By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
HAMMONDSPORT — Four goals in the first half was all the Hammondsport Lakers needed to make their presence known on Wednesday, three of them coming in the last five minutes before the break to keep visiting Friendship/Scio in the rearview mirror on their way towards a 5-0 shutout.
The Lakers would strike first five minutes after the opening kick at center, with Luke Szathmary finding the back of the net on his unassisted rush into the Friendship/Scio (1-6) zone. The lead would hold steady across a midfield battle for the majority of time left in the half, up until the hosts ripped open a three-goal spurt in the last five minutes before the buzzer to take a 4-0 lead, led by TyChristopher Ritter’s pair of goals.
The scoring concluded five minutes into the second half with Ritter completing his hat trick for Hammondsport, putting a bow on a 15-shot effort for the offense. As for Friendship/Scio, Derek Perkins made 10 of those saves in between the posts, while the offense conducted an eight-shot effort of their own doing — all of which were set aside by goalkeeper Ethan Buckley for the shutout.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 4, Jasper-Troupsburg 1
TROUPSBURG — A solid well-rounded offensive effort from Genesee Valley/Belfast allowed them to set the tone in their return to action on Wednesday, as they compiled a lead at the end of the first half and built onto it insurmountably to further cement their victory on the road, coasting past host Jasper-Troupsburg with a 4-1 victory.
“J-T is a solid team, and I thought we played well. It’s the most complete game we’ve played this season,” said GV/Belfast coach Mark Sullivan. “Thai (Norasethaporn) made some big saves in the second half when they were starting to get some chances. We started to click, and it’s made a difference the past couple of games. We’re looking forward to what B-R will bring coming up. This kind of game tonight will help us prepare for it. We have to bring our best against one of the best right now.”
Evan Turybury and Sal Gambino got the scoring started for Genesee Valley/Belfast (4-3), with Thayne Cobb handing out a helper to Gambino to assist in building a 2-1 lead after Jasper-Troupsburg found their way onto the board along the way, with Bryce Guerin recording the team’s lone goal.
With the narrow lead in hand, the Wildcats would try and apply as much pressure as they could on the visitors, but two more goals from the Genesee Valley/Belfast offense would put away the game for good in the second half, as Turybury found the back of the net a second time off a Justin Hill pass, and then a goal from Cobb later on to seal the deal.
Genesee Valley/Belfast outshot Jasper-Troupsburg by a 15-5 count, with Thai Norasethaporn making four saves to declare victory in between the posts. Nolan Barney made 11 saves for the Wildcats.
Houghton Academy 3, Alfred-Almond 2
ALMOND — The Panthers of Houghton Academy would pick up a large opportunity to strike on in the first 40 minutes of play, garnering a penalty kick to take a lead that they would hang onto in the end despite a late push from host Alfred-Almond in the last 10 minutes, as they edged out the Eagles by a 3-2 count on Wednesday.
The scoring started with Pedro Rebello, who elected to take a free shot at the Alfred-Almond net in the opening half of play, seeing his chance go into the back of the net to give the Panthers (5-2) a lead after the first 40 minutes that they would gradually build over time into the last session.
But the late comeback was too much to overcome in the end, as Houghton Academy held on for their third straight win despite being outshot by Alfred-Almond by a 12-8 count. In goal, Marco Zanini would grab the win behind 10 saves.
Shams Zia and Lucas Matias would add more damage for the Panthers later on, with Zia taking a pass from Jack Prentice on the way in, while Matias provided a solo rush into the Alfred-Almond zone to branch out the team’s lead to three for the majority of the game. The Eagles would eliminate the shutout with two quick goals in a three-minute span down the homestretch, as Blake Ledbetter and Nolan Tormey went back-to-back to cut their deficit down to one.