Weekly Feature

2018-01-11 / Sports

East hockey douses Flames, 4-0


West Seneca East’s Damond Flynn, left, knocks Williamsville East’s Spencer Neu off the puck during the Trojans’ 4-0 victory Saturday at the Northtown Center. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com West Seneca East’s Damond Flynn, left, knocks Williamsville East’s Spencer Neu off the puck during the Trojans’ 4-0 victory Saturday at the Northtown Center. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com In both instances that West Seneca East’s hockey team found the back of the net in its game with Williamsville East on Saturday, the Trojans wasted little time adding a second tally in short order en route to defeating the Flames, 4-0.

The Trojans, who entered the game ranked 13th in the state to the Flames’ second-place ranking, posted a pair of goals both in the first and second periods to secure the lopsided win. In both periods, the second goal followed less than a minute after the initial score. In fact, the team’s two-goal burst in the first period, in a matter of just six seconds, reset the program’s mark for fastest two goals.

Danny Flynn – who set the Trojans’ Federation Hockey record for career goals, at 37, during their game with Kenmore East on Dec. 22 – picked up the first goal on the power play with 4:25 to go in the period. Flynn tipped in a shot by Hunter Kashuba on a designed play in front of the net. A faceoff win and quick streak up the ice gave the Trojans – who had already killed off three penalties by that point – a 2-0 lead before the Flames could blink their eyes, with Tyler Arndt banging in the rebound of Flynn’s initial shot.

“We were skating fast and drawing them into a lot of penalties, and we had nice look on our power play to get that first goal,” coach Phil Prynn said. “Danny and Tyler are two of the really good players in this league, and the guys were definitely fired up by that second goal that we scored. We knew going into the game that they were going to want to shut us down, especially after we knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Honestly, I thought we gave up too many shots and didn’t really like our play in the first period. We looked like we hadn’t played in a couple of weeks, which we hadn’t.”

It took until there was just under five minutes to play in the second period for the Trojans to once again find the back of the Flames’ net, but once they did – Drew Werner gave them a 3-0 lead at the 4:40 mark with his power-play goal off a pass from Arndt – they again wasted little time adding a second goal. This time it took 37 seconds to get the second goal of the series, but Flynn was able to collect his Fed Small Schools leading 11th goal of the season off passes from Kashuba and Werner.

Flynn, who currently has 40 goals for his career, is just 20 points shy of tying the Trojans’ school record for career points.

The Trojans’ efforts with the man advantage increased to 21.7 percent (5-for-23) on the season, and their active penalty killing unit – which has not given up a power-play goal since a 5-on-3 chance in the first game of the year – improved its success rate to 96.9 percent (32-of-33). Key to the penalty kill’s success – and the Trojans’ success in general – has been the play of goalie Jagger Maving, who leads the Fed this season with a 1.00 goals against average, .956-percent save percentage, 130 saves on 136 shots, and six wins with two shutouts in six starts. He added 34 saves to his total with his efforts on the day.

“Jagger was in the zone right from the start of the game,” Prynn said. “It was really awesome to see how dialed in he was, and was just as awesome that he was rewarded with a shutout for his efforts.”

The Trojans (7-1-1 overall, 6-0 league) have a busy few days ahead of them, playing three games in a five-day stretch for the first time this season when they take on Williamsville South today and Hamburg Friday in games at the Northtown Center, and crosstown rival West Seneca West Monday afternoon at the HarborCenter.

Prynn knows this extended weekend will be both a good test for his squad and a good indicator of just how good a team East could be this season, and is confident that the Trojans’ depth can help them answer the challenge.

“Other teams are in the same boat as we are,” Prynn said. “This is the time of year when everyone has a lot of games, but we’re confident in our depth. We not relying on just five, six or seven players to carry the load 85 to 90 percent of the time, and that ultimately makes everyone else a little more dynamic, especially our defensemen. We mix in quite a bit of conditioning into our practices because we want to be the team that is prepared for stretches like what we’ve got coming up. We want to be the team that goes the distance every game, not the one losing its legs in the third period.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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