Solvay hockey earns crown at King of Coliseum Tourney

On the day after Christmas, the Solvay ice hockey team was back on its home ice, taking part in the annual King of the Coliseum Tournament and looking for the momentum that only a first-place finish could provide.

Fully in control during last Tuesday's opening round, the Bearcats jumped all over Westmoreland on its way to a 6-3 victory over the Bulldogs.

With Tim Burgess getting three assists to go with his single goal, Solvay built a 5-1 lead through two periods.

Neal Purcell scored twice, as Ryan Chapman, David Cosgrave and Josh Schneider joined Burgess in the one-goal column. Nick Downs, Matt DeGilio and Nick DeStaffan earned assists.

As the game wore on, Westmoreland's attack increased -- but, for the most part, Joey Poppe held up to it, finishing with 34 saves.

A day later, in the finals, Solvay met Division II West league rival Ontario Bay, the Storm having rallied to beat Hamilton 4-2 in the other opening-round contest.

Here, the Bearcats would make its move in the late going, scoring twice in the final period to pull away and earn a 3-1 victory.

Again, Purcell found the net, with Josh Ginestro and Mike Smith also earning goals. Burgess twice gained assists, with Cosgrave and Mike Sniffen each earning one assist.

Poppe again faced a lot of attacks -- and turned away 37 of Ontario Bay's 38 shots, in turn finishing as the tournament's MVP. Burgess, Cosgrave and Purcell joined Poppe on the All-Tournament team.

Now with its record boosted to 3-7, Solvay hoped the momentum carried over into 2007, starting with Wednesday's game against Corcoran.

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