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Youth Hockey: Cazenovia Pee Wee Chiefs lose heartbreaker in tournament semifinal

Lake View’s Jonah Kozak (left) and Hamburg’s Josh Kacalski standing between coach and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were integral parts of the Cazenovia Pee Wee Chiefs success in the 2012-13 season.
In the end, all that separated the Cazenovia Pee Wee Chiefs from hoisting a season-ending championship trophy was one goal and a goalpost. Despite losing the Cazenovia’s Founder’s Tournament championship game 4-3 in a five round shootout to the Southtowns Stars, the Chiefs continued to display the grit, tenacity and sportsmanship of true champions.

The Chiefs advanced to the tournament final after a 4-4 tie with the Hamburg Maple Leafs and back-to-back wins over a talented Cazenovia Team Gallo. After relinquishing an early 2-0 lead, the Chiefs fought back to tie the game on a goal by Dylan Schiffhauer with a little over one minute remaining in regulation time. After a five minute sudden death overtime period, the teams needed five rounds of the shootout to decide a winner. After Schiffhauer hit the goal post on a potential game winner, Ryan Creek was the only Chiefs’ player able to score in the shootout.

The Chiefs were led in the tournament by Josh Kacalski, who picked up nine total points and a game Most Valuable Player award; Jonah Kozak with eight points and two MVP medals, along with the sharpshooting team MVP Schiffhauer. Kacalski led the team in scoring on the year with 40 goals and 34 assists, followed by Kozak with 19 goals and 41 assists. Schiffauer knotched 41 goals and nine assists and Sam Modzelewski added 24 goals and 22 assists.

Antonio Torres made huge strides in his first full year as a goaltender and his play was augmented by the defensive corps of David Kovacs, Tim Tyszko, Nick Kujawa, Abby Tyszko, and Andrew Lopez. Offensively, Jordan Sypniewski was a huge asset. Jackson Soto picked up a tournament MVP medal and Harrison Rosen continued to pester opposing goalies with his unique style of play. After a slow 3-6-3 start to the season, the Chiefs finished with a 17-11-5 final record.

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