Dec 09, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
After a hiccup at the start, the Liverpool ice hockey team got a valuable tournament title at Ontario Bay to wrap up a productive opening week of the 2013-14 season.
For the Warriors, who went 7-12-1 a season ago, play began last Tuesday night, when it met the Baldwinsville team at the Lysander Arena facility both call home and could not hold an early lead in a 4-3 defeat to the Bees.
Liverpool jumped on top, 2-0, by the end of the first period. From there, though, B’ville’s defense cracked down, producing a second-period shutout and allowing the hosts to pull even, 2-2.
Then they went back and forth from there, the Bees taking a 3-2 lead, only to have Liverpool tie it minutes later before a goal midway through the final period got B’ville in front for good.
Kody Gaulke, J.T. Muolo and Dalton Horton had Liverpool’s goals, with Gaulke adding two assists. Horton and Muolo each had one assist. Steve Kozikoski finished with 25 saves. Four different players – James Pelcher, Matt Abbott, Matt Zandri and Garrett Gray – had the four B’ville goals as Nick Harper, playing in goal, recorded 27 saves.
From there, Liverpool moved on to the Ontario Bay Tournament, where in Friday’s opening round the Warriors took its own shot at Mohawk Valley and blanked the Raiders 3-0.
This was a steady, consistent effort on the Warriors’ part, as it scored once in each period and, with its defense, took away all of MV’s opportunities as Kozikoski stopped all 18 shots he faced.
Just as with B’ville, the production was spread around, too. Horton, Zach Vivenzo and Bobby Welch each scored a goal, with Gaulke, Rocco Leone and Tyler Garofalo earning the assists.
This led the Warriors to Saturday’s championship game against Watertown IHC, who had smashed past host Ontario Bay 8-1 in the other opening-round contest.
This didn’t matter to Liverpool, though, as it overcame squandering a two-goal lead in regulation and would beat the Cavaliers 3-2 in overtime to earn the first-place trophy.
Liverpool bolted to a 2-0 first-period lead as Horton notched one goal and assisted on the other, by Gaulke. Tom Bianchi got a pair of assists. IHC would fight back, getting on the board with Jared Pignone’s goal in the second period, and pulling even when Pignone found the net again in the third period.
Having gone cold, the Warriors’ attack would pick up when they went to OT as Gaulke, seizing the initiative, got open near the net and pushed a shot past Cavaliers goalie Trent James to win it. Prior to that, James had made 28 saves, seven more than Kozikoski.
Liverpool now turns to Wednesday’s game against Cicero-North Syracuse at the Twin Rinks, to be followed by a weekend trip to Westchester County, near New York City, to face Scarsdale and Rye.