46ers capture 16U boys state title
The Adirondack 46ers have a state championship hockey team.
On Sunday in Lockport, the 46ers 16U boys team captured the Tier 3 New York state title with a 5-1 victory over Jamestown in the championship game.
The squad features some of the top high school young hockey talent in the North Country and includes players from Saranac Lake and the Northwood School, as well as from the towns of Malone, West Chazy, Ft. Covington and Moira.
The 46ers posted a 4-1 record over three days of hockey to win their first state crown in the four years the 16U program has existed.
Bailey Bartholomew, Noah Munn-Jennings and Kellan Duffy are Saranac Lakers on the team and Peppi DelliQuadri and Jackson Smith are Northwood School students on the 46ers.
The team opened play Friday, April 23 with an 8-3 victory over Oswego in a very fast opening game of the tournament. Dawson Miletich led the way with a hat trick, Seth Lockwood netted a pair of goals and Logan Spaulding, Chase Lewis and Bartholomew added single tallies in the win.
Bartholomew, Munn-Jennings, Owen Lockwood, Dominic St. Hilaire and Seth Lockwood all chipped in assists to help the effort. Jeremiah Scharf and Carson Roy sealed the win with a combined 28 save performance in nets.
The second game was a tough 5-2 loss to a strong South Westchester team as the 46ers struggled to gain any momentum through penalty-filled second and third periods. Owen Burditt and Chase Lewis each netted a goal in the setback, and Scharf took the loss between the pipes after facing 27 shots.
The third game featured a North Country battle pitting the 46ers against North Franklin. The play between both teams was fast and very physical. The 46ers played a very tight game and jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second period on a hard screened shot from Nolan Wood assisted by Seth Lockwood and Eli Race. The 46ers struck again late in the third period with a goal from Munn-Jennings off a spectacular pass from Spaulding. North Franklin answered 17 seconds later to make it 2-1 and the press was on. After several intense battles in front of the 46ers net Scharf sealed the win with 15 saves.
The 46ers entered the crossover semifinal on Sunday as the top seed from their division and skated to a 4-2 triumph over the Finger Lakes Outlaws, who were the second seed in the tourney’s other division.
The 46ers used a relentless forecheck to keep the Outlaws pinned in their zone much of the play. Bartholomew paced the 46ers with two goals and Seth Lockwood and Miletich each scored once. The 46ers dominated early, outshooting the Outlaws 34 to 9 during the first two periods. Scharf earned the semifinal win in goal with 16 saves.
In the finals matchup that featured the top two seeds in the eight-team field, the 46ers surged out to a 3-0 advantage over Jamestown and went on to claim a 5-1 victory.
The 46ers jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 9:57 with a strong solo effort from Seth Lockwood and upped the edge to 2-0 with only five seconds remaining in the first period with a goal from Spaulding. After a very physical scoreless second period, the 46ers struck again at 9:47 of the third with a hard shot from Nolan Wood, with Bartholomew assisting.
Jamestown converted a defensive zone turnover to get on the board and make it a 3-1 contest with 6:29 remaining, but the 46ers sealed the deal with a great second effort play from Lewis, who fired a shot while sitting on the ice. The puck bounced off a surprised Jamestown goalie and into the net for a 4-1 lead. Bartholomew rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter to make it a 5-1 final.
The Adirondack 46ers 16U boys play under the Malone Minor Hockey Association and their title was the first for the association in 36 years. The team is lead by head coach Jay Perras and assistants Steve and Ed Lockwood. Randy Wood is the team manager.
Perras said his squad battled adversity that included a late mid-February start to the season right up through the championship tournament where only one spectator per player was allowed to attend games. Perras said a scenario in Lockport was one parent of a player would be inside the rink watching the action live, while the other parent would be in their vehicle watching the game on an internet link.
“We didn’t have a lot of people in the rink, but the ones who were there, they were loud. It was good,” Perras said. “It was a challenge but we got through it.”
Perras said teams normally play a 30- to 40-game schedule during the season prior to the state playoff round. He said due to all the COVID restrictions and various pauses, the 46ers were able to start practicing late in the fall but were not allowed to play games until February. He said they got in about 14 games this winter.
Many of the 46ers were on the team a season ago that was heading into the state playoffs riding high until the pandemic put a stop to competition.
“These kids overcame a lot of adversity over the last 12 months and found a way to come together as a team,” Perras said. “There wasn’t a time all year that we didn’t wonder if we would ever make it there as there were a lot of COVID-related obstacles to overcome to make it to Buffalo.
“This team can compete handily with any high school hockey team in the North Country. They exceeded my expectations as a coach. We had one sloppy game on Friday, our one loss. Outside of that, they were outstanding. They played phenomenal hockey.”
Players on the team are Logan Spaulding, Nolan Wood, Garrett Niles, Dawson Miletich, Kellan Duffy, Jackson Smith, Owen Lockwood, Eli Race, Jeremiah Scharf, Bailey Bartholomew, Peppi DelliQuadri, Dominic St. Hilaire, Owen Burditt, Carson Roy, Seth Lockwood, Ryan Johnston Jr., Edmund Collins, Cam Perras, Chase Lewis and Noah Munn-Jennings.