|January 28, 2022||5:00 pm||16U GIRLS||2021-22|
|Nichols Ice Rink|
|1250 Amherst St Buffalo, NY 14216|
by Matt Gajtka
BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a tournament looming the following weekend, BK Selects 16U beat Nichols School, 3-1, on Friday afternoon. The result was reversed from the previous time the teams met in early December, down to the exact final score.
In their final game action before their trip to the Motor City Girls Fest, the 16Us (37-11-5) got a goal and an assist from Finley McCarthy (Whitefish, Mont.) and single tallies from Morgan Walton (Geneseo, N.Y.) and defender Ashley Mandeville (Pascoag, R.I.) in building a 3-0 lead through two periods.
The Selects committed multiple penalties in the third as Nichols cut the margin to two, but head coach Jake Anderson was bullish after the win, which boosted his team to 5-2-1 since the holiday break.
“We got a little undisciplined in the third, but we’re really close to where we need to be,” said Anderson, in his second season helming the 16Us. “Things we do most of the time, we have to do every time. I’m proud of how we’ve developed and where we’ve come.”
Michaela Hesova (Hovorčovice, Czechia) earned the win with 15 saves in what Anderson called “the last dress rehearsal” before the Motor City event, which could entail as many as six games in three days.
Detroit Little Caesars, ranked fifth in the nation by MyHockeyRankings, looks to be the stiffest competition for the seventh-ranked 16Us at the tournament, at least on paper.
Regardless, the challenge remains for one of the youngest Tier 1 16U teams in the country to continue to have a growth mindset as the end of the season approaches.
“We have to mature and continue to get better,” Anderson said. “We want to possess the puck and be creative with it. Try to have five players playing offense and play really well in our own end.”