Baldwinsville forward Chris Speelman (23) celebrates with teammate Jacob Abbey (29) the goal that proved the difference last Tuesday night as the Bees edged Mohawk Valley 1-0 on Senior Night at Lysander Arena.
Again, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team needed to regroup following a disappointing two-goal defeat to West Genesee on Feb. 2, and once more it would produce victories to regain some footing – a task even more crucial since the Section III playoffs loomed.
It was Senior Night when the Bees welcomed Mohawk Valley to Lysander Arena last Tuesday night. And while it was close, the Bees never found itself in major danger during a 1-0 shutout of the Raiders.
Through a scoreless first period, B’ville kept taking turns swarming the Mohawk Valley net, but could not convert. Immediately, it was apparent that the Raiders would not get run over the way it was when the Bees topped them 8-1 on Dec. 23.
Chris Speelman did break through in the second period, scoring off feeds from Nick Glamos and Jacob Abbey. Otherwise, no other shot would get past Mohawk Valley goalie Michael Eastman, who finished with 36 saves.
Unable to add to the lead, the Bees turned to its defense, who all game long made it difficult for the Raiders to establish any sort of an attack. Still, the pressure picked up late, and it took Alex Rose stopping all 30 shots he faced.
Two nights easier, at Watertown’s Fairgrounds, it proved easier as B’ville hammered the Cavaliers 11-1, which gave the Bees a final regular-season mark of 14-5-1.
Zach Perez picked up a three-goal hat trick, while Michael Carni had two goals and one assist. Josh Racha had a goal and two assists as Erica Monaco and Jake Boshart each contributed one goal and assist.
In all, 15 different B’ville players earned at least one point. Glamos, Zach Hall, Connor Carhart and Anthony Pompo poured in goals, with Jamey Natoli getting a pair of assists. Single assists went to Speelman, Ben Dwyer, Tanner McCaffrey, Parker Schroeder and Shane Sweeney.
Since it finished second in the Division I American Conference, it will face the National Conference’s third-place team, Cicero-North Syracuse, in the sectional playoffs Friday night at Lysander, with the winner to get Syracuse or Liverpool in the semifinals. The championship game is Feb. 25 at the Onondaga County War Memorial.