ROCHESTER — To the victors, go the spoils.
And to the best teams, come the individual accolades.
The 2012-13 season for the Rochester United hockey team was one of the best in program history. The United squad — made up of players from Rochester and Adams high schools — won the Oakland Activities Association Red Division title, claimed the conference tournament and, in doing so, placed five players on the All-Association roster.
But for two guys, the recognition went a little further.
“It really represents the season and the team that we had this year,” coach Craig Staskowski said of forward Michael Pelino being named the division’s MVP and Kyler Patenaude taking home Goalie of the Year honors. “These are the types of things that happen to successful teams, and these guys deserved it.”
Pelino was an offensive force all year for Rochester.
The senior capped his career with 14 goals and 29 assists, good for a team-best 43 points. He added two short-handed goals and was tied for the team lead with three game-winning tallies.
“Mike decided to come back and play as a senior, and he was a great leader both on and off the ice,” Staskowski said. “He was the type of kid you plugged in at every situation.”
“It was a pretty big deal (to be chosen MVP) because, to me, it meant the league recognized and respected me,” Pelino said. “I think I was chosen because our team won the league title, and I had a big short-handed goal in the championship game. … I thought the season was a success. Our team reached two of our goals, which was a tournament championship and a league championship.”
On the other end, Patenaude finished his junior season with an 8-5-0 record in goal, including a 1.63 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and two shutouts.
“He’s as talented as it gets in net,” Staskowski said. “He was the guy that played in all our big games, and he gave us a chance in every one of them. That’s something nice to have.”
“I was pretty honored,” Patenaude said. “I felt like I had worked so hard to put myself in a position to do something like this.”
While he has options beyond high school, Patenaude said he expects to return with Rochester next year.
“We accomplished so much this year,” he added. “I plan on being back for more.”