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Cheektowaga looks for club hockey finals rematch

After losing a chance for a title on Super Sunday last year, Cheektowaga’s seniors are looking forward to making it back one more time, where they hope to go up against a familiar opponent.

The Warriors (31-6-1) have advanced to Super Sunday two of the last three seasons, losing to Starpoint last year.

After going 1-2 against Starpoint this season, they want nothing more than to meet them a fourth time for all the marbles.

“It would be ideal,” said coach Steve Ferrentino. “It would be great for our seniors to get back, but also for our young kids who have worked hard all year.”

Last year, some of Cheektowaga’s key players were injured just before the finals. With a healthy team this time around, they feel it could be a different outcome.

“We’re definitely trying to play them again,” said senior goaltender Tyler Pocobello. “Hopefully this year we’ll come out with the victory.”

On Feb. 11, Cheektowaga earned a spot in the state tournament with a 13-1 quarterfinals win over Maryvale at the Cheektowaga Recreation Center.

Cheektowaga will compete in the semifinals this weekend to determine who will play for a Super Sunday title, which actually will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 26 (pushed back because of a Bon Jovi concert) at First Niagara Center.

Their records may be similar, but the boys like their chances of winning it this season because of the differences they see from last year’s squad.

“We’re a lot faster and the team chemistry is a lot better this year,” said senior defenseman Andy Avino, a Red Division First Team All-Star.

Without starting the season as hot as they would have liked, the Warriors have really come together since the new year.

“We just knew we had to gel by the time Super Sunday came,” said senior defenseman Matt Romaszko. “But by the time January came, we were pretty much as gelled as we were last year.”

“We started off a little slow, but our coach helped us out a lot and made us a better team,” said senior Mike Crissy, who also was selected a first team all-star.

Junior forward Jordan Pocobello became Cheektowaga’s third first team all-star this season.

As long as they keep the puck moving and their heads up, Cheektowaga likes their chances this postseason.

“If one of us has a bad game, we’re all going to,” said senior forward Derek Bull. “We have to stay as brothers.”


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