Buffalo bound: PMHS hockey wins regional versus Beekmantown, booking return trip to state championships


Michael Cambria

The Pelicans pose with the regional plaque.

The PMHS ice hockey team is heading to the state championships in Buffalo for the second year in a row, following a dominant 5-2 win over the Beekmantown Eagles in their regional match on Saturday.

Pelham will play in a state championship semifinal against the Saranac Chiefs at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the LECOM Harborcenter. If the Pelicans win, they will to advance to the state final and face off against the winner of the Skaneateles-Salmon River game.

On Saturday, Pelham was the first to appear on the score board after a slow first period. Sophomore Reid Finster got the ball rolling for the Pelicans, scoring with 14:58 left in the second period. Beekmantown answered with two goals of their own, ending the second with a 2-1 lead.

Pelham bounced back full force in the third period, as senior Chris Franchini tied it with 13:17 left. Finster followed this up by scoring his second goal of the night, giving the Pelicans a 3-2 lead with 10:11 left in the game. Senior captain Luke Green sealed the win, scoring twice in the last two minutes to cap off a commanding Pelham victory.

The Pelicans entered the season as underdogs of sorts, having lost state-MVP Louie Marcellino, as well as star Eric Elbery to preparatory schools. The departure of these key players, along with the retirement of legendary head coach Ed Witz, meant the team had everything to prove this year.

Pelham hopes to keep their momentum as they head upstate, with the potential to bring home the state championship for the second year in a row.  It would be the first ever back-to-back state championship for PMHS hockey.