Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Monsignor Martin edges Kenmore in WNY Girls Ice Hockey Federation Final thriller

by By Charles Roberts

South Buffalo Courier  [ View Original Article ]

It was only fitting that the 2015 WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation Final came right down to the final horn.

With anticipation building for nearly two additional weeks - the game was postponed from its Feb. 13 date due to inclement weather - Monsignor Martin held on for a 1-0 victory over Kenmore on Thursday at Northtown Center at Amherst.

The championship victory is Monsignor Martin's third in four years.

The weight of the trophy and the wait to get her hands on it were certainly worth it for Monsignor Martin head coach Linda Mroz, who in defeating Kenmore, the defending champions, became the first female coach to win the title.

"Heavy. It feels heavy," Mroz said with a smile, referring to the championship trophy that was under her right arm. "It's finally over. But it feels heavy. That two weeks killed us. I've been having anxiety all day - I didn't let the girls know - and I didn't sleep very well last night. But...the bottom line is I just wanted to make sure the girls had fun today."

The seesaw battle remained scoreless through the first two periods, before alternate captain Maeve Christ capitalized on a loose rebound to knock in the game's lone goal at 8:34 in the third. Kaitlin Drew-Mead and Kayla Blas were each credited with an assist on the goal.

"It was pretty amazing," Christ said of scoring the game-winner. "We were in the locker room and we were like, 'We really got to step it up...it's a tie game.' And then we came out right at them and were ready to play. And then we scored that goal, and I knew we were going to win."

Kenmore goaltender Lauren Pray made a game-high 24 saves and certainly has the respect of the Monsignor Martin locker room.

"Lauren is a solid goalie. She can make saves out of nowhere," Mroz said of the Kenmore netminder. "The girls knew that basically the only way to beat her is off of a rebound or a tip. That's how we beat them during the season, and we were lucky enough to have a fluke rebound come out and Maeve Christ was able to pound it home. I mean, 1-0 game - you can't ask for anything more exciting than that."

Meanwhile, Brianna Gawronski stopped each of the 20 shots she faced in net for Monsignor Martin. Her smile extended from one ear to the other in the moments following the shutout victory.

"I was screaming in my mind," Gawronski said, shaking with excitement. "I was like, it always happens where they score right at the end. And I was like it's going to happen to me. I was so happy we scored because I thought it was going to be 0-0 the whole game."

And although Gawronski's enthusiasm was loud and clear afterward, she was cool and collected throughout the contest, particularly when it mattered most - during Kenmore's power play inside the game's final two minutes.

"Goalies are crazy. ...But the crazier she is, the more in the zone I know she's going to play," Mroz said of Gawronski. "But she's such a great kid. ...I knew that Bri had a certain spark when I walked into the locker room today."

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

College Acceptances

Where our Mercy Girls go