Spartans Continue Run at State Tourney Berth

Posted on Jan 29 2017 - 6:37pm by Jeff Pexton

New Hartford – The New Hartford Youth Hockey Association’s Pee Wee Travel “State Bound”, 12 and under team completed a two game set of Central Section Qualifying Games this weekend that didn’t involve too much travel. Youth hockey families know that’s a rarity, regardless of age or skill level.

This weekend, the Spartans Pee Wee “State Bound” team had a game at the nearby Clinton Comets on Saturday and hosted the Valley Eagles at the New Hartford Recreation Center on Sunday morning.


New Hartford’s Rowan Gall (17) evades a Valley defender during second period action. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


The “state bound” term designates a team that is accumulating qualifying points against other teams with the common goal of reaching the New York Amateur Hockey Association’s Central Section Tournament, to be held March 3-5, 2017 in Cicero, NY. The winner and runner-up at the Central Section Tournament advance to the New York State Tournament, March 17-19, 2017 in Amherst, NY.

On Saturday, the Spartans earned their 26th overall win of the season, defeating Clinton by a score of 6-2 at the Clinton Arena. The win over the Comets kept New Hartford in second place in the 12 team points race to qualify for the Sectional Tournament.

New Hartford entered Sunday with 15 wins in the Central Section, good enough for 30 points and second place behind the top ranked Valley Eagles, who entered  Sunday with a Central Section record of (16-1-1).


Kristian Matthews (1) comes up with a great save on a point blank shot for the Spartans. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game maging)


Valley, who suffered its first Central Section loss of the season on Saturday to 3rd place Camillus, showed no signs of ¬†“car legs” and came out flying at the Rec Center on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately for the relatively young Spartans (the team is comprised of more than half 1st year peewees), Valley jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead within the first 5 minutes of the game and cruised to a 6-0 victory.

New Hartford mounted it’s best offensive flurry in the last few minutes of both the second and third periods, but it wasn’t enough to solve the defense of the Eagles.

Despite the loss, New Hartford is in a very solid position to qualify for the Central Section Tournament, which is the first step toward the team’s goal of reaching the State Tournament.

New Hartford’s State Bound Pee Wee Team is coached by Bill Gall, Kevin Darby and John Banek.


Logan Banek (14) looks to disrupt a first period Valley rush. (Photo By Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


The team is made up of the following players: Ben Alexander, Caden Kramer, Sawyer Kramer, Griffin Garcia, Logan Banek, Kristian Smith, Jack Darby, Evan Dziegiel, AJ DiSpirito, Angelo Artz, Carmen Centro, Frankie Centro, Rowan Gall, Andy Pawloski, Gabe Syrotynski, Alex Raiano, Derek DeFazio, Joshua Bono, Kristian Matthews and Logan Lachacz.

Congratulations to the Spartans on a great season so far and best of luck on your journey toward a State Tournament Berth.

If your youth organization has a contest or event you’d like us to cover, please drop us a line in the contact section above and we’ll get you on the schedule!

Action photos from this game will be available soon at


Logan Lachacz (22) right and Kristian Smith (left) work together to halt a Valley winger from a third period breakaway. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)