Feb 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, it took a three-game win streak at the end of the regular season, but the Baldwinsville ice hockey team made it back to the .500 mark and, by doing so, gave itself a lot of momentum heading into the Section III Division I playoffs that start late this week.
Going to Kennedy Arena last Monday to face Mohawk Valley, the Bees again turned to its offense, which started fast and did not let up one bit in a 6-1 romp over the Raiders.
Having beaten Cicero-North Syracuse 6-0 in its last outing on Jan. 31, B’ville matched that production here, bolting out to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period. After an exchange of second-period goals, the Bees found the net twice more in the late going.
Adam Tretowicz led the way, earning a three-goal hat trick, with Matt Abbott scoring twice. Garrett Gray managed a goal and assist as Mike Schneid and Luke McCaffrey each had two assists. Carson Hayes also picked up an assist. Nick Harper was sharp in goal, turning back 25 of Mohawk Valley’s 26 shots.
Then, in Friday night’s regular-season finale against Fayetteville-Manlius at Cicero Twin Rinks, little was at stake, as the Hornets and Bees were both locked into their respective playoff placements.
But it still proved exciting as B’ville, trailing most of the way, rallied in the late going and prevailed, 2-1, on McCaffrey’s overtime goal.
Ryan Daly gave F-M a 1-0 lead as he scored off Trevor Pokines’ feed in the first period. And that was the only offense either team could muster for a while, B’ville continually attacking with its full lineup, but getting nothing past Hornets goalie Ben Napierala, who finished with 37 saves.
At the same time, though, the Bees were sound on the defensive end, making sure that F-M didn’t add to its lead, Harper having to make 27 saves this time around.
But the Bees kept attacking, and tied it, 1-1, in the third period when McCaffrey fed Schneid, who fit a shot past Napierala. It stayed that way until the five-minute OT period, when McCaffrey, taking a pass for Matt Monaco, put home the game-winner.
B’ville and Liverpool tied for second place in the Division I National Conference with 7-5-1 league records, but the Warriors owned the tie-breaker and will be on its home ice at Greater B’ville Ice Arena for the first round of the Division I playoffs Thursday night against Watertown IHC.
On that same night, the Bees will go to Meachem Rink to face the Syracuse Cougars at 7 p.m. The winner plays F-M or Rome Free Academy in the semifinals, with the sectional championship game set for Feb. 22 at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
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