Hockey: Pittsford wins another Section V title in OT; Webster Schroeder captures crown

It’s to the point where Class A hockey in Section V should plan on a long afternoon.

For the fifth straight season, extra hockey was needed to decide the champion and for 2023, it’s Pittsford. Colin Norton’s one-timer from the right circle send the Panthers to a 2-1 win over Victor in the second overtime of Sunday’s Class A final at SUNY Brockport.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Norton, a junior. “It’s never happened to me before … I just didn’t want to overthink it. Get the puck to the net as quick as possible.”

The win extends the trend of winning Section V hockey titles in odd seasons for Pittsford, which won titles in 2021, 2019 and 2017. And the 2019 and 2021 games also were in overtime for coach Steve Thering.

“A lot of gray hairs,” he said. “But they did what we had to do down the stretch to get it done.”

Key plays

The fitness of both teams is not questioned, but the depth of Pittsford was key, said Thering.The Panthers spent a lot of energy with intense pressure as the game opened, but it didn’t pay off with goals, or even opportunities.

The Panthers were outshot 20-8 in the first period and 28-15 through two. And when Victor took a 1-0 lead on Michael Peluso’s long-range shot midway through the second, the Panthers had to wonder if that work was worth it.

It paid off with 2:53 left in the second — and 2 seconds left on the power play — when Bradley Pollard muscled his way in from the left for his first goal of the season to tie the score, 1-1.

And it stayed that way through a tense third period and about 20 minutes of OT hockey before Norton converted cleanly on a pass from Henok Hankinson for the winner.

“We had three lines and that was giving us fresh legs through a good stretch of it,” said Thering.

More:Section V hockey scores for the 2022-23 season

Unsung heroes

Victor goalie Max Pitts earns justified praise for his work, and rightly so. Especially for his 40-save effort on Sunday.

But Aden Brown of Pittsford was every bit his equal in making 44 stops.

“A lot of point shots,” Brown said of what he saw. “We wanted to get in the shooting lanes and get the puck out of the zone.”

Pittsford advances to the state regionals against a Section VI champion on Saturday in Buffalo.

They said it

“Every time, I thought it was in. But it worked out.” Pittsford’s Will Masaschi, when asked how many times he thought the game was finished after the shots he took on goal in OT, including one that hit the pipe.

“It stinks. But that was a great high school hockey game … both teams did a good job of shutting down.” Victor coach Mike Ferreri.

“It wasn’t the most challenging goal I’ve scored but it was the best.” Pittsford’s Colin Norton, who scored the winning goal in OT.

Class B: Webster Schroeder captures title over Churchville-Chili

In two regular-season games, Webster Schroeder gave up a total of 10 goals and two decisions to Churchville-Chili.

But in Sunday’s Section V Class B championship, the Warriors were having none of that.

A splendid defensive adjustment took away the speed and skill of Churchville-Chili and Schroeder drove home from SUNY Brockport as Section V champions with a 2-1 victory.

“This feels amazing,” said Schroeder forward Jason Simons, who scored both goals for the Warriors and confirmed that the underdog role inspired his team. “100%. But we just used that to push forward.”

Schroeder did a lot of pushing in Sunday’s game. It used an aggressive and physical game to take away Churchville-Chili’s offensive sweet spot and two second-period goals from Jason Simons took care of the offense that Schroeder needed.

But the bottom line for Schroeder was goalkeeper Colin Smith.

Smith has been phenomenal this postseason, posting shutouts in the first two playoff games and nearly having a third straight before the Saints scored their goal with 37 seconds left.

“We came in with confidence and knew we were playing with house money,” said Smith, who made 45 saves. “My mindset is that I’m a senior. If I lose a game then I’m done and I don’t like losing.”

Key plays

Really, it was the play of the Schroeder defense the entire game. Churchville-Chili came into the game averaging nearly five goals a game and when the second period ended with a 33-18 lead in shots for C-C — but a 2-0 lead for Schroeder — it provided a solid idea of the work Schroeder was doing.

“They took away the middle of the ice,” C-C coach Brian Young said. “Their defensive coverage was very good and everywhere we went, they were there … we never had more than a second or two with the puck.”

And when a goalie like Smith plays like that?

“We were trying to choke our shots,” said Young. “And we were missing the net by 3-4 inches.”

And that was the plan.

“We changed our forecheck,” said Smith. “They’re a speedy team and if you mess up their speed, they have nowhere to go.”

So where did this lockdown performance come from? Did first-year Schroeder coach Dave Broussard know Smith had this in him?

“I suspected it,” he said. “He’s a really good goalie … but he cares. He cares about about his teammates and he cares about the result. He knows what his job is and he cares.”

Schroeder advances to the regional round of the state tournament to play the Section III champion on Saturday in Syracuse.

This article originally appeared on MPNnow: Pittsford, Webster Schroeder capture Section V hockey championships