ROCHESTER – Rochester United retained the Kurt Scipione Cup with a 5-2 victory over the Stoney Creek Cougars Saturday night in boys hockey.
Rochester United jumped out to a big lead in the first period and never looked back. United was able to generate a lot of speed in through the neutral zone and put consistent pressure on the Stoney Creek defense, bottling up the Cougars for a majority of the first period. The end result of Rochester United’s pressure was turnovers that they were able to convert into goals.
“That’s what happens. Hopefully these guys can understand that because that’s kind of what we preach. When guys are expecting someone to be on them, sometimes they hurry themselves and make mistakes,” Rochester United head coach Craig Staskowski said. “That was probably the difference in the game.”
It didn’t take long for Rochester United’s pressure to start paying dividends in the first period when Brent Boudreau was the recipient of an errant pass by the Stoney Creek defense and Boudreau quickly snapped it home from between the circles to make it 1-0 Rochester United with just under five and a half minutes gone by. Max Harper made it 2-0 with 6:31 to play in the period when he took a pass in the neutral zone and simply outraced everyone down the ice before burying a shot in the top corner. United would go on to add two more late goals twenty seconds apart - one each from captain Michael Pelino and from Ryan Bradley – to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the break.
“We played really hard in the first. We were flying, and I think we probably did surprise them,” Staskowski said.
“It was a tough start. We came out with a lot of energy, but we made too many mistakes early on that led directly to goals,” Stoney Creek head coach Ian Smith said.
Stoney Creek would battle back in the second period, getting an early goal from Justin Huber to kick start the comeback. A power play goal by Hayden Richardson pulled the Cougars to within 4-2 with 3:50 to play in the period, but Bradley would get his second of the game from the slot with just 47.8 seconds left in the period to steal away the Cougars’ momentum and effectively end the comeback.
“It was probably a lifesaver,” Staskowski said. “The momentum was changing and for us to get that fifth goal kind of re-established ourselves again.”
“I thought we re-grouped in between periods,” Smith said. “We told the kids we wanted to win the second period. We did just that. It was 4-2 and then they score with 40 seconds left and that kind of took the wind out,” He added that, “We won the second; we tied the third. And that’s what we’re going to take out of this game. It’s not the start.”
The game itself was the focal point of a larger celebration of high school hockey in Rochester that also included a canned food drive and a special raffle featuring items donated by local businesses.
“All of these kids have kind of grown up playing with each other, and a lot of these families know each other. So it nice to see the families work together for a good cause,” Staskowski said.
“It’s a fun night. It’s a tradition. We get all the kids that are coming back that have played for us before and for Rochester United as well. It’s a packed house and a great atmosphere,” Smith said. “It’s just a good thing. It’s a good night for hockey and a good night for hockey in Rochester in general,” he added.
With the win, Rochester United improves to 2-1 on the young season. Stoney Creek slips to 0-3.
“My hat’s off to them. They played a great game, and it was a clean game, which is good to see as a coach in this rivalry game. These kids are all amped up. It was the cleanest one of these games I’ve been a part of,” Smith said. “We still like what we have moving forward, and we’re going to improve,” he added.