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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Nichols slays St. Francis, wins Back-to-Back Niagara Cups

The Nichols Vikings rolled into the MMAA boys’ title game attempting to win back-to-back Niagara Cups – a tall feat for any athletic team to accomplish.

Yet the Vikings (16-1-1), following a slow start, rallied to down the St. Francis Red Raiders (15-5-2) 4-1 on Monday to take home a second straight title.

“The key for us was understanding who we are as a team and finding our identity – it’s being hard, fast, disciplined and consistent, and we feel like when we play that way and execute our systems and special teams that we can beat anyone in the state,” coach RJ Gicewicz, a 2014 graduate of Nichols, said. “This is huge for us.”

The Red Raiders struck first on a goal with 9:27 to go in the first period. Brady Hill found himself alone in the slot and roofed a pass from Brycen Roberts over Vikings goalie Alex Glofka to give his team a 1-0 lead.

![](https://wnyathletics.com/files/2023/03/NicholsSF2.png)

That would, however, be the first and only goal that Glofka and company would allow the rest of the night. Two goals in 26 seconds put Nichols on top 2-1 early in the second period – one coming courtesy of a breakaway by Jake Caffrey (the game’s Most Valuable Player) and the second from Mclean Agrette on the power play via a one-timer and the Vikings never looked back.

The third period saw Griffin Johnston increasing Nichols’ lead to 3-1 by lifting a wrist shot while on one knee over Brendan Walczak and Drury Schmidt clinching the win with an empty net goal with less than a minute to go.

Despite Caffrey taking home the MVP award, Glofka was a standout according to Gicewicz.

“Glofka’s a veteran goalie who’s played in this league and his experience has helped us a ton this year,” Gicewicz said. “He’s been huge by winning games for us against teams that we shouldn’t have beat. This one today was another one of those kind of games and it’s what we expect from him.”

Nichols will advance to the CHSAA state title game in Coney Island.

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