BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Kenmore/Grand Island/Lockport women hockey team is possessing a unforgettable time, repeating as Section VI champions and returning to this weekend’s point out regionals.

Alongside with the championship trophies, the Ken/GI/Port women will soon exhibit a memento from a happy moment earlier this calendar year — an autographed jersey that Buffalo Sabres ahead Jeff Skinner wore on Youth Hockey Day past thirty day period at KeyBank Heart.

Skinner was one particular of two Sabres who showcased Western New York Ladies Varsity Ice Hockey Federation programs with his pregame outfit choice.

“For him to seem at all the jerseys there and decide on ours actually usually means a ton to us,” stated Carolyn Bourgeault, a Kenmore West senior and leading goaltender in the WNYGVIHF who will keep on her career at Concordia University in Wisconsin. “It was magnificent for us to see, and for it to be Jeff Skinner, a veteran and a huge title, it was just really neat.”

“The ladies liked it,” said Jeff Orlowski, a Kenmore East trainer who has coached the put together staff to 7 sectional titles in 13 seasons. “It was blowing up. The girls were being all tweeting it and every little thing.”

Skinner recorded a video concept for the staff from the Sabres’ highway journey out West: “Hey women, just preferred to say thanks for allowing me borrow your jersey. And I see you have received a few big game titles coming up, so good luck, and have pleasurable.”

This was the second yr that Sabres gamers represented nearby large educational institutions when arriving on Youth Hockey Day, and the to start with in which ladies jerseys were being portion of the assortment. Matthew Torres, the Sabres youth hockey coordinator achieved out to Invoice Pavone, a longtime WNYGVIHF supporter and administrator, to borrow a selection of women team jerseys substantial plenty of for professional hockey gamers to don.

Pavone instructed that JJ Peterka, the Sabres rookie ahead from Germany, sport the Clarence/Amherst/Sweet Property jersey in his property nation’s colours. C/A/SH mentor Nicola Adimey is from Schifferstadt, Germany.

Skinner picked the Ken/GI/Port jersey on his very own.

“It was truly amazing of Jeff to do that,” reported Orlowski, surmising that Skinner “doesn’t know what he did there for women hockey. He truly served us. All the Sabres who use all those higher faculty jerseys actually make those young children (very pleased). They look up to people guys, and for them to do that is genuinely an honor for the ladies.”

Pavone reported looking at two Sabres carrying WNYGVIHF jerseys was validating for these who pushed to start the league and nurtured its advancement around the earlier 13 decades.

“It meant a whole lot to our team,” explained Pavone, a Kenmore resident whose daughter participated in the inaugural season. “And it intended a great deal to most people in our league. We have constantly just desired to get our equal share. It is been a extensive haul, but we are acquiring there. And the Sabres carrying our jerseys this calendar year was one more phase toward that.”

WNY boys teams also have proven their pleasure in becoming represented by the Sabres on Youth Hockey Working day. The Williamsville South Billies, whose jersey was worn by Rasmus Dahlin, and the Williamsville East Flames, showcased by Dylan Cozens, had t-shirts printed in their group colors with the identify and selection of the Sabres players on the back again.

In pursuit of its initially state title, the Ken/GI/Port ladies facial area off with Clinton from Area III at 8 p.m. Friday in the semifinals at the Nexus Heart in Utica. The point out championship game is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.


Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a electronic athletics reporter. Read a lot more of his work here.