Sophomore Addison Warriner’s power play goal with six minutes and 11 seconds to play lifted Batavia Notre Dame to a 4-3 victory over Webster Schroeder this afternoon in the championship game of the Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.
Host United, now 5-2, prevailed in a fast-paced, well-played contest between evenly-matched Section V hockey clubs
The game featured only seven penalties, but one of those infractions proved to be the difference, however, when Warriors’ defensemen Matt Grattan was hit with a five-minute major for checking from behind at the 10:21 mark of the final period.
BND fired off several shots at Webster Schroeder goaltender Peyton Sanfilippo over the next four minutes before finally cashing in on a Warriner slap shot, with assists going to Jameson Motyka and Gavin Schrader, to break a 3-3 tie.
From there, United employed its neutral zone trap scheme and managed to keep the Warriors off the scoreboard.
United Coach Marc Staley mentioned his team’s all-for-one, one-for all approach when talking about the game-winner.
“The attitude in the locker room is just next man up. And that's what happened, we popped in Addison Warner there in the middle on the power play, and he scores the game winning goal,” Staley said. “And so, what I love about this team is that we have this deep bench. And if someone's not getting it done, we can just bring somebody in to take care of business.”
Freshman Brady Johnson stepped up in a big way as he registered a “natural hat trick” with three consecutive goals for United – two as BDN took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission and a third that erased a 3-2 deficit in the second period.
Webster Schroeder opened the scoring on a goal by Aiden Baldwin (assisted by Gunnar Bolton) at 14:45 of the first period. Johnson evened things up at 4:38 when he took the puck the length of the ice, broke through two defenders and found the back of the net, and put the home team on top at 1:15 after taking a pass from Ronin Hofmaster.
The Warriors responded in the second period on a power play goal by Evan SanSoucie at 16:27 and an even-strength goal by Bolton (assisted by Ryan Reeves) two minutes later to regain the lead at 3-2.
United bounced back once again as Schrader and Hofmaster worked the puck to Johnson at the point and his shot beat Sanfilippo at 10:33 to knot things up.
“Brady is just an incredible talent – a player who mixes great skill level with just a huge compete factor,” Staley said. “He just willed that first goal and that really gave our bench some life.”
Johnson, Schrader, defenseman Andrew Kasmarek and goaltender Courtney Schum were named to the all-tournament team for United, joining Warriors Alex Bollis, Baldwin and Sanfilippo.
They each received medals that were presented by Mike McCarthy and Brian McCarthy, father and brother, respectively, of Dave McCarthy, a standout athlete who was killed in a car accident in 2006.
United outshot the visitors 31-18, but Schum made several spectacular stops among her 15 saves, including a shot at point blank range by Bollis with 1:02 remaining to preserve the lead.
Staley recognized the performance by Schum, who has been filling in admirably for injured starter Frank Falleti Jr.
“She's been steady the whole year for us,” he said. “She makes the saves she's supposed to make and we know when we stay out of the penalty box and we don't give up odd man rushes, she’s going to do the rest for us. I'm very happy for her making the all-tournament team as she deserved it.”
BND, already without forward Cooper Hamilton (broken collarbone) until sometime in January, lost its co-captain, Zack Eschberger, midway through the second period when he was hit from behind into the boards. He reportedly was being evaluated for a concussion.
“I’m really proud of this team for gutting it out,” Staley said. “I mean we were down some of our key players tonight, for different reasons. And then we lost Eschberger, so we’ve got to figure out what his status is going forward as we have a big game against Pittsford (6 p.m. Thursday at Batavia Ice Arena) coming up this week.”
Photo at top: Batavia Notre Dame players gather round goaltender Courtney Schum after the buzzer sounds, marking their 4-3 win over Webster Schroeder. Photo at bottom: Players, coaches and tournament officials celebrate with a group photo. Photos by Mike Pettinella.