By Joe Konze Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Sean Guetti has a lot of responsibility when he takes his position between the pipes on the ice for the Kenmore West boys hockey team.
He has to fight through opposing teams’ screens to follow the puck, track his opponents, and with each blistering shot that screams past a defender and stares him in the face, he knows that the split-second he has to react to the puck to make a save is the difference between his hockey team winning and losing.
“You just have to think about what you’re playing for and the guys around you and the team on the front of your jersey,” Guetti said. “You can’t really play because you want to get better for yourself. It’s got to be for the people around you. … It just puts a little bit more pressure (on me), but nothing I can’t handle.”
The senior net minder is an assistant captain and a key component to the Blue Devils’ (9-5, 8-3 WNY Hockey Federation) success this season, as they sit two points back of Lew-Port battling for the regular season title.
When he isn’t focused on the task at hand out on the ice, you might find him staying loose during practice and joking around with teammates.
According to Kenmore West coach Tim Knight, Guetti likes to keep it light and fun during practice.
“He’s a goofball but he’s a goaltender. That’s to be expected,” Knight said. “He’ll be making snow angels sometimes in the corner of the ice.”
But when it is time to compete, Guetti knows exactly where to harness all of his energy and focus: between the pipes.
Hockey was embedded in Guetti’s DNA at a very young age. His father Marty grew up playing the sport and was an avid hockey fan.
By seeing his father’s interest in the game, Marty said this drew interest from Guetti.
“He saw me watching on TV and I think he just gravitated to that,” Marty Guetti said. “I was a goalie also. That’s what probably did it.”
Last season, Guetti posted a 5-5-1 record and helped lead the Blue Devils to the No. 10 seed of sectionals before suffering a 7-2 loss to Grand Island in the playoffs.
So far this season, Guetti has made the most of his senior campaign with a 5-3 record and a 2.09 goals against average to go along with two shutouts.
In the month of December, Guetti boasted a 4-1 record to go along with a 0.89 goals against average. He also posted back-to-back shutouts against Lockport on Dec. 12 and St. Mary’s on Dec. 19.
Knight said the Blue Devils will go as far as Guetti will take them.
“This is his fourth year, and he’s come a long way — maturity wise,” Knight said. “He is a leader. He’s vocal in the locker room, he’s vocal in practice and he holds kids accountable. So it’s obvious why he’s one of our captains.”
The hope for the Blue Devils is to return to sectionals and claim their first playoff victory in six years. With Guetti in net, the outlook is promising.
“I honestly don’t think we’ve seen as good as he can get yet,” Knight said. “I’m hoping we’re going to see it as the year goes on. He’s rock solid. He doesn’t really have any lows.”
Guetti and the Blue Devils will continue their quest toward claiming the division today when they take on St. Mary’s at the Northtown Olympic rink. Puck drop is set for 9 p.m.