoping that senior forward Zack Eschberger will be available.


United's Brady Johnson moves in on Hilton goaltender Luciano Chinappi as Evan Fish (15) defends on the play.


BND goalie Frank Falleti Jr. secures te puck as teammate Parker Corbelli checks the Hilton player.


Jameson Motyka takes aim at Chinappi during the first period for BND.


Falleti and teammate Vin DiRisio slide on the ice to prevent the Cadets from finding the back of the net.

Photos by Howard Owens.

February 12, 2022 - 11:27am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, hockey.

Update, 4:30 p.m., Feb. 13:

Batavia Notre Dame United is the No. 7 seed for the Section V hockey tournament and will host No. 10 Hilton at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a pre-quarterfinal game at the Batavia Ice Arena. Hilton comes in with a 6-10-4 record.

Other first-round matchups are No. 8 Fairport vs. No. 9 Greece Storm, No. 5 Brighton/HFL/ER vs. No, 12 WFL Panthers, and No. 6 Portside Royals vs. No. 11 Gates/Wayne/EI/Wheatland.

The top four seeds receive a bye. They are No. 1 Penfield, No. 2 Victor, No. 3 McQuaid Jesuit and No. 4 Pittsford.

If United wins on Tuesday, it will take on Victor at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Rochester Ice Center.  Victor and BND have split two contests this season.


Batavia Notre Dame Coach Marc Staley said he’s already put Friday’s 9-0 loss against top-seeded Victor in the rearview mirror as he prepares his United club for next week’s Section V hockey tournament.

“I could see that we weren’t that sharp to start the game – giving up three goals in the first six minutes – so we kind of took the approach to play everyone, rotating all five lines,” Staley said this morning. “Things didn’t go our way, but I consider the final score an anomaly. We’re definitely right there in terms of our caliber of play.”

Victor avenged a 4-2 loss to BND (on Jan. 27 at the Batavia Ice Arena) as Colin McNamara scored three goals and added three assists, while Simon Kowal chipped in with two goals in the game at the Rochester Ice Center.

The Blue Devils outshot United, 27-21, scoring seven times against starting goaltender Frank Falleti Jr., who was relieved by Courtney Schum midway through the second period.

BND finishes the regular season at 11-6-3 while Victor improves to 15-2-2.

“Looking at everything, we had a fantastic first year – merging the two programs the way we did and playing the 14th hardest schedule among all teams in New York State,” Staley said. “An 11-6-3 record is quite an accomplishment.”

United will look to post win number 12 at 6 p.m. Tuesday when it opens the Class A sectionals at home.

“Our opponent is yet to be determined but it looks like it will be Gates-Chili or Hilton,” Staley said. “It depends on what happens today as there are still a number of games to be played.”

Staley said the status of senior Zack Eschberger is uncertain after the first-line center suffered a shoulder injury early in yesterday’s game.

The BND United junior varsity team takes a 9-7-2 record into sectional play on Monday night when it takes on host East Aurora.

February 9, 2022 - 7:41am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, hockey.

Cooper Hamilton scored three goals in the third period Tuesday night, including the game-winner with 27 seconds to play, to lift Batavia Notre Dame United to a 7-6 victory over visiting Geneseo/Avon/Livonia.

The win puts BND at 11-5-3 in Section V hockey going into a Friday matchup against Victor.

United rallied from a 5-1 deficit after two periods.

Addison Warriner had two goals and Jameson Motyka had the other while Brady Johnson contributed five assists for BND. Gavin Schrader and Hamilton each chipped in with two assists.

United outshot G/A/L 56-22. Frank Falleti got the win in goal in relief of Courtney Schum.

Before the game, the team's 12th-graders were honored on Senior Night at the Batavia Ice Arena.

February 1, 2022 - 10:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, hockey.

Batavia Notre Dame United’s four-game winning streak came to an end tonight by a 6-2 score at the hands of the McQuaid Jesuit Knights at the Batavia Ice Arena.

The loss drops BND to 10-5-3 while McQuaid evened its record at 7-7-2 in Section V competition.

United is scheduled to take on Victor, weather permitting, at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport. BND handed Victor only its second loss of the season, 4-2, last week.

Freshman forward Brady Johnson gave United a 1-0 lead with 9:15 on the clock in the first period, converting a pass from Ronin Hofmaster to beat McQuaid goaltender Rory Fitzpatrick. Gavin Schrader also picked up an assist on the power play goal.

BND held the lead until just 44 seconds remained in the period when freshman Jack Callery took a pass from Nicholas Bianchi and put a one-timer past United goalie Frank Falleti Jr. for his eighth goal of the season. McQuaid’s goal also came on the power play.

Two goals within four minutes of each other early in the second period gave the Knights what proved to be an insurmountable lead. Junior defenseman Drew Palmer beat Falleti to the glove side 1:28 into the period and junior forward Alex Saracene deflected a shot from the point by Dante Coelho past Falleti, who was screened on the play.

Junior forward Cooper Hamilton’s power play goal – coming after sharp passes from Ronin Hofmaster and Jameson Motyka – pulled United within a goal with 7:58 left in the period.

United had a couple of power play opportunities in the third period but was unable to put the puck past Fitzpatrick, who had 25 saves.

McQuaid scored again after BND pulled Falleti with 1:10 remaining for an extra attacker, with Palmer finding the back of the net on a shot that went the full length of the ice.

With Falleti back in, Palmer closed out the scoring -- and finished with a hat trick -- by poking the puck into left side of the net with just one second to play. Junior forward Evan Kopacz was credited with assists on both goals.

The teams combined to commit 16 penalties – nine against McQuaid and seven against United, which was 2-for-8 on the power play. Shots on goal were even at 27 apiece.

January 29, 2022 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in olympic torch, Ramparts, hockey, Sports, batavia.


An Olympic Torch passed through Batavia today with a spot at the Ice Arena where members of the Ramparts passed it into the arena and then were given a chance to sake it around the ice rink.

Above, Levi Bennett during his turn to carry the torch.



January 28, 2022 - 7:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, hockey, Batavia Notre Dame United.


Thursday night’s 4-2 home win over Victor has moved Batavia Notre Dame’s varsity hockey team into the No. 4 seed in the Section V Power Seeding Standings.

BND defeated the previously once-beaten Blue Devils to raise its record to 10-4-3, which is good for 88 points in the standings. The team’s per game average of 5.1765 puts it fourth on the list of the section’s 12 Class A clubs.

Penfield (12-1-1) is No. 1 with a 6.5714 per game average, followed by Victor (12-2-2) at 6.5625 and Pittsford (7-5-1) at 5.6154.

Other teams in Class A, currently ranked fifth through 12th, are Brighton/HFL/ER, McQuaid Jesuit, Portside Royals, Greece Storm, Fairport, Hilton, Gates/Wayne/EI/Wheatland and WFL Panthers.

Should United finish in the top four at the close of the regular season, it would get a first-round bye into the Section V Tournament.

BND Head Coach Marc Staley said the power seeds are determined by strength of schedule, with more points awarded to clubs taking on teams with winning records.

“Teams that are better and have a winning record give us more points whether we win or lose,” he said today. “So, it rewards you for playing against top teams. For instance, we can beat Geneva (WFL Panthers, currently 1-8-0) and we will only get four points. Or we could lose to Aquinas (11-3-0 in Class B) and we still get four points.”

Last night’s victory gave United 10 power seeding points – moving them up from seventh to fourth.

Section V hockey officials say they are using the power seeding system “to provide the best opportunity for the best teams (in) Section V ice hockey to potentially represent us onto (New York) State competition.”

Staley took a deeper dive into his team’s won-loss-tie record, which has been boosted by five wins and a tie in its last six matches.

“Our record may not look incredible at 10-4-3, but in 17 games, we’ve only lost three games in regulation time. That’s impressive; 14 games we’ve either won or went into OT,” he said.

United is back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday against visiting McQuaid, and then has a rematch with Victor at 5 p.m. Feb. 3, this time at the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport. The regular season finale is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at home against Geneseo/Avon/Livonia.

The Class A sectionals begin with pre-quarterfinals on Feb. 15-16. The top four teams would start with quarterfinal contests on Feb. 17-18.

Semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 25 at the higher seed’s rink and the finals are set for 4 p.m. Feb. 27 at Tuttle Ice Arena on the Brockport State College campus.

Regional competition in Division I will take place at 1 p.m. March 5 at Tuttle Ice Arena.

File photo: Batavia Notre Dame's Gavin Schrader scored three goals and added an assist on Thursday night to raise his Section V-leading totals to 29 and 28, respectively. The senior forward's 57 points are five more than compiled by Max McKay of Churchville-Chili (24 goals, 28 assists). Photo by Howard Owens.

January 27, 2022 - 10:36pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, hockey.

staley_2.jpgIt may be time for the New York State Sports Writers Association to take a closer look at the Batavia Notre Dame varsity hockey team.

Coach Marc Staley’s United club posted a major victory tonight, knocking off the Victor Blue Devils, ranked third in the state by the NYSSWA, by a 4-2 score at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Gavin Schrader, Section V’s leading scorer, poured in three more goals to lead BND, which stands at 10-4-3 after its fifth win in its last six games (the other being a tie). United is not listed among the NYSSWA’s top 15 teams in Division I in its latest poll.

Victor’s second straight loss puts its record at 12-2-2.

United got a big lift from sophomore goalie Frank Falleti Jr., inserted into the starting lineup for the first time since he suffered a leg injury in the team’s opening game. Falleti stopped 29 of 31 shots, including several at point-blank range.

BND managed just 13 shots against the Blue Devils, but made the most of its opportunities – driving starting goalie Cameron Beal out of the game after Schrader’s third goal at the 12:11 mark of the third period gave the home team a 4-1 advantage.

As expected, Staley was ecstatic after the final buzzer sounded – yelling out “I told you we would win this game” – as he headed to the locker room.

Afterwards, he brought up the fact that his club had just beaten an elite opponent.

“Well, they are the third-ranked team in the state,” he said, responding to the significance of tonight’s win. “So, you tell me. I mean it was 4-1 at one point and we went into our trap the last eight minutes to keep the clock moving. We knew they were going to come after us late, but we hung on.”

Victor opened the scoring five minutes into the first period when sophomore forward Chris Donnelly scored after a shot from the point by teammate Christian Kurz popped out of Falleti’s glove and onto the ice.

United responded eight minutes later when senior Vin DiRisio swept a rebound on a long shot by Schrader past Beal for a power play goal to tie the game. Zack Eschberger also picked up an assist on the play.

Neither team scored in a second period that proved to be a clinic in penalty killing as the teams combined for six infractions – four of them by BND. Falleti was tested throughout the frame as the Blue Devils outshot United by a 12-1 count.

The third period showcased Schrader’s talents as the senior forward registered a “natural hat trick” with three goals in the final 17 minutes. He now has 29 goals and 28 assists in the team’s 17 games.

BND took the lead with 14:46 on the clock when Andrew Kasmarek got the puck to Brady Johnson, who passed it in front of the net to Schrader, who quickly put the puck in the net.

Schrader made it 3-1 when, after taking a pass from DiRisio, rushed down the ice untouched and beat Beal high to his glove side with 12:31 to play. Following a Victor timeout, Schrader scored again just 20 seconds later when he jammed the puck into the net, with Johnson picking up the assist.

Victor’s Simon Kowal collected a rebound of a missed shot at the 7:08 mark to make it 4-2, but the visitors were unable to score again as Falleti came up with five nifty saves down the stretch.

“We’ve been a great third period team all year – outshooting and outscoring teams – but we got outshot tonight, and we knew that was going to happen,” Staley said, assessing Victor’s strengths. “But we wanted to get quality shots, and a couple of those went in to really help us out.”

He said he wasn’t pleased with all the penalties in the second period, but was happy that BND was able to kill them off and also was one for four on the power play.

“When you get that and then you add in some gfalleti_wins.jpgoaltending, you’re tough to beat,” he said. “(Falleti) played really well; he’s fully healthy now. With Courtney (Schum), who has done an amazing job, we now have two fine goaltenders competing for that spot, which helps.”

Staley said the team’s nickname is appropriate at this stage of the season.

“I just feel by the way we've been practicing that these kids are really united, and they’re really playing for each other right now,” he offered. “Everybody on the bench is happy. Even when we see guys blocking shots and clearing the puck, the team is responding to that now.

“And we've really found our identity in terms of the style we want to play. And when we stick to our game plan, we're going to be a tough team to beat down the stretch. Teams are going to have to play their best hockey to beat us.”

United is off until 6 p.m. Tuesday when McQuaid Jesuit comes to town, and then it will face Victor again at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport. Its last regular season game is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at home against Geneseo/Avon/Livonia.

Photos from tonight's game: Coach Marc Staley on the bench, United players congratulate goaltender Frank Falleti Jr. (33). Photos by Mike Pettinella.

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