Notre Dame drops Geneseo in order to advance to Section V Class B Hockey Semifinal

Posted By on Feb 19, 2017 | 0 comments

Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Sunday, February 19, 2017 |


The old barn on Evans Street in Batavia had at least one more classic contest in it, as yesterday at Falleti Ice Arena, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dropped the Geneseo Lakers in a game for the ages.

Trailing 2-0 early-on in this one, largely due to sound play from Geneseo netminder Isaac Sweet, the Irish came all the way back throughout the next period and a half – using a second period goal from Dylan D’Alba…

And an early third period goal from Ryan Webster in order to tie the game at 2.

Despite the timely rush from the Irish, however, Geneseo was able to regain their footing, and just 8 seconds after Webster’s tally the Lakers regained the lead. It was Mitchell Walton for Geneseo scoring his second goal of the game, which put his team out in front 3-2.

Following Walton’s go-ahead tally, although things once again looked bleak for ND, their Captain Ryan Webster just wasn’t going to let the Irish go down that easily.

Two more goals for Webster in the third not only completed his hat trick, but also put his team ahead for the first time in the game – by a 4-3 margin. Minutes later, Jedidiah Reese scored an empty-net goal which served as the dagger in the heart of the Lakers’ chances of advancing to the Class B Semifinals.

Following the win, Notre Dame head coach Marc Staley was excited about his team’s gritty, well-composed effort.

“No quit in this team,” he said. “The kids responded well (to early struggles), and we kept our composure down the stretch. (I thought) Geneseo didn’t, and that was the difference in the game.”

After the early-game struggles for the Irish, Staley said he and is coaching staff got together and changed everything that his team was doing – which made a big difference.

“We literally changed everything after the first period,” said the Notre Dame head coach. “Our lines, our break-out, and our forecheck. They were jumping our breakout wrap and we had to start going up the middle.”

In regards to Staleys’ perception of the Lakers’ loss of composure, a few late-game Lakers’ penalties clearly played a big part in the outcome of the game – which came after Genese played a clean first-two periods. Perhaps the reason for their setbacks down the stretch, the Lakers were going for it all in this game – which was clearly shown by how they chose to use their top-two players Mitchell Walton and Billy McDevitt.

McDevitt was double-shifting forward and defense throughout the duration of crunch time, and Walton seemed to play every other shift throughout the contest.

“Right about the middle of the second you could feel the game start to turn,” commented Staley.

Different from Geneseo’s go-for-gusto mentality – which certainly helped them come out like gangbusters in the first period – the Irish ran 10 forwards, to the Lakers’ 8, throughout the entirety of the hard-fought contest – which likely gave them the advantage as the game got longer, and longer into the third period.

Either way, this win marks the fourth-consecutive for the Irish over the Lakers – dating back to a season ago – and Notre Dame is a total of 6-4 vs Geneseo dating back 3 years in what is becoming quite the Class B rivalry.

Moving forward, the Irish will head back to the Gene Polisseni Center at RIT – which is the same rink where ND won their 2015-2016 Section V Class B Championship.

“We love that rink,” concluded Staley. “Good memories there.”

The Irish will face-off with #1 seed Brockport on Wednesday at 5:00 pm at the GPC.

Stay tuned for a Section V Class B Hockey Semifinal Preview coming later.



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