The Garden City Wings arrived in Buffalo for the New York State AAU Mixed Schools Championships on Thursday evening. The first game of the
tournament on Friday morning featured Iroquois/Alden (Ranked #1 in Western NY) vs. Jamestown. IRQ won 5-1. Both teams skated and checked hard. The
Wings had the second game of the day at 10 AM. Our opponent was Olean.
At 8:21 of the first period Elias Georges was called for an interference penalty. Olean wasted no time on the power play and scored only 38 seconds
into the penalty. Jordan Zimbanini was credited with the goal, assisted by Liam McNamee and Dominic Carapellatti.
Wings Captain Albert Markopoulos (assisted by Elias Georges and Matt Cotter) scored at the 3:06 mark of the first to tie the game. In this tournament,
the teams are now playing 17 minute periods instead of the normal 15 minutes.
Wings Forward Chris Arena (assisted by Elias Georges and Albert Markopoulos) scored at the 7:51 mark of the second period to put us ahead by 1.
With 2:38 left in the second, Albert Markopoulos (assisted by Elias Georges) scored his 2nd of the game. The Wings led 3-1 at the end of 2nd period.
Normally there’s only a 1 minute break between periods, but now we had a 10 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd periods so the ice could re-surfaced.
At the 5:24 mark of the 3rd, Tyler Gunsolus of Olean scored (assisted by Kyle Schneiber) to narrow the gap to 1 goal.
Wings Forward Chris Arena quickly answered back with his 2nd of the game at the 4:42 mark of the 3rd (assisted by Albert Markopoulos and Elias Georges).
Our next game was scheduled for 6PM. So it was back to the hotel for a light lunch and some much needed rest.
Our opponent for our 2nd game of the tournament was Jamestown. The game didn’t start out that good for us. 20 seconds in the period Tyler Dyksta
scored on a backhand shot. It was a fluke goal because he had just intercepted a clearing pass in traffic and was just trying to keep the puck in the
zone. Wings Goalie David Wax had no chance on making the save.
At 7:06 of the first period Wings Forward Phillip Volz scored (assisted by Chris Arena and Albert Markopoulos) to tied the game at 1-1. 30 seconds later
Wings Forward William Tranfaglia took a hit to face/head and had to leave the game. No penalty was called on the play, but Wings Defenseman Sam
Bartels took a cross checking penalty for coming to Billy’s defense. Billy was taken to the local hospital for observation. He was
later released and went back to the hotel. As a precaution, Billy will not play tomorrow.
With 0:56 left in the 2nd period, Pat Smelzinger scored for Jamestown to take a 2-1 lead.
At the 13:56 mark of the 3rd period, Wings Forward William Barbaro scored (assisted by Shawn Post) to tie the game at 2.
At 11:46, Justin Andrian scored (which turned out to be the game winner) for Jamestown. At 8:43, Pat Smelzinger scored his 2nd of the game to ice the
victory for Jamestown.
Other scores for Friday’s games: IRQ-5 vs. Jamestown-1, GC-4 vs. Olean-2, E,Aurora/Holland-5 vs. City Honors/OHara-2, East Williston-5 vs. Akron-2, IRQ-11 vs.
Olean-0, Jamestown-4 vs. GC-2
At the end of the first day, the Wings were in second place in their Divison.
The next game for the Wings was against IRQ on Saturday at 12 PM. Jamestown plays Olean at 2 PM. The Wings needed a win and a lost by Jamestown to advance to the
Saturday’s game was played with a lot of heart by our boys. We were facing the best team in the tournament. Also, the Wings were starting the day with two
less players. Captain Albert Markopoulos was sitting out due to shoulder/back problems from Friday’s game. Bill Tranfaglia was
sitting because of the mild concussion he received in Friday’s game.
With the short bench, the boys were able to keep the IRQ/Alden team from scoring for the first 6:29 minutes of the 1st period. Then at the 5:32 mark of the
period Wings Forward Matt Cotter went off of a tripping penalty. IRQ scored 63 seconds into the man advantage. At the 4:17 mark, Wings Defenseman
Sam Bartels and Forward John Wein took penalties. With a 5-3 man advantage, IRQ quickly scored their 3rd goal of the period. They added one more
to end the period with a 4-0 lead.
Wings Forward Chris Arena got us on the scoreboard at the 12:08 mark of the second period with his 3rd goal of the tournament.
Midway through the 2nd period, we lost Forward John Wein to an injury. Now the Wings were down to only 10 players, plus our goaltenders. IRQ just worn
us down and pour it on. IRQ had a substantial lead at the end of the 2nd period and they went on to win the game.
On a positive note, this is the first Garden City Wings team to make it to the State Championship tournament. The boys finished third in their division.
The coaching staff: Head Coach Rich Peck and Assistant Coaches Frank Kiernan and Joe Pyeron wish to congratulate Chris Arena, Bill Barbaro, Tim Barbaro,
Sam Bartels, Matt Cotter, Elias Georges, Albert Markopoulos, Shawn Post, Robert Tomao, Bill Tranfaglia, P.J. Volz, David Wax, John Wein, Luke Cohen,
and Patrick Powers for their fine effort during the season and for making our first States appearance a success even though we didn’t win it all.
We also want to thanks the parents in attendance and those who stayed at home for