After weather postponed the game for 24 hours, Shove Park Ice Rink in Camillus was packed with fans of both schools Saturday night to see West Genesee’s ice hockey team top the Baldwinsville Bees for the second time this season.
With the 3-1 victory, the Wildcats now have a five-point lead in Division I West that it will likely keep going into the Section III playoffs as it goes after a fifth consecutive sectional title.
Not only was the game a matchup between Division I West rivals and neighboring school districts, but it was also Senior Night for West Genesee.
Before the game, the team honored its three departing seniors: defenseman and captain Robbie Michel, forward and alternate captain Nate Colabufo and forward and alternate captain Tommy Hanley, as well as senior team manager Nino Carrodeguas.
The game was a hard-hitting and physical affair in which the two teams combined for 19 penalties. Though there were no fights, officials had to break up a few small skirmishes and there was often pushing and shoving after the whistle had blown.
B’ville struck first five minutes into the first period when forward Matt Herman beat WG goalie Henry Burns on a one-timer from a pass from defenseman Ronnie Bertrand.
Though it got a goal called back due to a high stick, the Wildcats would score twice in 36 seconds before the end of the first period. First, forward Jake O’Donnell tapped in a rebound off of Baldwinsville goalie Josh Pinard, then senior Robbie Michel scored on a wrist shot on the next shift.
The only other goal of the game came midway through the third period when Wildcat forward Ryan McDonald scored on a power play to double WG’s margin, which would hold up the rest of the way.
After shaking hands, the Wildcats lined up by the bleachers to salute the raucous home crowd at their last home game of the season.