Niagara Gazette — They spent most of the early stages of the high school hockey season just trying to get a full roster together. On Friday night, Niagara Catholic High School celebrated its first win of the season, a 9-4 decision over Pioneer-Springville.
Jacob Hierl led the Patriots (1-6) with a hat trick, while Anthony Coty added two goals and an assist.
"We just got everything molded in the last two weeks," said Niagara Catholic head coach Cary O'Donoghue. "It's different to have a full bench, and everyone came through for us."
How desperate was this team for players? Twice in recent weeks, the program posted an announcement in the Gazette inviting players cut from other schools to skate for the Patriots.
Also scoring for Niagara Catholic in their win was Lucas Palmer (1 goal, 1 assist), Leo Kane (1 g, 1 a), Austin Jones (1 g), Joseph Kimmins (1 g) and Brodie Beaver (2 a).
Goalie Jake Augustino made 16 saves for the win.
"The biggest thing is we stayed out of the penalty box," added O'Donoghue.
Niagara Catholic next faces Wilson tonight a Riverside Rink in Buffalo.
Niagara-Wheatfield 3, Canisius 3
Justin Durkee, Alex Bauer and Matt Paonessa scored goals for the Falcons (5-1-2) as they skated to a draw with the Crusaders (4-0-2) in WNY Hockey Federation play at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Nathaniel Sommers made 35 saves for the Falcons, who next skate against Frontier on Monday at the Town Arena (Nike Base) in Hamburg.
Kenmore West 5, Niagara Falls 2
After Kenmore West (6-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Wolverines (5-2-1) cut that lead to just one goal. However, the Blue Devils added two more tallies in the third to defeat Niagara Falls Friday night at Dwyer Arena on the Niagara University Campus.
Nicholas Frame's goal for Niagara Falls cut the lead to 2-1 in the first period, while Vince Colosi's second period goal cut Kenmore West's lead to 3-2.
Max Asklar made 20 saves for the Wolverines, who next face West Seneca East on Sunday at Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga.
Weather messes with Friday schedule
Cold-weather cancelations are annual events in Western New York, and Old Man Winter claimed his first group of victims Friday night.
Wilson, Starpoint, Grand Island and Niagara Catholic each had games postponed due to school cancelations.
Wilson's boys and girls basketball teams had league games against Barker moved into February. The Wilson boys will play at Barker on Feb. 6, while the girls will play an afternoon game at Wilson on Feb. 8.
The Starpoint and Grand Island girls teams were supposed to face off in a non-league game which has not been rescheduled yet. Other games that haven't been rescheduled include Sweet Home at Starpoint boys basketball and Niagara Catholic at St. Mary's girls hoops.
Starpoint's boys swimming meet against Springville was moved to Monday at Starpoint.