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B'ville hockey sweeps to Conklin Tournament title

B'ville maintained control by killing off several of its own penalties in the second period, goaltender Chris Johns making several important stops during those sequences. Then the Bees picked up a 5-on-3 situation, and Zandri scored on a shot from the point to expand the margin to 3-0 - but Zandri was just getting started.

Early in the third period, Shane O'Brien's deft pass sent Zandri in alone on a breakaway, and he got his second goal. After Newman got his second tally off a pass from Ferrigan, Zandri saw his fluttering shot find the net with 3:48 left to complete the hat trick.

B'ville has reached the Section III Division I finals each of the last two years. Both times, it has lost to West Genesee, including a 4-0 decision in 2010 that helped push the Wildcats to an undefeated 25-0 mark and a state championship.

To get back to the finals, the Bees need to climb through an expanded Division I field. State-mandated realignment sent several Division II sides, including Hamilton, Solvay, Watertown IHC, Rome Free Academy, Utica Proctor, Cortland/Homer, Corcoran and Ontario Bay, up to Division I while Auburn and Oswego moved down to Division II.

B'ville now plays in Division I-A, and will face each of the 14 league opponents only once, which deprives the team of home-and-home showdowns with rivals like West Genesee and Liverpool.

Heavy snow kept the Bees from playing its league opener against Hamilton last Tuesday night. League play is set to begin this Tuesday against one of the newcomers, RFA, at Kennedy Arena before returning to Lysander Thursday to face Cortland/Homer.

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