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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Adirondack United girls’ hockey team gets another shot at state championship


For the second consecutive year, the Adirondack United girls’ hockey team⁣ has made it to ​the NYSPHSAA regional ⁣championship game, a ⁢remarkable achievement⁢ considering the team⁢ is only in‌ its ⁢second year‍ of‌ existence.

Following their victory over Section 1’s North Avalanche in a subregional match on Wednesday, the ⁤United journeyed to the Nexus Center ⁤in Utica⁢ on Friday. ‍Their opponents were Section 3’s Skaneateles, in the⁣ regional semifinals.

After a slow start, the United found their rhythm ​in the second ⁢period, securing ⁣a 6-1⁤ win and a spot in ‌the NYSPHSAA regional championship.

“Our hard work and dedication have led us ​to this championship game,” said Adirondack​ coach Jeff Willis during ​a phone interview.‌ “Our team entered‍ the season‍ with a single-minded focus ‍- to win the state championship. They’ve been working towards this goal since November.”

The United set the tone early with a goal from Bayley Duffy in the⁣ opening minute, and they maintained‍ their lead throughout the game.

“Despite our early lead, we never felt ⁢at ease,” Willis admitted. “The‌ first period saw a ⁤lot of back-and-forth play. Skaneateles matched ‍our energy level, and we struggled ‍to ​gain a foothold in their offensive zone.”

However, the⁢ United turned the tide⁤ in the second period, scoring three goals and taking command of the game.

Gianna Marcantonio was the first to score ‌in the second ⁣period for⁣ the United, followed by Aubrey Lozier, and then another goal from ⁤Duffy.

“We started the second period strong, ‍with our forecheck right where we wanted it to​ be. We fired 21 shots and scored three⁣ goals,” ​Willis said. “That’s exactly how we wanted to establish our dominance.”

In the third period, Marcantonio scored her‌ second goal of the game, ​while Lillian Willis added the final touch‍ with ⁤less than two⁣ minutes left.

“Our second line had an outstanding game,” Jeff Willis said. ​“Gianna Marcantonio scored two goals ⁢and Aubrey Lozier added⁢ one. We’re not a team that relies on a single ⁢player. While Bayley’s stats are impressive,⁢ we have a host of confident scorers on this⁤ team.”

The United will face‌ Kenmore-Grand ⁢Island from Section 6 in the NYSPHSAA regional championship⁤ at noon⁤ tomorrow, also at the Nexus Center ‍in Utica.

With a flawless​ 17-0 record, the United are⁣ on the brink of a state title. However, they face the challenge of playing their third game in four days on Saturday.

“That’s a concern,” Willis admitted. “I’m encouraging everyone to get ⁢a good night’s sleep tonight, as we ⁤have a ⁤quick turnaround at noon tomorrow. ⁢I‌ also ‍tried to rest the first and second line in the last five minutes of the game.”

In their semifinal on⁤ Friday,‍ Kenmore/Grand Island secured their place in the championship game with a 4-2 win over Canton.

Skaneateles 0 0 1 — 1

Adirondack ‍United 1 3 2 — 6

Scoring for Skaneateles: Marquardt 1-0; Barron 0-1; Major 0-1. Scoring for ADK: Duffy 2-0; Marcantonio 2-0; Lozier 1-0; Willis 1-0; K. Duffy 0-2; Fine-Lease 0-1; M. Macaulay 0-1; E. Macaulay 0-1. Goalies: Skaneateles, Coffey, 38 saves. United, Reynolds, 19 saves.

Beckett Nielson
Beckett Nielson
Transitioning from a collegiate athlete to a sports journalist, Beckett O’Neal channels his passion for sports into engaging stories. A Boston College graduate, Beckett specializes in local sports coverage, from high school heroes to regional professional teams, providing in-depth analysis and an athlete's insight.
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  1. Adirondack United girls’ hockey team has worked hard for this opportunity and they deserve another shot at the state championship.


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