The Canisius High School Varsity Club hockey team captured the AAU Large School state championship on March 3 in Jamestown NY. The Crusaders opened the tournament tying Cheektowaga 3-3.
Mike Piscatelli put the team on his back and picked up the hat trick while Jake Nichols made 27 saves in net.
The next game saw the team back on the winning track as they beat Southwestern/Maple Grove 6-3. Zach Grace and Pat O’Leary had 2 goals apiece while Frank Downing and Mike Piscatelli each had 1. Alex Strickland played big in net making 26 saves.
The next day brought another win for the Crusaders by a score of 6-0 over Cleve Hill/JFK. Frank Downing had 2 goals while Pat O’Leary, Mike Piscatelli, Joe Mancuso, and Pat Gates had 1 each. Jake Nichols was back in net making 13 saves.
The championship game and a match up with Long Island’s East Williston/Jericho were next. The game started slow but the Crusaders woke up in the 2nd with goals from Pat O’Leary and Mike Piscatelli to grab a lead going into the 3rd. Piscatelli would record 2 more and O’Leary would add another as the Crusaders secured their first ever state title. Jake Nichols was solid as always in net making 15 saves in the victory.
Leading the team all season were the seniors; Pat Gates, Frank Downing, Kris Kallas, Joe Anain, Ethan Finn, Alex Strickland, Mike Piscatelli, Creighton Barnett and Pat O’Leary.
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