AMHERST — The North Franklin Shamrocks returned home from the NYSAHA 12U hockey championships in Amherst with a state title.
The North Franklin 12U team won the Tier III crown, despite suffering a setback in the team’s second game of the tournament. The PeeWee Shamrocks opened up play with a 3-1 win over Pelham on Friday morning, then suffered a 5-1 loss to the NYC Skyliners on Friday evening. The local group rebounded with a 2-1 win against Tri-County/Brockport on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s semifinal, where the Shamrocks eraned a 4-3 overtime victory against North Country rival Saranac Lake. The win advanced the Shamrocks to the title contest against Cortland, where North Franklin again took its opponent into extra time and came away with its second straight 4-3 OT victory – this time in double overtime.
“I am very proud of this group. It is a great group of kids,” said North Franklin head coach Shawn Miller, who was assisted by coaches Tim Cook, Justin Moulton and John Wylie. “What a great day for the kids, the coaches, the families and the community.”
“We weren’t sure after Friday night’s game (versus NYC Skyliners) if we would even be there after Saturday. But, two overtime wins in one day (Sunday), that’s unreal,” Miller continued. “We always told the kids ‘If you work, ya win.’ They did just that in the two games we trailed on Sunday.”
Players on the North Franklin 12U team are Rick Chatland, Ryan Rutley, Caiden Cartier, Evan Collette, Chase Lewis, Connor Dishaw, Kade Cook, Ethan Moulton, Austin Cook, Braeden Bethel, Chase Sessions, Luke Miller, Roman Jacobs, Tehanerahtaiens Barnes, Hugo Hobson, Fire Swamp and Eystn Wylie.
North Franklin 4, Cortland 3 (2 OT)
The PeeWee Shamrocks took an early 1-0 lead only to have Cortland storm back and hold a 3-1 advantage after the opening period. North Franklin tied the score at 3-3 before the end of the second period, with neither team finding the back of the net during the third period, nor in the first overtime period. The Shamrocks scored the game-winner with 2:26 gone in the second extra period.
Rutley converted a pass from Collette with 12:34 showing on the clock in the second OT period, as North Franklin skated on a power play. The title-clinching tally was Rutley’s third marker of the game, as Dishaw tied the game at 3-all with 4:07 left in the second. The Dishaw goal, assisted by Hobson and Luke Miller, came with North Franklin skating with a player advantage. Lewis also earned an assist during the win, setting up Rutley’s second goal of the game, which came just past the midway point of the second period.
Chatland backstopped the title-clinching win.
North Franklin 4, Saranac Lake 3 (OT)
Skating against a North Country rival Saranac Lake, a team that tied for the top spot with Cortland in Pool B, the Shamrocks scored the game-winning goal in overtime while on the power play. Moulton netted the marker with 13:39 left in the extra period, as Rutley and Collette earned assists on the tally that advanced the Shamrocks to the title game.
Saranac Lake took a 1-0 lead, but Hobson tied the game at 1-1 with 2:13 left in the first period. The Storm netted the only goal of the second period and carried a 2-1 lead into the third, a stanza that had North Franklin tied the game, then take a 3-2 lead on back-to-back goals — just 16 seconds apart — by Collette. Rutley and Kade Cook assisted on the equalizer and Cook set up the short-lived go-ahead tally. Saranac Lake tied the game at 3-3 with 2:19 left in the third period.
Chatland earned the win between the pipes for North Franklin.
North Franklin 2, Tri-County/Brockport 1
The Shamrocks bounced back from their setback on Friday, skating to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. North Franklin maintained its cushion throughout the second and for most of the third, when Brockport scored its lone goal with 3:05 left in regulation.
Chatland and Barnes shared duties in goal for North Franklin.
NYC Skyliners 5, North Franklin 1
After opening up the state tournament with a win early in the day on Friday, the Shamrocks suffered their lone loss of the event on Friday evening.
The Skyliners held a 1-0 lead after the opening period, then extended that advantage to 3-0 after two periods of play. The Skyliners upped their lead to 5-0, before North Franklin scored its lone goal of the game with 4:30 left in regulation.
Kade Cook put the puck in the net for the Shamrocks, with assists coming off the sticks of Rutley and Collette.
Chatland and Barnes shared the goaltending duties for North Franklin.
North Franklin 3, Pelham 1
The 12U Shamrocks took the early lead when Lewis scored the only goal of the opening period, converting a pass from Bethel. Moulton made it a 2-0 game in the second period, when he scored a short-handed marker set up on a pass from Miller.
Pelham broke the shutout bid of Chatland with 7:04 left in the second, only to have North Franklin tack on its insurance marker in the third period. Collette scored a power-play goal, with Miller earning his second assist of the contest.