Baldwinsville lay began on Friday in the Robert Conklin Memorial Tournament, with the Baldwinsville ice hockey team, fresh off a strong win over Fayetteville-Manlius earlier in the week, meeting the newly-formed Syracuse Cougars (a combination of the Corcoran and Solvay teams) in a tense opening-round classic.
For two periods, neither side could score, Nick Harper doing a sensational job in goal for B’ville on his way to 32 saves for the night.
Then the Bees got on the board in the third period, thanks to Matt Abbott’s goal (fed by Matt Zandri), but Syracuse’s Ben Walsh converted, too, leaving it at 1-1.
Neither team would score in overtime, the Bees constantly thwarted by Cougars goalie Jimmy Albright, who amassed 46 saves.
So it would get settled in a penalty shoot-out. And the Cougars prevailed, Matt Thompson beating Harper for the decisive goal.
So as Syracuse advanced to the final against Ithaca (where it would prevail 2-1), the Bees settled for a consolation game against Fulton, who lost to the Little Red 8-1 in the other half of the opening round.
Quickly recovering from the long battle the night before, B’ville won 4-1. Spending most of the game in Fulton’s end, the Bees took 60 shots, but only led 2-0 after two periods, a tribute to the work by Red Raiders goalie Brandon Ladd, who picked up 56 saves.
Just as with F-M, the four goals came from four different players – Parker Ferrigan, Ronnie May, Charlie Bertrand and Truman Strodel. Abbott, Zandri and Robbie Bertrand joined Ferrigan in the assist column, while Harper was well-protected, only having to make 11 saves.
After visiting Cortland-Homer on Tuesday, B’ville has another big home event next Friday when five-time defending Division I champion West Genesee visits Lysander, which is likely to draw one of the season’s biggest crowds.