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West Seneca East vs. Kenmore West Small School Title Preview

Live in the moment, but also make the most of that moment. When West Seneca East and Kenmore West step onto the ice at the KeyBank Center tonight for the final game of the Super Monday triple header, regardless of who wins, history will be made. A scheduled 8:30 puck drop the Trojans and Blue Devils will battle for the Section VI Small School title and the right to advance to the Far West Regionals.

While the thrill of playing for a sectional title in an NHL rink is something all of the coaches hope their players take time to savor, they also want their boys to take advance of this chance they have.

“We’re only here because we won so why change it up now?” West Seneca East coach Phil Prynn said. “I always talk to them about play hard, play humble. The game is bigger than we are. With that kind of mentality these guys are doing the right things. We’ve got goal scorers blocking shots….We’re not here just to show up. We’re here to win.” The Trojans enter the championship on the heels of a stunning double overtime win over power house Williamsville East.

“It’s kinda crazy. So many people have texted me. Reached out to me saying good goal,” said Trojans sophomore Tyler Arndt, who scored the winner of the Flames. “I just think that it’s really crazy that that moment happened. It’s probably the best moment of my hockey career, so far.” The Blue Devils, champions of Division IV, won the 2006 Federation championship, but that game was played at Buffalo State College. The Blue Devils themselves have also had quite the journey to make it to Super Monday. Winning just four games, two seasons ago Ken-West seemed to be as far away from Super Monday as a team could get.

At the start of the season second-year head coach Robert Roszak said he felt that this year’s team was more balanced in that they didn’t have to rely on the same line to do all the scoring. Now, as the season has unfolded, they have not only realized their potential. They’ve come to realize how much this all means to them.

“I think some of them realized that this is it for them in terms of their hockey playing career in terms of any significance,” Roszak said. “Especially (captain Benny) Serrano. He’s been playing fantastic the last half of the season. I think a lot of them don’t want this to end. They want to win on Monday and put a (positive) closure on their careers at Kenmore West.”

Serrano, who fully admits he plays with emotion, said he just hopes his team knows that they can always count him giving his best.

“Every year that I have put my time into playing a high school sport I always give me best,” Serrano said. “them knowing they never have to worry about me not trying. This year everybody pitched in and gave 100 percent.” In addition to Serrano, the Blue Devils will look to leading scorers Michael Barker and Ethan Yotter and goalie Matt Bogacki.

West Seneca East will look to goalie Jagger Maving and captain Cameron Mentel.

“I think we should just enjoy the moment that we’re here,” Arndt said, “but we’ve just got to keep on playing normal hockey. We all want to win, both teams obviously want to win. So play our game and do everything we can to win.”

Prynn, himself a former Trojan, said he hopes all of his boys fully appreciate the magnitude of this moment. Because the memories made on Super Monday will be something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“I remember sitting in the locker room. I remember big games,” Prynn said. “I’m glad I had it. It’s what keeps me going. So that’s kind of been the message going forward with these guys. They’ve been so unselfish and I’m really proud of these guys no matter what happens.”

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