By Scott Kindberg
Bruce Hokanson has been coaching hockey at various levels for more than three decades, but his passion for it appears to be as strong as ever.
The Andriaccio brothers — Jake, left, and Justin— are the co-captains of the Jamestown Raiders hockey team.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
"There is so much to it,'' the Jamestown Raiders coach said last week as he stood outside locker room 6 prior to a practice at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. "It's really an interesting game to be in and I enjoy it. It's more like basketball than it is anything else. It just moves all the time. There are different things in it - the power play, short-handed, situations that don't happen in other sports.''
Hokanson is banking on his team's enhanced power play to continue its strong effort at 7 p.m., Tuesday when the Raiders meet City Honors/O'Hara in the Western New York Mixed Club championship game at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.
Known throughout the area as "Super Sunday," the championship games in the WNY Federation and the WNY Club League had to be moved to today and Tuesday because of a scheduling conflict at the arena.
That's OK with forward Justin Andriaccio.
"I think we've lost most of our Sunday games,'' he said, "and we've played good on Tuesdays."
''It's been kind of a roller-coaster (season),'' Hokanson admitted ''We strung together four wins I think three different times, but we've strung four losses together twice, so it's been bumpy.''
Most of those ''bumps,'' however, came in the Lake Shore (Pa.) League. The Raiders are 18-13-3 overall, but 12-3-1 in the WNY Club League and have split two previous meetings with City Honors/O'Hara.
See RAIDERS, Page B2
From Page B1
In the first game, Jamestown goalie Tom Fales posted a 3-0 shutout, but the Centaurs turned the tables in the second encounter and won, 5-2.
''Their scoring comes from two underclassmen,'' Hokanson said. ''They have a freshman and a sophomore who are really strong and they have seven or eight seniors where we have only three.''
The Andriaccios - Justin and Jake (a defenseman) are the co-captains - and Collin Abbott are the Raiders' lone seniors. Justin Andriaccio is the leading scorer, followed by junior Bill Krywy and Abbott.
''We've got as much mileage out of the seniors as we could possibly get,'' Hokanson said. ''They've done their job.''
The Raiders' power play units have also done their job during the postseason, which has included wins over Eden-Lake Shore and Alden (twice). The most potent group consists of the Andriaccios, Gib Stuart, Krywy and Abbott.
''They probably are the premier players on the team,'' Hokanson said. ''It's really a loaded line and it just has really meshed.
''Krywy is easily the quickest guy on the team. He's got an NHL release on his shot. It's so quick you can't see his hands move. I think he's going to do real well in his future. He's a strong player.''
The Raiders, who finished second to City Honors/O'Hara via tie-breaker during the regular season, will be making their first trip to ''Super Sunday'' since 2010, while the Centaurs will be making their third straight appearance.
Seven members of Jamestown's team attended media day at the First Niagara Center last Wednesday, but Hokanson knows that once they hit the ice tomorrow night, it will be a new experience.
''It's so different than any other rink we play,'' he said. ''Just the sheer size of the seating, it takes a while to get oriented. And, it's really hot there as far as temperature. ... We talked a lot about it and what to expect, but we just have to go do it.
''If we can weather the initial storm, we'll be all right. You just have to get your feet wet and then it becomes a hockey game like anywhere else.''