Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Sports

Sobczyk earns first career shutout in West hockey’s 3-0 win over Billies


Goalie Noah Sobczyk turned aside 15 shots to secure his first career shutout in guiding West Seneca West’s hockey team to a 3-0 win over Williamsville South Friday in what coach Kevin Rozo called “probably one of our more complete games of the year.”

Chase Chodkowski scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal on the power play just over 5:30 into the second period off passes from Kyle Haettich and Matt Myers. William Coughlin tacked on the insurance goal off Colin Deubell’s pass just 1:33 into the third period, while Jason Wojciechowski netted an addition goal for the victors, unassisted, with 6:11 to play in regulation.

“We just played well from start to finish against South,” Rozo said. “We gave a pretty good defensive effort in what was a good bounce-back win for us.”

West needed to bounce back in Friday’s contest after dropping a 3-2 decision in overtime to Hamburg just two days earlier. West twice led by a goal, but Hamburg was able to get the equalizer each time, including the one that led to overtime with under five minutes to play in regulation.

Hamburg then wasted little time in overtime in securing the decision, as West – which won a faceoff cleanly – “got a little too fancy” with the puck, presenting Hamburg with the opportunity to poke check the puck away and create the game-winning breakaway opportunity in the process.

“We just had some careless plays with the puck that led to turnovers at inopportune times,” Rozo said. “Hamburg just seems to find ways to really frustrate us this year. We really outshot them pretty handily in both games this year, but we lost both of them. We didn’t have any opportunities on the power play in the game, which didn’t help because we usually do quite well with the man advantage. Things just didn’t go our way that day.”

Haettich scored West’s first goal, short handed, in the first period off a pass from Parker Leemer, while Tyler Sacco had West’s other goal off a pass from Sobczyk with 9:50 to play in the third period.

West (11-5-1-1 overall, 8-4-1-1 Federation Division II) has two crucial games remaining on its regular-season schedule – on back-to-back nights – as it fights for a top-three finish and subsequent first-round bye for the upcoming playoffs. The first of those games has some added incentive attached to it, as Friday’s contest at the Town Ice Rink is not only West’s Senior Night game, but it’s also against crosstown rival and current league leader West Seneca East.

The Indians will then take on Williamsville East in Saturday’s finale.

“We’d like to finish the regular season on a high note, and with the East game coming up on Friday, we’re going to have to keep emotions under control and play within ourselves,” Rozo said. “It’d be nice to beat them a second time this year – we haven’t beaten them twice in a year in a while – but the playoffs are going to be very competitive, so we need to do everything we can to help ourselves out for the playoffs. Part of that comes down to us putting in some good practices this week leading up to games we have this weekend so that we’re ready to roll.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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