By Nick Veronica
The Tonawanda News
AMHERST — Kenmore East defenseman Zach Jakes fed a perfect breakaway pass to Ryan Wigdorski with a minute left in a tie game against rival Kenmore West, and Wigdorski used a head fake and a stick-side shot to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 win Thursday night at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Mike Diliberto had an assist on East’s first goal and scored the second to lead the Bulldogs (3-1-1 Federation), who have never lost to the Blue Devils since coach Kyle Pray left West for East in 2007.
“Territorially, we outplayed them all night. We just weren’t finishing,” said Pray, whose Bulldogs held a 36-13 advantage in shots. “So what a perfect time for him to finish.”
When Wigdorski got the pass with no defenders between him and the net, he went to his bread-and-butter breakaway move.
“It’s pretty much the same move every time. When I got back in the locker room my teammates were like, ‘We knew what move you were doing,’” Wigdorski said with a grin. “Fake the shot, deke over right then shoot to the left, up high. The goalie’s going down and the pad is not going to save it. … I saw the opening, defenseman hit me on the tape with the puck and I sealed the deal.”
Kenmore West goalie Sean Guetti was the star for his team, keeping the Blue Devils in the game with 19 saves in the first two periods and giving them a shot to win it in the third with 14 more.
West (1-3 Federation) finally came through for Guetti midway through the third period after an offensive flurry produced a point shot and a rebound goal for Matt Metz that tied the game at two.
“(Guetti) was phenomenal,” West coach Tim Knight said. “He played a really good game. He made all the saves we could have expected him to make. He made the first save, the second save, the third save. Rebounds you can’t help but he gave us a chance to win.”
Kenmore East goalie Trevor Taggart got beat early but was solid the rest of the way, anchoring the Bulldogs with 11 saves.
West got on the board first less than three minutes into the game when Stephen Hermann tapped in a loose puck after Jeff Becker’s shot trickled past Taggart.
East answered at the end of a power play late in the first period. Diliberto made a nice move around his man on a rush and had his shot stopped by Guetti, but Tony Amoia crashed the net and finished the rebound. Jeff White also picked up an assist on the play.
East scored again four and a half minutes into the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Brett Wigdorski’s point shot was knocked out of the air but fell right on the stick of Diliberto, who scored from the circle.
East had a power play with four minutes left in the game after West had tied it, but the man-advantage didn’t produce a shot on goal. East’s power play went 1 for 3 on the night while West’s was 0 for 2.
Then Wigdorski’s breakaway goal with 58.2 seconds left gave the senior one last play to remember against Kenmore West.
“It was a great goal. It’s my last home rival game and it meant a lot to me and my team,” Wigdorski said. “This is going to mean a lot in school (on Friday).”