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Haller Leads Victor to Fourth State Title

Victor vs John Jay" />Victor won their fourth NYS Finals in five years today with a 9-7 win over John Jay.  Blue Devil’s senior goalie Liam Haller was the pillar that lifted them to their title.  He finished with 21 saves (75%) and played one of the best games of his career in today’s matchup.  The Indians recorded 39 shots with 28 on cage (72% on cage).  Haller often faced not only the primary shot, but secondary shots from the doorstep; he was repeatedly on point and came up with multiple saves that were stellar.  Offensively, Jack LaRue (4g) and Camden Hay (3g-1a) led in scoring.  For John Jay, Jack Browne played the entire game between the pipes and recorded 2 saves.  Offensively, Dean Ford finished with 3g-1a.

The Blue Devils finished with 22 shots that only came from 4 players.  Andrew Nicolella took one shot (that resulted in his goal) with all the remaining shots coming from Joey Pezzimenti, Hay and LaRue.  Additionally, they had a lot of extra time with the ball due to faceoff midfielder Regan Endres finishing 12/18 at the draw.  He also recorded a team leading 12 ground balls.  The Chiefs started off strong, but had issues spanning around the second quarter.  They were held scoreless for 26 minutes spanning the end of the first to the beginning of the third.

Victor vs John Jay" />John Jay scored the opening two goals with Ford scoring the first with a drive from the top to the right flat.  Three minutes later, Luke Mercer scored with a sweep down the left side.  The Chiefs led 2-0 for just under a minute until Victor scored their opener.  LaRue scored with an inside feed from Pezzimenti.  The quarter ended with John Jay leading 2-1.  In the second quarter, only a single goal was scored.  Nicolella scored on a feed from behind the cage by Hay.  The game was tied 2-2 going into the half.

The third quarter was the defining quarter for the Blue Devils.  They scored the first four goals to take the lead and they never looked back.  Hay scored with a midrange outside shot and seven seconds later added another on a face-off fast-break.  Endres won the draw and then pushed the ball to Pezzimenti for the shot.  Hay scored his second and third back to back with a drive along the goal line and a fast-break (assisted by Pezzimenti).  The Blue Devils led 6-2 with 3:43 left in the third quarter.  Before the conclusion of the quarter, John Jay broke their scoreless streak with Ford scoring his second with a drive to the crease.

In the fourth quarter, Victor started off the scoring with Pezzimenti faking the first shot and finishing with a second while standing on the crease.  Victor was up 7-3 before John Jay started pulling back into the game.  The Chief scored the next three goals over a four-minute span.  Max Kesicki scored the first with an assist from Bryce Ford. Victor vs John Jay Two minutes later B. Ford scored his first with a slow break upfield and a drive straight to the crease.  The third goal, which pulled the scoring within one, was another goal by Kesicki.  This time with an assist from D. Ford.  He fed the ball from the GLE to the center top.  With 5:19 remaining in the game, John Jay had pulled within one goal.  The Blue Devils kept up the pressure with back to back goals by LaRue.  The final Victor goal was scored during extra-man offense on an open goal.  The Chiefs did score the final goal of the game with a 5-on-5 goal by D. Ford with 0:35 left; however, it was not enough to pull even.  With their fourth win, the Blue Devils move into a tie for 7th for the most State Title by a single team.  West Genesee still holds the record with 15 State Titles.

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