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Thunder Bantams capture third straight state 14-under championship

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MASSENA - The St. Lawrence Thunder Bantams used another group effort to earn their fourth New York State AHA Tier II 14-Under Championship in five years this past weekend in Amherst.

Sanctioned by Massena Minor Hockey and made up of players from throughout the area, the Thunder Bantams are coached by Bobby Smith, who has guided the team to back-to-back silver medal efforts at the last two USA Hockey National Tournaments.

This year nationals are slated for the week of April in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The Thunder Bantams opened their state tournament defense by outlasting the Syracuse Blazers 4-3. They followed that up with a 4-2 win over Cheektowaga before closing out the preliminary round by storming their way to an 11-3 decision over the GNY Stars.

With their wins, the Thunder earned the top seed from their bracket for the semi-finals Sunday morning where they turned back the Westchester Vipers by the score of 4-2 to earn a third straight trip to the state final where they successfully completed their three-peat with a dramatic 5-4 win over the Camillus Cougars.

Team members include; Cole Allen, Jared Barr, Billy Bergan, Nathan Bressard, Corson Green, Kyler Head, Mark Mahoney, Jacob Mattice, Cole Moore, Joshua Sanchez, Kyran Sunday,Merrick Taraska, Isaac Thrasher, Josh Underwood, Grant VanBuren and Broadie Woods. Serving as assistant coaches are Jeff Allen and Ed Underwood.

At the Tier II 12-Under state tournament also staged in Amherst this past weekend, the Canton PeeWees went 1-2 over their three games. They opened with a 4-0 loss to New Hartford then downed the Buffalo Bisons 8-1 before finishing with a 5-3 loss to Brewerton.

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