The 30th edition of the Super Sunday High School Championships is sure to provide plenty of action for the hockey fans of Western New York. A number of teams in action this weekend will seek a chance at redemption after losses in 2013, while others seek to add to another chapter of an intense rivalry.
For the second year in a row, the weekend’s action will be split up into two days. The championship games for the WNY High School Club Hockey League will take place at First Niagara Center on Sunday. The action concludes on Monday with the championships for the Monsignor Martin Association and the WNY Varsity Hockey Federation.
The schedule for Sunday kicks off with the St. Joe’s ‘A’ team taking on Canisius in the large school championship at 11 a.m. These schools are certainly no stranger to one another, as the rivalry between the hockey teams at St. Joe’s and Canisius is one of the most intense throughout Western New York.
St. Joe’s has a special distinction in this weekend’s action. The depth of hockey talent at the school has resulted in two of their teams playing at First Niagara Center this weekend.
“It is a special treat to have two teams representing St. Joe’s,” head varsity coach Rich Crozier said. “We have 10 teams at St. Joe’s, and 180 hockey players in our building. It’s a great privilege to have two teams wearing the [St. Joe’s] sweater this weekend in the championships.”
Starpoint and Cheektowaga continue the Super Sunday action at 1:00 p.m. in the small school championship.
This is the third straight season that these two teams will meet in the championship game. In last season’s championship game, Starpoint overcame a two-goal deficit to force overtime, and it took a second overtime period for Cheektowaga to pull away with a 3-2 victory.
Sunday’s action concludes with the mixed school championship, when Olean takes on City Honors/Cardinal O’Hara. Just a few years after the school came close to losing their hockey team, Olean took down defending champion Jamestown to make their first championship appearance.
City Honors/Cardinal O’Hara was the runner-up to Jamestown in last year’s championship game, as they fell behind 2-0 going into the final period. Despite scoring two in the third period to force overtime, Jamestown would prove victorious in the extra period.
The first game on Monday will begin at 4 p.m. when top-seeded Bishop Timon-St. Jude takes on No. 3 seed St. Joe’s in the Monsignor Martin championship. Timon has been the leading Catholic school in the Federation all season, while St. Joe’s overcame a poor start to the season to claim the third seed and defeat rival Canisius to advance to the championship.
Following that game, the action continues at 6:15 p.m. with the Federation small school championship between Williamsville East and Kenmore East. This is the third time in four years that these two teams are meeting in the championship, with Williamsville East winning in 2011 and Kenmore East proving victorious in 2012.
“These are two competitive teams with a lot of tradition,” Kenmore East head coach Kyle Pray said. “It should be another great matchup this coming Monday. We’re looking forward to it.”
The final game of the Super Sunday weekend is the Federation large school championship, which pits top-seeded Williamsville North Spartans against the second-seeded Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons.
The two powerhouses in the large school division, Williamsville North and Niagara-Wheatfield have met in this championship game four times over the last six years.
Williamsville North head coach Bob Rosen provided some words of wisdom for all the high school players who have the tremendous opportunity to represent their schools at First Niagara Center.
“It’s a great honor to be here, for our school it certainly is,” he said. “Make sure you enjoy the moment, take as many pictures as you can, and have something to look back on.”