Olive Backyard dinners, Halloween-themed nights, a preseason pool celebration and visiting elementary faculty college students are a couple of actions the Clarence discipline hockey crew participates in to develop into nearer. It is a group that takes pleasure in doing nearly every part collectively, and it is translated on the sector.
Because the reigning Part VI Class A champions, the Pink Devils look primed for a repeat. They’re 11-0 with 4 video games remaining till sectional brackets are introduced Oct. 20.
Clarence is the one undefeated discipline hockey crew in Part VI and has received eight of its video games by shutout, together with its final 4, heading into Thursday’s recreation in opposition to visiting Candy House.
The final line of protection for Clarence has been senior goalie Brenna Lincoln, who has made 21 saves of the 23 photographs she has confronted for a save proportion of 91.3%, which is third within the part amongst gamers with at the least 10 photographs confronted.
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“I feel it is actually essential that our communication is basically good,” Lincoln mentioned. “I feel that being a goalie it is useful to have teammates that take heed to you. I feel I am very directive and I feel that is very useful once you see them reply. It carries up the sector. I really feel like each place has actually good chemistry with one another and I feel that is actually helped us.”
A stifling protection has develop into the id of Clarence over the previous couple of seasons, because the Pink Devils have gone 83-8-1 since 2017. Final season, the crew superior to the New York State Public Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation’s Class AA semifinal in opposition to Part XI’s Northport, and regardless of a 5-0 loss, the crew is assured in its capacity to make one other run for the elusive state championship.
“We’re only a very fast-paced crew, I feel that is why we’re so profitable,” mentioned senior Natalie Myslinski, a two-time All-Western New York first-team choice. “Though we went to states and misplaced, that was a very good expertise and we positively introduced that have into our common play and we’re simply tremendous speedy.”
Clarence has used his pace to rack up 30 targets this season, whereas solely surrendering three. The crew’s offense has matched its nice protection. 9 gamers have recorded a purpose, and 6 gamers have at the least 5. Senior Elle Ridge, a returning All-WNY first-team choice, leads the Pink Devils in factors (24) and assists (14) and is second in targets (10).
“I consider final yr as a terrific expertise, however bringing it to this yr, I do not take into consideration states in any respect,” Ridge mentioned. “I simply take into consideration one recreation at a time.
“There’s positively is strain. Individuals need to beat us and use that as motivation in every recreation and every observe.”
For years, Clarence has been one of many groups to beat. Regardless of solely two sectional titles in 9 seasons, the Pink Devils are all the time within the combine to convey residence a championship.
There’s an expectation each season for Clarence to be in competition, hardly ever lose and produce All-WNY-caliber expertise. It is the tradition that is been created through the years, and having exterior expectations is a results of the respect this system has garnered.
“The groups earlier than this yr set the usual and left a legacy,” coach Marissa Faso mentioned. “They gave us the chance to proceed to develop and get higher. Plenty of these gamers have been collectively since their center faculty years and coming via as seniors now, it has been actually thrilling seeing their progress and the alternatives they’ve introduced themselves via arduous work and coming collectively when it counts. That is been actually thrilling to me as a coach, as a result of at this level I can step again and let the leaders lead and allow them to showcase all of their abilities on the sector, and I belief they’re leaving all of it on the market on the sector. ”
Off the sector, the crew is comprised of people who need to maintain one another accountable. The crew makes use of the time period “clearings,” alternatives for gamers to return collectively as a bunch and have productive conversations and make clear something if wanted.
“I do know a whole lot of groups aren’t as shut with one another and so they bicker on the sector and stuff,” junior Avery Cannistra mentioned. “We’re all finest associates. All of us get pleasure from having enjoyable practices even when they’re intense and crew bonding. It is simply enjoyable to be on the crew.”
Eleven of the crew’s 22 gamers are seniors. With the ending of an period inevitable for this present group of Clarence gamers, the crew needs to as soon as once more make a deep playoff run, together with forsaking even better expectations that they inherited.
“We now have a a lot increased normal having gotten farther than we did ever earlier than,” Lincoln mentioned. “We have all been collectively since center faculty, so to be with every to be taught and develop and know the way far we have include this system provides us extra incentive to maintain getting that normal up for future years.”
Pictures: Hamburg at Clarence discipline hockey