AMHERST, N.Y.-Williamsville North and Niagara Wheatfield will meet for the WNY Large school championship Sunday afternoon at the First Niagara Center. North beat Lancaster 8-2 while Niagara Wheatfield beat Frontier 4-3 in overtime.
North led the Redskins 3-1 after two periods but exploded for five third period goals. North got a huge game from senior #26 Scott Sims who had a five point night with a hat trick and two assists. Sims got the scoring started early in the first period with a shorthanded goal. That was the only goal of the first period.
In the second period # 10 Jeff McAndrews made it 2-0 for North before the Redskins got on the scoreboard. Lancaster's # 20 Manny Manns fired a shot past North goaltender Jake Griebner to cut the lead in half but North answered less than two minutes later when # 25 Brad Ferrell scored as the Spartans regained their two goal lead. Griebner stopped 30 of 32 Redskins shots on goal.
It was a penalty filled third period with the Redskins getting six minors and the Spartans being whistled for four minors. The Spartans struck shorthanded for the second time in the game when # 7 Adam Hepp took a feed from Sims and broke in all alone on Lancaster goaltender # 29 Justin DiChristopher who stopped 31 of 39 Williamsville North shots on goal. Sims had two of his three goals in the third period, Ferrell scored his second of the game and # 17 Jon Lunney added a goal for the Spartans. Senior forward # 5 Justin Doelman scored Lancaster's second goal of the game in the third period.
Sims said after the game "the past couple of weeks we've had great practices where we've really started to click as a team moving the puck real well and burying our chances in front of the net which has really helped us when it comes to game time." Spartans head coach Bob Rosen said his top line featuring Sims "has been playing great."
The late game went to overtime with Niagara Wheatfield beating Frontier 4-3. Senior forward Dillon Hayes scored with 26 seconds remaining in the first overtime to give the Falcons the win. Niagara Wheatfield head coach Rick Wrazin told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar "we knew going in it was a working man's game. They are a hard working well coach team. We'd have to battle to pull one out and it was everything we expected."
Hayes had two goals for the Falcons while Cory Becker and Nick Matos each had one. Matos had two assists including one on the game winning goal. Frontier got goals from Bob Piotrowicz, Jim Gleason and Gavin Evancho.
North and Niagara Wheatfield played twice this season with the Spartans winning the first game 3-1. The second game ended in a 4-4 tie. North came back to tie the game and Rosen said "we were fortunate to tie them." Wrazin said "we know North is a good hockey team. Over the past couple of years we've created quite a rivalry with them. We match up pretty well. Its a hard working game, tight start to finish."
Faceoff is scheduled for 3-pm Sunday afternoon at the First Niagara Center.