Mamaroneck got back to Buffalo, but the Tigers will not win back-to-back state titles.
Mamaroneck lost, 1-0, to Section 6’s Williamsville North in the Division I semifinal Saturday at HarborCenter.
Senior goaltender Tommy Spero made 23 saves, but the Tigers offense had little bite against a speedy North team that controlled most of the game. Last year’s state tournament MVP played well again for Mamaroneck (22-2-1) but the Tigers never got the bounce they needed to even the score and force overtime after Spero gave up the game’s lone goal on a deflection.
Williamsville North controlled play early, limiting shots on goaltender Jake Zurat, who made 13 saves in the shutout win. Zurat had little to do against Mamaroneck for most of the game, while Spero stood up to his reputation as one of the state’s best netminders, stopping a pair of breakaways for North’s Andrew Bruno.
“We saw him play last year here. He stood on his head and you knew that he could be good,” Williamsville North coach Bob Rosen said. “We struggle sometimes against good goalies this year and I think scoring the first goal, we thought we could match up well and you know limit their opportunities.”
The Spartans’ (21-4) consistent pressure finally cracked Spero with 3:17 left in the first period. Tyler Durfee put a low shot on from the right faceoff circle that junior Trevor Cavalier got a stick on. The deflected shot beat Spero to put the Spartans in front for the lone goal of the game.
“I saw where the shot was coming, but I thought my defenseman was tying (Cavalier) up in front,” Spero said. “He got his stick loose and was able to poke it right through my arm.”