2021-06-15 - SPORTSFIVE REPORT: Webster Thomas never trailed in their 6-5 win over Canandaigua tonight to secure their fourth Sectional Championship and the first since 2016. In 2018, freshman Ethan Ruller started in the cage for Webster Thomas and helped take his team to the Sectional Finals. After a double overtime loss to Victor, the Titans have spent the last two seasons looking to get back into the Finals. Tonight, Ruller was the major factor in the victory and was named Class B Tournament MVP. In addition, during the award ceremony, he was also recognized as Section Five Defensive Player of the Year. Also recognized at that time were Offensive Player of the Year (Face off midfielder Logan Callahan from Victor) and Sportsman of the Year (Penfield’s Will Hand).
Ruller was one of the major reasons for Thomas’ victory. The senior goalie kept Canandaigua scoreless for three quarters. During the 36 minutes, he faced multiple shots and at times seemed to stand on his head to make the save. Although the Braves added five goals in the final quarter, it was not enough to force overtime. With time counting down, Ruller got control of the ball behind the cage. In the final seconds he threw the ball up field and gave the Titans the win.
Thomas opened the scoring with three goals in the first quarter. David Petz, Joe Russo and Nathan Hoban each scored one goal for the Titans. Hoban, Petz and Cade Spencer each recorded an assist. All six goals for the Titans were assisted. The 3-0 score at the end of the first quarter held into halftime. In the third quarter, Thomas added their fourth goal with a feed from behind the game from Ryan Prine to Evan Pashalidis. This came during an unsettled situations where Canandaigua’s Jack Faiola had just made back-to-back saves. The Titans held a 4-0 lead going into the final 12 minutes.
In the final quarter, Canandaigua’s offense was finally able to get past Ruller. They scored 0:32 into the quarter with Cam Tallman scoring with a feed from Sam Bennett. Three minutes Later Dom Comella scored, unassisted with an outside shot from the top left. Thomas’ final two goals of the game came from Anthony Shura and Pashalidis (assists to Spencer and Hoban). The Titans were up 6-2 with three minutes left on the clock.
The final three minutes of play were the most exciting. Canandaigua kept up their offense and scored three goals in the final three minutes. Jaxon Grant scored with a long range shot from the outside. Spin Blazak scored from the inside after a feed from behind by Tallman with 2:28 remaining. With 0:42 remaining, Tallman pulled the same trick, this time with Cormella scoring his second. Thomas won the last draw but lost the ball and gave Canandaigua one more shot at the cage. However, they could not capitalize on the chance. [BOX SCORE] More images are available in the gallery.
Note: During the half-time break, the team and coaches from Gates Chili were honored for sportsmanship by the GVLOA.