Hockey Wildcats blank B’ville, clinch division title

Feb 01, 2017  Phil Blackwell  Eagle Observer

Garrett Bville

West Genesee defenseman Garrett Schnorr (14) puts a hit on Baldwinsville’s Chris Speelman during Wednesday night’s game at Shove Park. The Wildcats shut out the Bees 2-0 to clinch the Division I American Conference regular-season title.

 

 

 

 

 

If the West Genesee ice hockey team travels again for a game, the first trip won’t be long- just downtown, to the War Memorial, with a Section III Division I championship on the line.

That isn’t until Feb. 25, which means the Wildcats get to spend most of this decisive month not having to go anywhere other than Shove Park, and that includes the Section III playoffs.

As a result of its 2-0 victory over Baldwinsville Wednesday night on home ice, WG clinched another Division I American Conference regular-season crown, and did so by relying on staples familiar to anyone who’s watched the Wildcats through the years – defense, puck possession and timely goals, especially on special teams.

When they first met Dec. 9 at Lysander Arena, WG got past B’ville 3-1, but it took tremendous defense by the Bees to keep the game close since it only managed just 14 shots on goalie Sammy Colabufo.

Determined to turn that around, B’ville was much quicker out of the gate in this second encounter, applying plenty of pressure in the opening minutes, and doing so again just as the first period ended, adding up to eight shots that Colabufo had to glove.

In between those spurts, though, WG’s vaunted possession game led to long stretches in the Bees’ end. However, none of the Wildcats’ 13 shots got past Alex Rose.

So it was still 0-0 early in the second period, but Dan Colabufo, Sammy’s younger brother, broke the deadlock in an exciting manner, taking a pass from Garrett Schnorr and breaking up the middle of the ice before flinging a backhand shot past Rose inside the top left corner of the net.

When B’ville tried to pull even during a power play, the Wildcats didn’t sit back. Instead, at the 6:42 mark of the second, Ryan Washo flashed open in front of the net and, taking a pass from Jay Considine, converted a short-handed goal.

Rose would stop everything else from there, but the fact that he had to work so hard was again a tribute to the pressure WG put on, which also helped on the other end of the rink.  Schnorr, John Galimi and the rest of the Wildcats’ defense rarely gave the Bees a chance in the game’s latter stages.