Niagara-Wheatfield’s ride in the state high school ice hockey championships ended Saturday with a 4-1 loss to Saratoga Springs in the Division I semifinals at the Utica War Memorial.
The Falcons got into penalty trouble early, giving up two power play goals. Senior forward Mike Parisi scored for Niagara-Wheatfield with assists from Anthony Merante and Matthew Peters to make it 2-1 in the second but the Blue Streaks answered quickly, scoring a few minutes later.
“We were picking up a lot of momentum with Parisi’s goal, but they got an odd-man rush and scored,” said Falcons coach Rick Wrazin.
“We came out a little bit tight, being down by two early and had trouble getting untracked,” Wrazin said. “We played a little too cautious, I would say.”
Wrazin had hopes his team could advance to the state tournament during the season.
“I think the coaches more than the players thought we could do it,” Wrazin said. “We did take on a lot of new kids so I guess you would say our success this season was a little unexpected.”
Saratoga, a state semifinalist last year, will face McQuaid of Rochester in today’s Division I championship game. McQuaid advanced with a 5-1 win over Massena.