Clinton – Just six seasons ago, the CNY Bobcats were a single team of 10 and under aged girls, playing within the New Hartford Youth Hockey Association. So much has happened in those 6 years, that an article of this size can’t possibly tell the whole story of our area’s only all girls youth hockey program.
What we can report, is that the Bobcats organization continues to draw girls between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age, into the sport of ice hockey and those girls now make up four teams, at the 8u, 12u, 14u and 16u levels. The level at which the Bobcats are learning the game is propelling its players into prep school and collegiate hockey ranks. The competition levels that Bobcats teams are playing at are generating berths into State and National Tournaments as well.
Some of that competition was on display this afternoon at the Clinton Arena, as the 14u Bobcats, tier II travel team hosted the Valley tier I travel team from the Syracuse area. Valley plays an extensive “tier I” travel schedule which includes almost weekly trips to Canada and major cities in the United States.
Because the teams play in different “tiers” and in this case, age groups, both the Bobcats and Valley benefited greatly from today’s exhibition game, as they begin the push toward New York State Tournament play next month.
Both teams came out flying today and each had scoring opportunities in the early going. The Bobcats defensive pair of Autumn Mish and Cassidy Rockwood stood tall in front of goalie Brooke Narolis in the opening period and that defensive trio helped keep the score tied at 0-0 after the first 15 minutes. Narolis made 11 saves for CNY, while her team managed just 4 shots on Valley net minder Madeline Emo.
The second period saw the two teams trade penalties / power plays and through it all, the Bobcats defense and goaltending continued its unified efforts to keep Valley off the scoreboard. The Bobcats transition game nearly generated a go ahead goal midway through the second period, when center, Ari Williamson picked up a pass at center ice from defenseman Bella Facciolo and raced in alone on the Valley goal. Williamson’s backhand attempt went just wide of the goal however and we went to the third period in a scoreless tie. Valley held a 24-11 advantage in shots after 30 minutes.
The first 13 minutes of the final period were a mirror image of the first 30 minutes of the contest, with each team coming close to going ahead. Then, with 2:01 remaining, Valley’s Hannah Pantregoni picked up a loose puck behind the Bobcats net and wrapped it around and under the right pad of goalie Brooke Narolis for the eventual game winner.
Valley finished with a 34 – 16 advantage in shots on goal, in one of the most entertaining hockey games of the year thus far, at any level.
Congratulations to both clubs on competing so hard today and best of luck this coming post season from Mid York Sports Report!
For more information on how to be a part of, or support the CNY Bobcats Girls Youth Hockey Organization, please visit www.cnybobcats.com
Photos from this game available at https://www.pgiphoto.com