Liverpool forward Nick Northrup (9) sends the puck up the ice and skates past a Fulton defender in last Tuesday night’s game at Lysander Arena, where the Warriors lost, 7-2, to the Red Raiders.
A wild season-opening win at Auburn on Nov. 29 may have given the Liverpool ice hockey team a boost, but the 7-6 decision also revealed that a lot of work would need to get done on the defensive end if the Warriors wanted to seriously threaten West Genesee and the other top Section III Division I contenders.
The home opener didn’t take place until last Tuesday night, when the Warriors took on Fulton, who had gone from surrendering 13 goals to Skaneateles in its Nov. 30 opener to a third-place finish at Baldwinsville’s Bobby Conklin Memorial Tournament, routing Cazenovia 9-2 in the consolation bracket final.
Now, at that same Lysander Ice Arena, Fulton took the measure of Liverpool, and broke open a close game in the second period with a five-goal outburst, far more than the Warriors could overcome as it fell to the Red Raiders 7-2.
Fulton grabbed a 2-0 first-period before that mid-game Fulton outburst. Even goals from Connor Boland and Tyler Dorval didn’t change things as Bobby Welch, who had four goals in the Auburn game, only managed a single assist in this game, with Tommy Bianchi also getting an assist.
Between them, Warriors goalies Adam Bleiweiss and Sebastian Jesmore made 20 saves, but Liverpool’s defense still proved too generous. Garrett Smith and Rocco Cannatta both scored twice to lead a well-balanced Fulton attack as Joe Galvagno added a goal and two assists.
Now the Warriors went north to play in last weekend’s Ontario Bay. In the opening round Friday night, the Warriors again lost, 4-3, to Mohawk Valley, the difference coming when the Raiders netted the only goal of the first period.
From there, Dorval nearly brought Liverpool back, scoring once in the second period and twice more in the third period for a hat trick as Tommy Bianchi assisted on all three of those goals and Jeff Gentile also got an assist. But Mohawk Valley held on behind 40 saves from goaltender Michael Eastman and an attack led by Dan Deal, who scored twice, and Henry Froass, who had a goal and two assists.
In Saturday’s consolation game, the Warriors did get its first win of the season, beating host Ontario Bay 8-4, a game that was close until the third periors, when Liverpool outscored the Thunder 4-1.
This time it was Bianchi with the hot goal-scoring hand, finding the net three times for a hat trick as Dorval got two goals and two assists and Boland notched two goals and one assist. Gentile added one goal and one assist as John Coggiola earned two assists and Pat Langlois added one assist.
So at least the Warriors were in the win column in advance of welcoming reigning sectional champion West Genesee to Lysander Arena Wednesday, a venue the Wildcats just visited last Friday to beat Baldwinsville 3-1 – and it only figures that, after WG, the Warriors go down the hall to the other Lysander rink to face B’ville on Friday night.