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.