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Section V hockey

February 17, 2022 - 9:57pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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 15, 2022 - 10:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

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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,

COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH

“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.

GAVIN SCHRADER TIES IT UP

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.”

FALLETI, DIRISIO STRONG ON ‘D’

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.”

FACING VICTOR FOR THIRD TIME

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.

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

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

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

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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, Section V 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.

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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, Section V 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, Section V 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 28, 2022 - 7:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Section V hockey, Batavia Notre Dame United.

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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, Section V 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.

January 22, 2022 - 7:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

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With two games against highly-regarded Victor scheduled over the next two weeks, there’s no better time than now for Batavia Notre Dame United to show that it can compete – and defeat – the elite teams in New York State.

Coach Marc Staley’s squad took a giant step forward this afternoon, playing probably its most complete game of the season, en route to a 7-1 victory over visiting Canandaigua Academy in Section V hockey at the Batavia Ice Arena.

“Actually, I think this whole week – we knew this was going to be a big week with three games in five nights,” Staley said. “So, we set a goal to try to win them all. And, we did that.”

United, winner of four of its last five games (the other was a tie against Williamsville East), raised its record to 9-4-3 with a dominant performance against the Braves, who drop to 4-10-1.

BND got goals from six players as its sharp passing and fast pace resulted in a 46-15 shots on goal advantage.

The home team controlled most of the action and, while not tested as far as quantity of shots, United’s senior goaltender Courtney Schum came up with some sparkling saves before giving way midway through the third period to freshman Frank Falleti Jr.

Falleti returned to the ice for the first time since suffering a leg injury in the team’s opening game.

Jameson Motyka led the way with two goals. Other scorers were Zack Eschberger, Gavin Schrader, Bryce Feldmann, Brady Johnson and Gino Falleti.

United took a 1-0 lead at 9:02 of the first period when Motyka deflected a shot by Noah Hudson past Canandaigua goaltender Charlie Fuller. Schum turned away Alex Chen’s attempt in front of the net to keep the Braves off the board.

Eschberger made it 2-0 just 14 seconds into the second period with an unassisted goal and it stayed that way until Schrader tipped in a shot by Eschberger with 3:22 remaining. Josh Barnes beat Schum to her stick side at the 1:50 mark to cut the lead to 3-1, but BND responded in short order as Motyka converted a pass from Johnson with :23.9 on the clock.

The third period was all United as it outshot Canandaigua, 18-5, scoring on a shorthanded goal by Feldmann at 13:38, and even strength goals by Johnson and Gino Falleti at 11:06 and 10:20, respectively.

“Looking back at this past week, I think we got better every period,” Staley said. “We gave up only 15 shots tonight, which is our lowest total of the year. And I'm really pleased with the way that we're starting to commit in our own defensive zone.”

BND has flexed its muscles on offense all season, but now is starting to put it together on the defensive end as well.

“We know that teams are going to have to score a lot to beat us, but if we can keep teams to one, two, or even three goals, we're going to have a really good chance of winning every night,” Staley added. “But, in terms of a full 51 minute game, I think we played pretty darn well for 48 of those 51 minutes.”

Staley said the development of “a real legitimate third line” with Gino Falleti, Addison Warriner and Ryan Whitcombe is key to the team's success.

“What that does is it gives our top two lines a little more rest so they can play faster,” he said. “We have destroyed teams in the third period this year. We saw this against Greece the other night where we came back, against Williamsville East and we had a really strong third period tonight. When we can run three lines and keep our average shift length under 45 seconds, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

Looking ahead, BND hosts Victor at 6 p.m. on Thursday and McQuaid at 6 p.m. on Feb. 1 before traveling to Victor for a 5 o’clock game on Feb. 3. United wraps up the regular season at home against Geneseo/Avon/Livonia for a Senior Night contest at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Sectional competition gets underway on Feb. 15.

Staley said Victor will present United’s toughest tests of the season.

“They’re ranked No. 2 in the state, undefeated going into today’s match against Orchard Park, another unbeaten team,” Staley said. (Orchard Park came out on top in that game by a 3-0 score.)

When asked if his team can knock off Victor, Staley quickly responded in the affirmative.

“Right now, with our team, the way we're playing, I would put this team up against anybody,” he said. “We’re staying out of the penalty box … and we we’re one-for-one on the power play tonight. When you're executing on specialty teams and you're getting some goaltending and you have three lines that you can run up front, that’s a really good recipe for winning hockey games in high school.”

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo: United goalie Courtney Schum makes the save.

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Jameson Motyka, who scored two goals, controls the puck for BND.

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BND's Addison Warriner battles for the puck.

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Motyka leads the rush down the ice.

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A stick goes flying as Canandaigua's Brayden Crouse applies a check.

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Battling along the boards.

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United's Bryce Feldmann and Schum combine to keep the puck out of the net.

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Schum reacts after sweeping the puck away.

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Zack Eschberger slips past the Braves' defense to pursue the puck.

Photos by Howard Owens.

January 21, 2022 - 8:19am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

bnd_united_logo.jpgA clutch save by senior goaltender Courtney Schum triggered the game-winning goal by junior center Cooper Hamilton with 1:32 left to play Thursday night to give Batavia Notre Dame United a 5-4 victory over Greece Storm in Section V hockey at the Batavia Ice Arena.

The win lifts BND to 8-4-3 going into a home contest at 3 p.m. Saturday against Canandaigua Academy, while Greece drops to 6-7.

The deciding sequence began with a faceoff to the left of Storm goaltender Kaden Fioreca with 1:55 on the clock. BND won the draw but Greece’s Aidan Candalari gained control and started down the left side of the ice.

It quickly became a 2-on-1 situation with Candalari passing the puck to Brent Shallenberger, who flew in all alone from the right side. Schum was equal to the task, however, sliding to her left to stop Shallenberger’s shot.

United’s Bryce Feldman gathered the rebound after knocking Shallenberger off the puck and tipped it out to teammate Jameson Motyka, who advanced it to Hamilton.

Hamilton, back in action recently after suffering a collarbone injury in BND’s first game of the season, gained a head of steam, veered to the right toward the Greece goal and beat Fioreca to his glove side.

Greece immediately pulled Fioreca for an extra attacker but was unable to score against United, which actually misfired on three shots at the empty net.

BND opened the scoring on Noah Hudson’s first goal of the season (assisted by Motyka) three minutes into the game but the Storm responded with three goals in a span of three minutes and 10 seconds – the first by Candalari and the next two by Spencer Griffin.

The score stayed at 3-1 until just 25 seconds remained in the period when BND senior forward Gavin Schrader stole the puck, made a nifty move past a Greece defender and fed Brady Johnson who scored a shorthanded goal, his 12th of the season.

BND scored the only goal of the second period, this one coming with 16 seconds left when, again, Schrader controlled a loose puck and fed it to Johnson, who beat Fioreca. Zack Eschberger also picked up an assist.

The visitors regained the lead early in the third period when Griffin won a faceoff and got it to Candalari for his second goal of the game.

United tied it up at 4-4 with 5:30 remaining when Schrader rushed past the Storm defense and flipped a backhand shot past Fioreca for a power play goal. Schrader now has 25 goals and 25 assists.

Fioreca stopped 44 of 49 shots, many of them at close range, while Schum turned away 22 of 26 shots, including a couple in a two-minute span just before thwarting Shallenberger.

January 18, 2022 - 10:45pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

Senior winger Gavin Schrader scored two goals and assisted on another to lead Batavia Notre Dame to a 6-2 victory Tuesday night over Geneseo/Avon/Livonia in Section V hockey at Wilson Ice Arena in Geneseo.

Schrader tallied both of his goals in the third period for United, which took a 4-0 lead into the final stanza. The section’s leading scorer, Schrader now has 24 goals and 23 assists.

Jameson Motyka had a goal and an assist to raise his season totals to 12 and 18, respectively, while Ronin Hofmaster had a goal and two assists and Brady Johnson chipped in with a goal and an assist.

Hofmaster has nine goals and 19 assists and Johnson has 11 goals and 15 assists for United, now 7-4-3.

Cooper Hamilton registered three assists, Zack Eschberger had two assists and Addison Warriner scored a goal – the first of the game at 5:29 of the opening period.

Senior goaltender Courtney Schum stopped 26 of 28 shots.

For G/A/L, 2-10, Christian Rumfola and Derrick Wigley scored.

United hosts Greece at 5:30 p.m., Thursday and Canandaigua at 3 p.m, Saturday at the Batavia Ice Arena.

January 10, 2022 - 2:24pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

Batavia Notre Dame Head Coach Marc Staley believes his United varsity hockey team is prepared to make a strong push over the last eight games of the Section V regular season.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) is our 13th game and it’s the first time all year that we’re healthy, so I think we’re ready to put it together,” Staley said today, two days after United’s 4-2 victory over Western Finger Lakes Panthers at the Batavia Ice Arena.

The win over WFL – Staley’s 150th in nine-plus seasons behind the Notre Dame (and now merged program) bench -- raised BND’s record to 6-4-2 entering Tuesday’s home game (6 p.m.) against Williamsville East.

“The way I look at the milestone is that I’ve stuck around long enough to compile that many victories,” said Staley, who has a 150-128-6 record. “I’m thankful for the kids that have played through the years. I’ve been able to watch a lot of great hockey players. It’s been rewarding, challenging and, at times, stressful.”

Staley said that this season’s six victories have meant more to him because of the merger of the Batavia and Notre Dame programs.

“For quite some time I felt that our kids were at a disadvantage playing against the Rochester teams by being split up,” he said. “We’re seeing mergers in Rochester, too, and I’m just glad that we were able to do this.”

As far as his future, he said he wants to keep coaching “for as long as they’ll have me,” with a goal of being able to coach his son, Luke, who will be entering seventh grade next fall.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS THIS YEAR

Batavia Notre Dame came into its first season as a combined unit with high expectations with a roster loaded with skilled players at all positions. Offensively, United hasn’t had too many problems putting the puck in the net – five players have at least eight goals each -- but has been hampered by inconsistency on the defensive end.

On Saturday against WFL, United held the Panthers to just 15 shots on goaltender Courtney Schum and killed four of five penalties – an encouraging sign, Staley said.

“We’re working to correct things defensively – limiting shots, limiting chances and being in better position,” Staley said. “Now, with Cooper (Hamilton) back from injury, we are looking at moving Zack Eschberger to defense as he is just a versatile player.”

Hamilton, a junior center, suffered a collarbone injury in the season opener and returned to action on Saturday, picking up an assist.

Staley said he plans to put him on a top line with senior wingers Gavin Schrader and Vin DiRisio while wingers Ronin Hofmaster and Jameson Motyka will skate with freshman center Brady Johnson on the team’s other high-scoring line.

SCHRADER LEADS ALL SCORERS

schrader_1.jpgSchrader (photo at right), with a goal and two assists on Saturday against WFL, now has 103 points in his high school career – 54 goals and 49 assists. This season, he has 22 goals and 21 assists, and – according to the Pointstreak website, is the leading scorer in Section V.

“Gavin is one of those generational type talents,” Staley said. “You rarely find someone his size (6-foot-4) that can skate as fast as he can and is as strong physically as he is. Beyond that, he’s become mentally tougher as a senior.”

Motyka had a goal and two assists – upping his totals to 10 and 16, respectively – while Eschberger and Johnson had the other goals. DiRisio has 11 goals and 12 assists; Hofmaster has eight goals and 16 assists, and Johnson has eight goals and 13 assists.

Defensive standouts thus far this season include senior Andrew Kasmarek, junior Noah Hudson and sophomore Orion Lama.

STRONG BETWEEN THE PIPES

United has been without starting goaltender Frank Falleti Jr. since its first game due to a right foot injury but senior Courtney Schum has performed admirably in his place.  Falleti, a sophomore, skated for the first time last Friday, Staley said, but it is unclear if he will make it back this season.

“We not rushing him; he’s got two more years ahead of him and we don’t want to risk any further injury,” Staley said. “We’re supremely confident in Courtney. We feel she has the ability to lead us down the stretch.”

Following tomorrow’s game, BND will be off for a week. It has a Jan. 18 game at Geneseo/Avon/Livonia before ending the regular season with a five-game homestand, including two games against powerful Victor with McQuaid Jesuit, another tough opponent, sandwiched in between.

File photo by Steve Ognibene.

January 4, 2022 - 10:54pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

Batavia Notre Dame lost to Aquinas by a 3-2 score tonight in a penalty-free Section V varsity hockey match at Lakeshore Rinks in Rochester.

Senior forward C.J. Mangone scored two goals for the Little Irish, now 9-1 after their eighth straight victory. Aquinas’ only defeat came in BND's season opener by a 6-3 count.

For United, 5-4-2, Ronin Hofmaster and Gavin Schrader tallied goals in the second and third period, respectively, with Schrader’s 21st of the year coming with just 59 seconds left on the clock.

After a scoreless first period, Mangone capitalized on a United turnover to beat BND goaltender Courtney Schum with a slapshot from the left side seven minutes into the second period. Assists went to Kevin Howse and Tyler Day.

Mangone made it 2-0 when he deposited a rebound off a shot by teammate Alex Smola with 5:36 to play. Day also assisted on the goal, Mangone’s 15th of the season.

United cut the lead in half when Hofmaster stole the puck, maneuvered to the right and beat Aquinas goalie Andrew Gatti to the glove side with 1:34 on the clock. Brady Johnson picked up the assist.

Aquinas scored what proved to be the game winner six minutes into the third period when Tony Terrana took a shot from the point that got past Schum, who was screened on the play. Caleb Wood and Mangone were credited with assists.

BND had several opportunities in the closing minutes as it controlled much of the play in the third period -- outshooting Aquinas 13-5 -- but wasn’t able to score until Schrader muscled the puck away from an Aquinas contender and drilled it past Gatti.

For the game, United had 30 shots to the Little Irish’s 27.

United hosts Western Finger Lakes at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Batavia Ice Arena. BND defeated WFL 10-1 on Dec. 14.

December 23, 2021 - 9:35pm

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In what Head Coach Marc Staley called “our poorest effort of the year,” Batavia Notre Dame United – plagued by mistakes in its own zone and outshot by a more than two-to-one margin – dropped a 7-4 decision to Pittsford tonight in Section V hockey at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Sophomore Ben Norten scored three goals and assisted on another as the visiting Panthers broke away from a 2-2 tie with four goals in the second period to take a 6-4 advantage heading into the third period.

Pittsford, 4-3-1, fired 46 shots at BND goaltender Courtney Schum, while United could manage to put just 19 on Panthers’ goalie Aden Brown.

“This was our poorest effort of the year and we have to address that,” Staley said. “We have to come to play every night. And we didn’t execute tonight and they’re a fast team and a skilled team.”

Staley pointed to his team’s miscues in its own end that provided Pittsford numerous extra opportunities.

“We gave up too many pucks in our own zone -- sloppy play,” he said. “Pucks in the back of our net (given away). You can’t make mistakes against Class A teams that are good like this. And we made too many tonight, so we’ve got to tighten that up. And we will. It’s still early in the year.”

Pittsford had several chances to draw first blood but was unable to capitalize on a power play midway through the opening period.

When BND drew a pair of penalties at the 8:00 and 7:21, it came through with the two-man advantage -- with senior Gavin Schrader putting away a rebound at 6:59. Jameson Motyka and Zack Eschberger assisted.

The Panthers tied the score at 3:44 on a goal by sophomore Henok Hankinson (assisted by junior Will Masaschi) and took the lead less than two minutes later when junior Lucas Procious scored from close range, with Norten and Colin Norton assisting.

United rallied with a minute left in the period when Eschberger converted a pass from the speedy Schrader, who had raced down the left side of the rink past the defense.

Pittsford controlled most of the action in the second period, outshooting the home team 26-10. And it didn't help the United cause when defenseman Noah Hudson's skate blade broke, forcing him to miss most of the 17-minute session while correcting the situation.

Norten scored off a rebound of a shot by Norton at 13:22 and Masaschi buried the puck after an initial save by Schum at 12:09 to put Pittsford up 4-2.

Following a BND timeout, United cut the deficit in half as Schrader deflected a shot by Parker Corbelli past Brown at the 11:00 mark (Eschberger also assisted), but Pittsford came back 55 seconds later as sophomore Brady McMahon beat Schum to her glove side from a tough angle.

After Schrader hit the crossbar on a shot at 6:25, United pulled to within a goal again as senior Vin DiRisio found the back of the net after a nifty pass from Motyka.

Schum made a couple tough saves inside of three minutes, but was unable to thwart Norten at the 1:14 mark when he scored his second goal, assisted by Norton. The duo combined again to close out the scoring at 10:57 of the third period after United gave up the puck behind its own net.

Pittsford clamped down in the third period, holding BND without a shot on goal until 2:57 remained in the game.

Asked if he thought Pittsford had a deeper team and better skaters, Staley instead talked about United’s unforced errors.

“We scored one on ourselves. Those are the things we have to address; too many giveaways in our own zone,” he said. “And we need more balance. We’re relying on two few guys right now.”

Still, Staley said he saw it as a learning experience.

“It’s good for us to play against these teams to learn the level that we have to get to,” he said.

Schrader upped his goal total to 15 (to go with his 15 assists) while DiRisio’s goal was his 10th of the season.

United, 5-3, travels to the LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo for games against Section VI opponents next week – at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday against Hamburg and at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against Frontier.

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Photo at top: Batavia Notre Dame's Jameson Motyka avoids a Pittsford defender as goaltender Courtney Schum looks on. Photos at bottom: United's Parker Corbelli controls the puck as Pittsford's Lucas Procious converges; teammate Brady Johnson looks to maneuver past Pittsford's Keegan Ahern. Photos by Howard Owens.

December 23, 2021 - 2:29pm

A victory over Pittsford tonight would give Batavia Notre Dame a psychological lift through Christmas and snap a long Section V hockey drought against the suburban Rochester school.

“This is a very important game for us, psychologically, as it can get us to 6-2 heading into next week's tournament at the (LECOM) Harborcenter in Buffalo, and knowing that a Batavia team hasn’t beaten Pittsford since, I think, 1994,” Head Coach Marc Staley said this afternoon.

The game is set for 6 o’clock at the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street.

bnd_united_logo.jpgThe Batavia Blue Devils were unable to defeat a Pittsford club when they met regularly in Monroe County League competition over the past three decades and, last year, Notre Dame dropped a 5-3 decision to the Panthers in the first round of the sectionals.

Batavia and Notre Dame combined forces prior to this season as "BND United" and has won five of its first seven contests. Pittsford is 3-3-1 but the record doesn’t indicate the overall strength of this year’s Panthers’ team, Staley said.

“This looks to be a dead-even game,” he said. “They have played against some very strong teams – Fairport, Massena and Penfield – and play a similar style to ours.”

On paper, United has more offensive firepower than Pittsford with five players in the top 10 in scoring among the six Independent teams. BND has scored 47 goals and given up 25 while Pittsford has scored 22 and allowed 22.

Senior Gavin Schrader is No. 1 in points with 13 goals and 14 assists, freshman Jameson Motyka and junior Ronin Hofmaster each have six goals and 11 assists, senior Vin DiRisio has nine goals and seven assists, and freshman Brady Johnson has seven goals and eight assists.

BND goaltender Courtney Schum has a 3.53 goals against average in her seven games.

The Panthers have three players with five goals apiece – senior Aidan McGrain, junior Lucas Procious and sophomore Henok Hankinson, while junior Will Masaschi has four goals and nine assists. Goalie Aden Brown has a 2.96 GAA.

Staley said both teams have solid power play units and it could come down to which team stays out of the penalty box.

“The team showing the most discipline likely will come out on top,” he said. “It shapes up to be a close game.”

December 18, 2021 - 6:43pm

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Sophomore Addison Warriner’s power play goal with six minutes and 11 seconds to play lifted Batavia Notre Dame to a 4-3 victory over Webster Schroeder this afternoon in the championship game of the Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Host United, now 5-2, prevailed in a fast-paced, well-played contest between evenly-matched Section V hockey clubs

The game featured only seven penalties, but one of those infractions proved to be the difference, however, when Warriors’ defensemen Matt Grattan was hit with a five-minute major for checking from behind at the 10:21 mark of the final period.

BND fired off several shots at Webster Schroeder goaltender Peyton Sanfilippo over the next four minutes before finally cashing in on a Warriner slap shot, with assists going to Jameson Motyka and Gavin Schrader, to break a 3-3 tie.

From there, United employed its neutral zone trap scheme and managed to keep the Warriors off the scoreboard.

United Coach Marc Staley mentioned his team’s all-for-one, one-for all approach when talking about the game-winner.

“The attitude in the locker room is just next man up. And that's what happened, we popped in Addison Warner there in the middle on the power play, and he scores the game winning goal,” Staley said. “And so, what I love about this team is that we have this deep bench. And if someone's not getting it done, we can just bring somebody in to take care of business.”

Freshman Brady Johnson stepped up in a big way as he registered a “natural hat trick” with three consecutive goals for United – two as BDN took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission and a third that erased a 3-2 deficit in the second period.

Webster Schroeder opened the scoring on a goal by Aiden Baldwin (assisted by Gunnar Bolton) at 14:45 of the first period. Johnson evened things up at 4:38 when he took the puck the length of the ice, broke through two defenders and found the back of the net, and put the home team on top at 1:15 after taking a pass from Ronin Hofmaster.

The Warriors responded in the second period on a power play goal by Evan SanSoucie at 16:27 and an even-strength goal by Bolton (assisted by Ryan Reeves) two minutes later to regain the lead at 3-2.

United bounced back once again as Schrader and Hofmaster worked the puck to Johnson at the point and his shot beat Sanfilippo at 10:33 to knot things up.

“Brady is just an incredible talent – a player who mixes great skill level with just a huge compete factor,” Staley said. “He just willed that first goal and that really gave our bench some life.”

Johnson, Schrader, defenseman Andrew Kasmarek and goaltender Courtney Schum were named to the all-tournament team for United, joining Warriors Alex Bollis, Baldwin and Sanfilippo.

They each received medals that were presented by Mike McCarthy and Brian McCarthy, father and brother, respectively, of Dave McCarthy, a standout athlete who was killed in a car accident in 2006.

United outshot the visitors 31-18, but Schum made several spectacular stops among her 15 saves, including a shot at point blank range by Bollis with 1:02 remaining to preserve the lead.

Staley recognized the performance by Schum, who has been filling in admirably for injured starter Frank Falleti Jr.

“She's been steady the whole year for us,” he said. “She makes the saves she's supposed to make and we know when we stay out of the penalty box and we don't give up odd man rushes, she’s going to do the rest for us. I'm very happy for her making the all-tournament team as she deserved it.”

BND, already without forward Cooper Hamilton (broken collarbone) until sometime in January, lost its co-captain, Zack Eschberger, midway through the second period when he was hit from behind into the boards. He reportedly was being evaluated for a concussion.

“I’m really proud of this team for gutting it out,” Staley said. “I mean we were down some of our key players tonight, for different reasons. And then we lost Eschberger, so we’ve got to figure out what his status is going forward as we have a big game against Pittsford (6 p.m. Thursday at Batavia Ice Arena) coming up this week.”

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Photo at top: Batavia Notre Dame players gather round goaltender Courtney Schum after the buzzer sounds, marking their 4-3 win over Webster Schroeder. Photo at bottom: Players, coaches and tournament officials celebrate with a group photo. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

December 15, 2021 - 8:55am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

Updated 10 a.m.:

Senior winger Vin DiRisio registered a hat trick Tuesday night – with all three goals coming in his team’s six-goal second period – to lead Batavia Notre Dame United to a 10-1 victory over the WFL Panthers in Section V hockey at the Geneva Recreation Complex.

DiRisio upped his season total to nine goals, one behind senior line mate Gavin Schrader, as United raised its record to 3-2.

Last night, United unleashed 49 shots at a pair of WFL goaltenders – scoring twice in the first period, breaking the contest open with six in the middle period and twice in the third period. United goalie Courtney Schum stopped 21 of 22 shots, yielding WFL’s only goal early in the second period that cut BND’s lead to 2-1.

Senior Zack Eschberger, center on the first line with DiRisio and Schrader, returned to action and promptly put the visitors on the board at 3:54 of the first period, with assists from Schrader and junior Ronin Hofmaster.

"It was great having our co-captain Zack Eschberger back in the lineup for the first time this season," Coach Marc Staley said. "He gave us a really nice boost offensively with his energy and speed."

Schrader made it 2-0 eight minutes later on a power play goal with Hofmaster and DiRisio assisting.

Following a goal by the Panthers’ Lucas Springer early in the second period, BND took control with six goals over the next 11 minutes – the three by DiRisio and one each from Hofmaster, freshman Brady Johnson and Eschberger. Jameson Motyka had three assists and Noah Hudson two.

Schrader and Motyka rounded out the scoring with goals nine seconds apart in the first minute of the third period, with Eschberger and Johnson assisting, respectively.

"We controlled the puck very well as a team last night and our offense clearly can be lethal," Staley said. "There are still a number of things we need to tighten up on, however, in transition and in our own end." 

For the season, Schrader has 10 goals and 10 assists, DiRisio nine goals and seven assists, Hofmaster five goals and seven assists, and Motyka four goals and seven assists.

Staley said his team will have to be sharp against strong competition at this weekend's Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

"The Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament has a great tradition of bringing in some of the best teams in the state. With Fulton, Webster Schroeder, and Bishop Timon coming in, I expect some great hockey to be played."

On Friday, Bishop Timon takes on Webster Schroeder at 6 p.m. and Batavia Notre Dame will face off against Fulton at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the consolation game is at noon and the championship game is at 3 p.m. Admission for all the games is $5 (the charge for seniors is $3). There is no charge for those 18 and under.

December 9, 2021 - 10:39pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Batavia Notre Dame United, Section V hockey.

Batavia Notre Dame United dropped a 5-3 decision tonight to the Portside Royals in Section V hockey action at the Batavia Ice Arena.

BND falls to 2-2 while Portside, a merger of the Brockport and Spencerport programs, improves to 3-1.

The winners scored three goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead and managed to hold off a spirited comeback by the home team.

Forward Vin DiRisio deflected a shot from the point by defenseman Orion Lama with 12 minutes left in the game, and forward Gavin Schrader buried a backhand shot after he stole the puck deep in the Portside zone three minutes later to pull BND within one at 4-3.

The Royals responded a minute later when United turned the puck over in its own end, leading to a goal by Evan Bovee.

“We just dug too deep of a hole in the second period,” BND Coach Marc Staley said. “We had some great scoring chances that we just did not capitalize on.”

With 2 ½ minutes left, Bovee received a major penalty after a blindside hit on DiRisio, giving United a two-man advantage – following a penalty at the 3:38 mark on Joey Mandel.

BND was unable to generate any offense, however, and Portside was able to clear the puck several times.

The home team opened the scoring at 10:47 of the first period on a slapshot from the right point by Andrew Kasmarek. Portside tied it with 4:55 remaining in the period on a goal by Henry Schulz.

Schultz scored a shorthanded goal a minute into the second period to put Portside up 2-1. He added a power play goal with 5:34 remaining and Sal Balbi scored after taking a pass from Ryan Plouffe with 1:44 to play to make it 4-1.

Courtney Schum stopped 27 of 32 shots while Portside goalie Danny Kucmerowski turned away 35 of 38 shots. Schum has replaced sophomore starter Frank Falleti Jr., who is out indefinitely with a leg injury. .

Schrader now has eight goals and DiRisio has six.

Staley said he saw “a lot of good things” from his team, noting that United outshot the Royals, took only two penalties and gave up just three odd man rushes. He also mentioned that he was surprised by the amount of hard checking.

“The game was much more physical than we’ve seen so far this year. It’s certainly not what we are used to seeing in Section V. I thought the kids did a great job adjusting to that and really coming after them in the third period,” he said.

Senior captain Zack Eschberger returns to the team on Monday after being in quarantine, Staley said.

BND travels to Geneva on Tuesday to take on the WFL Panthers. Game time is 7 p.m.

December 4, 2021 - 11:35pm

Senior winger Gavin Schrader scored four times in an eight-goal third period Saturday afternoon to lead Batavia Notre Dame to a wild 13-8 victory over Potsdam in the finale of the Potsdam ice hockey tournament.

BND United, which split its two games in the tournament, trailed 5-3 late in the second period before Schrader (assisted by Ronin Hofmaster) and winger Vin DiRisio (assisted by Andrew Kasmarek and Schrader) knotted things up entering the final period.

From there, Schrader took over -- scoring to put United up 6-5 just 18 seconds into the third period (assisted by DiRisio and Noah Hudson) and following that up with three more goals as the visitors won going away.

All told, Schrader had five goals and three assists, raising his team-leading totals to seven goals and eight assists after three games.

Freshman Jameson Motyka tallied three goals and two assists, DiRisio had a pair of goals and four assists (to up his season totals to five each) and Hofmaster recorded two goals and three assists. Freshman Brady Johnson chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Gino Falleti registered three assists.

Batavia outshot Potsdam, 48-29, and with three power play goals in six chances.

Goaltender Courtney Schum, playing in place of injured staqrted Frank Falleti Jr., was 21-for-29 in the save department.

Sophomore John Duffy scored four goals and sophomore Tyler Berkman had two goals for Potsdam.

BND, 2-1 overall, resumes Section V competition at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Irondequoit at Lakeshore East rink and hosts Portside Royals at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Batavia Ice Arena.

December 1, 2021 - 12:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, batavia high, Notre Dame, Section V hockey.

bnd_united_logo.jpgIf it’s possible to have a “defining moment” in the first game of the season, Marc Staley, head coach of the Batavia Notre Dame United varsity ice hockey club, said he may have witnessed one during the third period of Tuesday night’s Section V season opener.

In front of a large and energized crowd at the Batavia Ice Arena, United posted a 6-3 victory over visiting Aquinas Institute in its debut following the merger of the Batavia High and Notre Dame programs.

Staley said his team’s ability to control its emotions with the score tied at 3-3 midway through the third period was the difference in the game.

“The kids really gutted it out down the stretch,” he said. “We called a timeout with seven minutes and 40 seconds to go. And all we said was to breathe – everybody reset. This is a big moment."

“It's a 3-3 game. It's an emotional night. Just breathe. Let’s go put the stamp on this thing right now. We have the power play. Let’s go execute the power play.”

Batavia ND did just that, with seniors Andrew Kasmarek, Gavin Schrader and Vin DiRisio working together to produce what proved to be the game winning goal.

Defenseman Kasmarek, who shined in the penalty killing department, was at the top of the power play and “executed it perfectly,” Staley said.

“(Kasmarek and Schrader) got the puck across ice to Vincent, which is what we wanted, and he fired the puck in the net,” Staley said.

DiRisio’s goal at the 9:59 mark put Batavia ND in front, 4-3, and United was able to hold off Aquinas, which pulled its goalie in the final minutes – leading to empty net goals by DiRisio and Schrader.

Staley thinks the team’s response to the timeout could be a rallying point as the players, including some from other Genesee County schools, seek to bond as a unit.

“I hope that was a moment that we're going to be able to call back on already – that we were able to calm down,” he said. “Hockey is played with an active body and a calm mind.  We were able to calm our minds, go back to the task at hand and execute down the stretch.”

The win was a costly one, however, as junior Cooper Hamilton, the team’s second line center, suffered a broken collarbone on the game’s first shift when he fell into the boards. He is expected to be out of action for at least six weeks, Staley said.

Batavia ND also played without its first line center, senior Zack Eschberger, who is quarantined due to an exposure to COVID-19.

“He’s not positive but he’s out for the first two games. We found that out less than 24 hours before the game,” Staley said.

That forced the coaching staff to improvise, putting together different combinations on the front line.

“I mean, our whole game plan and our whole line sequencing was just immediately thrown off. And it was not the easiest situation to coach, when you're thrown curveballs like that to manage the bench and to find combinations, and you really have to just coach on the fly, which is not ideal,” Staley said.

Furthermore, starting goaltender sophomore Frank Falleti injured his leg early in the third period and had to come out of the game. His status for this weekend’s two contests in Potsdam is uncertain, Staley said.

His replacement, senior Courtney Schum, came through with flying colors – giving up only one goal, which was tallied by CJ Mangone, his second of the game.

“Courtney came in and did a tremendous job for us in a really pressure packed moment,” Staley said. “She was coming in cold and did a great job and made some big saves for us down the stretch to help us secure the lead.”

Junior center Ronin Hofmaster and Kasmarek had first-period goals for United, and Hofmaster scored again in the third period to give the home team a 3-2 lead. Schrader had four assists and DiRisio had two.

Going forward, Hofmaster, who Staley credited as having a “phenomenal” game, will anchor the second line with freshman wingers Brady Johnson and Jameson Motyka. Key defensemen include juniors Noah Hudson, Alex Johnson and Bryce Feldman and seniors Kasmarek and Parker Corbelli.

United travels to Potsdam for games against Canton (Friday) and Potsdam (Saturday). Its next home game is at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 against Portside Royals.

The merged program's JV team has won two of its first three games.

March 4, 2021 - 10:56pm

Following a frustrating 3-2 loss to Brockport this afternoon at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex in Rochester, Notre Dame Coach Marc Staley reflected upon what otherwise has been a successful ice hockey season thus far for the Fighting Irish, who will play a final regular season game on Saturday before hosting a Section 5 Class A Tournament next Tuesday.

“If you would have said to me five weeks ago that we were going to have a season, I would have been thrilled,” Staley said. “If you said to me five weeks ago that we were going to be 7-2-1 and be the No. 1 seed in Class A, I would have said you’re crazy.”

Both the No. 1 overall seed in Class A and the Section V Division 3 championship are in reach for Notre Dame.

A victory over division rival Irondequoit, 8-2-1, on Saturday (7 p.m. at Lakeshore Hockey Arena and Sports Center in Rochester) will give the Fighting Irish the league title while a win or a tie will enable them to retain their current place as the top seed in Class A.

“We’re playing in the highest class in New York State hockey against teams (from large schools) like Webster Schroeder and Hilton,” Staley said. “I think they (Section V officials) looked at our scores early in the season when we won big (and placed us there). But I don’t care where they put us. There’s not a lot of difference between Class A and Class B.”

Today’s game showed that as Brockport, a Class B entry, burst out of the gate, peppering ND’s freshman goaltender Frank Falleti with 13 shots in the first 10 minutes and cashing in on two of them – a goal by Jeremiah Rausch at 6:54 and a power play goal by Henry Schultz at 9:58 (assisted by Rausch).

Notre Dame had a couple of great chances late in the period but the team’s leading scorers, Gavin Schrader and Vin DiRisio, were stymied by Brockport goalie Joseph Volpe. Brockport outshot Batavia 18-8 in the period.

It didn’t take long for the Irish to cut the lead in half as Schrader flipped a backhand shot past Volpe just 33 seconds into the second period for his 17th goal of the season. Vin DiRisio assisted on the goal. ND tied the score about six minutes later when freshman Joe DiRisio made a nifty move to get past the defenseman and found the back of the net.

Brockport, now 7-3-1, responded, however, tallying what proved to be the game’s final goal with 48 seconds left in the period as Tyler Henshaw put away the loose puck in a 4-on-3 power play after Falleti had turned away shots by Rausch and Jonathan LoMonaco.

In the third period, ND drew a couple of early penalties, including a four-minute major, but was unable to capitalize. For the game, they were 1 for 9 on the power play.

Notre Dame kept the pressure on in the final seven minutes, turning a 32-27 deficit in shots on goal to a 37-32 advantage, but Volpe was equal to the task. In the end, Volpe stopped 37 shots while Falleti had 31 saves.

“It was two different games, right,” Staley said. “We were very flat to start the game and, to their credit, they’re up after the first and we had to reassess the situation. What kids are struggling with is that we can’t sneak up on anybody anymore. When you start the season 6-0, 7-1, everyone is looking for you; they’re going to give you their best games and kids are getting up to play us.”

Staley gave the team credit for clawing back from the 2-0 deficit.

“We bounced back and found some energy down the stretch, but we didn’t execute on the power play as well as we needed to,” he said. “We had chances, but their goalie played great and their defense did a nice job of clearing pucks and winning face-offs.

“We got beat on face-offs most of the night and that is a huge stat. Every face-off is eight seconds of possession in hockey. You win 20 draws a game, you’re talking about an extra three minutes of puck possession.”

He singled out the two freshman, goalie Falleti – “in a year or two he’s going to be something,” he said -- and Joe DiRisio, who has 11 goals this season.

“We have so many good players – and they're young,” Staley said. “We only lose five players (after this season).”

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