Kody Nowicki shares a moment with Andrea Bowman at the conclusion of the game.Photo by Tony Callaio
Andrea Bowman, wife of late Wyoming Area coach Jamie Bowan, and Pittston Area players Anthony Passarella and Tyler Loftus join the Warriors for a team photo after WA captured the Blue & Gold Skate on Friday night. Below left, Pittston Area’s Rich Weinstock (83), Tyler Loftus (51) and Alex Rowan (13) battle on the boards for the puck with Wyoming Area’s Kody Nowicki (26) and Dalton Francik (30). Below right, PA’s Kyle McLaughlin (77) pushes the puck ahead.Photos by Tony Callaio
It has been a roller coaster season for the Wyoming Area Ice Hockey team this season. But Friday night things evened out.
The Warriors finally received the break they were craving by beating arch-nemesis Pittston Area, 5-3, to capture the Blue & Gold Skate in front of a passionate standing-room-only crowd at Revolution Ice Centre in Pittston Township.
Wyoming Area came out skating harder than they had skated all season. And they did so with good reason for not only were they playing the Patriots, but they were also playing for Coach Jamie Bowman who tragically passed away two weeks ago.
“We won that one for Coach Jamie,” senior sniper Kody Nowicki said. “It was nice to go out with a win.”
Both teams were playing as if they had something to prove. Heavy hitting was prevalent in the early part of the game, but when the teams got the aggression out of the way, the Wyoming Area offense took off.
With 5:49 remaining in the first period, Donny Flannelly gave the Warriors a 1-0 advantage. The Flannelly goal came after a beautiful centering pass from Nowicki.
The Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 lead late in the first period when Flannelly found Nowicki in front of the net. Nowicki finished the play by beating Patriots goaltender Shawn Simmons.
Early in the second period Nowicki lit the lamp for the second time in the game. The Nowicki goal gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead with 12:57 remaining in the second period despite the fact that the Pittston Area offense was firing on all cylinders in the second period. The Patriots just could not find the back of the next.
That in part, had to do with the goaltending of Alex Seacrest who came up with huge saves to keep the Patriots off the scoreboard.
Pittston Area finally put the biscuit in the basket midway through the second period.
Anthony Passarella knocked home the puck after it was loose in the crease. The Patriots were now within 3-1 with 8:13 remaining in the second period.
However the Warriors struck back quickly, scoring with 4:17 remaining in the second period. Kolton Begley made it a three-goal game with his first goal of the night.
The Patriots had a golden opportunity to cut into the deficit late in the second stanza. They went on a 5-on-3 power play, but could not put the puck in the net. The score remained 4-1 with just one period left to play.
The Warriors extended their lead to 5-1 when Kolton Begley scored his second goal of the game.
Rich Weinstock would bring the Patriots to within 5-2 with a beautiful top shelf goal with 5:27 remaining in the game. But that would be the last time Pittston Area would score, allowing Wyoming Area to score the win.
The quest for the stick was much different. The Patriots JV squad ran away with the stick and cruised to a 13-2 victory over the Warriors.
Ryan Flanagan led the Patriots with five goals. Weinstock had a hat trick, and Tommy Schwabb scored twice.
Tyler McGarry, Jonathan Sulkowski and Ryan Joyce each added a goal for Pittston Area. Drew Malvizzi was terrific between the pipes for the Patriots, coming up with save after save.
Nikita Li scored the only two Warriors goals. David Eiffert added an assist.