Entering the new year with a 3-4 mark, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team would need a pair of strong performances to rise above the .500 mark, but only accomplished half the task.
The Bees did prevail last Tuesday night, against Hamilton at Greater B’ville Ice Arena, as the defense took over in the latter stages of a 4-2 victory over the Emerald Knights.
B’ville trailed, 2-1, after one period, as Hamilton star Alex Brink put in one goal and assisted on the other, by Logan Warren.
But the Bees surged ahead in the second period and stayed there behind a back line that tightened up and blocked shots in front of Chris Johns, who finished with 26 saves.
Steve Schneid shined on the offensive end, scoring twice, including what proved to be the game-winner. Shane O’Brien and Justin Newman had the other goals, while Brendan Albright picked up two assists. Luke McCaffrey, Matt Zandri, Parker Ferrigan and James Wadsworth earned assists, too.
On Friday night, B’ville would go to Cicero Twin Rinks to face Fayetteville-Manlius. Ravaged by injuries, the Bees started fast, but could not sustain it, losing to the Hornets by that familiar 4-2 margin.
Newman and Ronnie May both converted in the first period, pushing the Bees in front 2-0 as Ferrigan and Schneid earned assists.
However, F-M, led by Anthony Angello’s pair of assists, pulled even, 2-2, by the end of the second period, and wore down B’ville in the late going.
Josh Pinard took his turn in the net and, like Johns in the Hamilton game, stopped 26 shots, but could not keep Angello from putting home the go-ahead goal on an end-to-end rush during the third period.
So the Bees are 4-5 as it hosts Solvay Tuesday before taking on Liverpool Friday night. The Warriors, who share the Greater B’ville Ice Arena with the Bees, saw head coach Mark Benedetto step down just before a 3-2 defeat to Ithaca on Saturday, with assistants Mike Temilia and Chris Mathes taking over for the rest of the season.