Blue Devils Keep Moving Forward
The mind set is let’s keep this ship moving forward.
As the Kenmore West Blue Devils hockey team comes into the new season they will be trying to build on the positive momentum that they created last season.
Going 11-7-4 overall under first-year head coach Robert Roszak, the Blue Devils fashioned a record of 8-5-3 (19 points) in Division IV and finished tied with Lewiston-Porter for second place, just one point behind division champ North Tonawanda.
“They know what the goal is,” Roszak said. “The goal is to win the division and make a run in sectionals this year. Since Day One they’ve all been on the same page in terms of what the team goal is.”
But the Blue Devils have lost some key parts of the puzzle as starting goalie Ryan Mooney was part of a group of five key seniors, 12 total, lost to graduation. A list that also includes Nolan Waggoner and the Blue Devils top three scorers captain Kole Marquardt, Jake Green and Division IV first teamer George Ciancio. Green, Marquardt and Ciancio formed the Blue Devils top line throughout much of the season.
As Ken-West hits the ice for the 2016-17 season they will be leaning on senior captains Benny Serrano and Adam Pray to lead the way.
Serrano will start the year on a line with speedy senior Anthony Tanyi and varsity newcomer Tim Seyfang, a junior, who was the top scoring threat on JV last season.
Roszak said that because he feels his forwards have an equal among of skill across the board he isn’t labeling lines one, two or three. Instead, he wants them all to come in knowing that they will all be counted on and needed to produce.
Senior Jake Pray will center a line with fellow seniors Sean Degnan and Alex Militello. “I think everybody is going to have to step up. All the lines, all of the guys,” Alex Militello said.
“A lot of the returning guys are going to have to since we lost a lot of the top scorers.” Ethan Yotter and Michael Barker, the only two sophomores on the team, will skate on a line with senior Anthony Alvear, who returns to the Blue Devils after playing travel hockey last season.
Juniors Matt Stewart and Michael King will be on a line with senior Patrick Reddon.
“All the hard work and all the dedication,” Militello said, when asked what has him optimistic for this season.
“Being here (in the weight room) and doing off ice (training) as a team, together. And doing all of the hard work.”
Pray, meanwhile, will anchor a solid defensive unit that includes returning players senior Patrick Gourlay and junior Owen Green, who will be teamed together on the blue line.
Pray will be paired with senior Josh Logan, while Keenan Kasperek and Glen Wirth is the Blue Devils third defensive pairing.
“I think I have the best defensive corp in the Fed,” Roszak said. “Not just in our division, but in the Fed.”
Senior Matt Bogacki will get his long awaited shot to show what he can do between the pipes as the Blue Devils No.1 goalie.
Roszak said Bogacki patiently waited his turn behind Mooney and was stellar when called upon last season. Roszak has no doubt that Bogacki is up for the challenge of being No.1.
Collin McGillicuddy will back Bogacki up.
Beating Lew-Port in the pre-quarterfinals, the Blue Devils’ season came to an end in the quarterfinals when they fell to cross town rival and eventual NYSPHSAA DII champion, Kenmore East.