Cazenovia freshman Rockwood part of Clinton girls hockey state title run

first_img Tags: Cazenoviagirls hockey Back in November, Cazenovia High School freshman Briana Rockwood joined 21 others from several area high schools to start a new season with the girls hockey team that is centered in Clinton.Now Rockwood is a state champion.Completing a 13-2-3 campaign, the Clinton Warriors, already the Section III champions, went to Lake Placid on the weekend of Feb. 8-9 and added the state title. Prior to 2019-20, Clinton had never won even a sectional championship in its brief history, with area girls hockey mostly dominated by Skaneateles.But with the Lakers having graduated several stars from its 2018-19 state finalist squad, Clinton had an opportunity to move up, and helped by Rockwood, who played forward, the Warriors didn’t squander that chance.First, though, Clinton had to endure a 2-2-1 start that included losses to Beekmantown and Ithaca, though impressive shutouts over Oswego (5-0) and Alexandria Bay (3-0) hinted at the team’s quality.center_img Of the Warriors’ next six games, three of them ended in ties, but amid that run included a first match-up with Sknaeateles on Jan. 6 at Allyn Arena that went 4-0 in Clinton’s favor as Rockwood got an assist against the Lakers.Then, starting with a 3-0 win in the rematch with Skaneateles Jan. 17 at Clinton Arena that included a goal from Rockwood, the Warriors would not suffer another blemish.Rockwood peaked with two goals and one assist in Clinton’s 6-0 romp over Massena Jan. 18, and would tack on another goal and assist in back-to-back 5-2 wins over Canton and Alexandria Bay to close the regular season.Entering the sectional playoffs, Clinton blanked 2-0 in the semifinals, then learned that Skaneateles had ousted Ithaca in the other semifinal – a big deal, since the Warriors had not beaten the Little Red in either of their earlier games.On Jan. 30 at Cicero Twin Rinks, the sectional final was decisive in Clinton’s favor. Led by Ella Greico’s pair of goals, the Warriors topped Skaneateles 4-1 and was a sectional champion for the first time.Now it was on to the state “Frozen Four”, contested in the same Herb Brooks Arena at Lake Placid where, 40 years earlier, Brooks coached the United States’ “Miracle on Ice” team to a gold medal.The Feb. 8 semifinal pitted Clinton against undefeated Salmon River. Abigail Kurdziolek’s second-period goal, assisted by Drew Kopek, was enough for a 1-0 victory as the Warriors’ defense held the Shamrocks to just nine shots.This set up the Feb. 9 final between Clinton and defending state champion Williamsville, and for two periods it remained 0-0, largely due to the work of Warriors goalie Hailey Billington, who would finish with 24 saves.With 8:32 left, Clinton, on the power play, inched in front when Lopata, off a feed from Kurdziolek, sent a slap shot into the net. The Warriors’ defense did the rest and, in another 1-0 decision, clinched the state title.For the season, Rockwood picked up four goals and earned five assists. She could be be a key player in 2020-21 as Clinton seeks to defend its sectional and state crowns.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img

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