Liverpool's ice hockey team, looking for its first Division I win of the season, took its shot at five-time defending champion West Genesee last Wednesday night at Shove Park.
And while the Warriors lost, 4-2, it did represent a significant step forward for a Warriors side completely overwhelmed by Wildcats teams in recent years.
With a much younger roster, WG is not expected to dominate as much, but still has plenty on hand. Liverpool got to them, though, with a goal in the first period, which kept the margin at 2-1.
However, the Warriors were unable to score again until the third period, mainly because it never had the puck all that much. WG’s attack was relentless, and only a gigantic effort from eighth-grade goaltender Steve Kozikowski kept it close as he made 51 saves.
Liverpool would tack on another goal in the third period as Conner Hurwitz and Tyler Garofalo got credit for finding the net, with Dalton Horton and Kody Gaulke earning assists. David Procopio led WG with two goals and one assist.
Encouraging as that was, things sank again in Friday’s 8-2 loss to Central Square, a game where the Red Hawks broke open a 1-1 tie with four unanswered goals in the second period.
Try as it could, Liverpool could not stop Central Square forward Kyle Bird, who had an incredible night, scoring six of his team’s goals and assisting on the other two. Horton and Gaulke managed the Warriors’ goals.
A day later, though, the Warriors broke its skid with a 6-2 victory over Watertown IHC. Liverpool dominated the first two periods, building a 5-0 lead, and cruised the rest of the way.
Gaulke, with two goals, and Conner Hurwitz, with two assists, led a well-balanced attack. Four others – Rich Hart, Zach Vivenzo, Don Husted and J.T. Muolo – earned single goals, with Horton and Rocco Leone picking up assists.