The Batavia hockey team had a speed advantage over Geneseo/Livonia, but didn't get much of a chance to use it and because of that had a close game in the opening round of sectionals, which they won 3-2 at Faletti Ice Arena Wednesday.
The fifth-seeded Blue Devils couldn't get the offense going against the 12th seed because officials called a total of 15 penalties in the game.
"I think we tend to play at the other team's level," Batavia coach Paul Pedersen said. "I told the team that anytime you are in sectionals, any team can beat any other team. We have been coming out flat and we need to fix that."
Batavia had a power play early in the first period, but couldn't capitalize and Geneseo/Livonia didn't wait long before starting the scoring. Max Hartnett scored off assists by Jeff Webster and Xavier Copeland at the midpoint of the frame.
It took five minutes, but the Blue Devils managed to tie the game with 2 1/2 minutes left in the opening period when Erik Pokornowski scored an unassisted goal.
The Lakers didn't wait long to get the lead back, scoring just 40 seconds later when Webster scored off passes by Copeland and Mike Donals.
"When we fell behind 2-1, we knew we had to work hard," Pokornowski said. "We had to keep working our system and just work hard and we would be okay."
Batavia failed to convert on three more power play chances before finally taking advantage of one. Geneseo/Livonia's Rick Hilimire was whistled for a cross-check and a game misconduct, meaning the Blue Devils had a power play for 1:30 and Hilimire had to sit for 10 minutes. Pat Finnell scored seconds later to tie the game off an assist by Pokornowski.
All momentum had shifted and Blake Polito scored 1:30 later to give Batavia an edge they wouldn't give up. It was his first varsity goal.
Geneseo/Livonia had some quality chances in the closing minutes, but a pass to the point bounced over a players puck with seconds left, killing any chance of a comeback.
Batavia (14-8) had a 29-16 shots on goal advantage as Austin Thiele made 26 saves for G/L (3-19-2) and Adam Kurek had 14 stops for Batavia.
The Blue Devils will play No. 4 Spencerport at the ESL Centre at Noon on Saturday.
"They beat us pretty good the first time," Pokornowski said. "Our goal is to win sectionals and we are going to have to play our best to beat them."