The Blue Devils beat the Braves, 7-1, in the first of two meetings this season
CANANDAIGUA — The anticipation was high entering Tuesday night’s hockey game between the Canandaigua Braves and Victor Blue Devils.
A jam-packed crowd filled the bleachers of the Greater Canandaigua Civic Center to witness one of the area’s greatest rivalries.
For the host team, the game didn’t go as planned. For the visitors, it couldn't have gone any better.
Victor came out and was clicking on all cylinders. As the first period concluded, the Blue Devils headed to the locker room with a 3-0 lead.
“Great atmosphere tonight. We talk to our guys about keeping our emotions in check. Never getting too high or too low,” Victor head coach Michael Ferreri said. “First period, I thought we came out really strong. Canandaigua had some good chances and Pieter [Bartelse] made some good saves there in the first. It was nice. Simple goals in the first and getting pucks to the net.”
The Blue Devils' first goal came with just over seven minutes left in the first period. Senior defenseman Riley Hauf scored the goal, with the assist coming from forward Roman Czornobil.
Victor’s second goal of the game came about two minutes later. Senior defenseman Josh Albert scored the goal that proved to be the game-winner, and Czornobil picked up his second assist on the night.
The Blue Devils weren’t done with scoring in the first period, though. With less than 10 seconds left in the period, junior forward Liam Moore put one in the back of the net to make it 3-0. Moore’s goal was assisted by sophomore forward Alex Parton.
The fast start for Victor was impressive. But the thing that really stood out was the willingness of the team’s defensemen to step up and provide offense.
“We have guys who’re explosive,” said Ferreri on his defensemen. “I think Josh Albert had a couple of goals Tuesday night. He’s got potential to do that. He’s got great speed, great vision, and he can shoot the puck. So, I’m not surprised.”
After a handful of goals in the first, things started to slow down in the second period. No goals were scored in the period, and Victor’s junior goaltender Pieter Bartelse is probably the main reason for that.
“Yeah (he played great), especially in the second period. I think it was 3-0 still and they had a 5-on-3. He made a couple of backdoor saves that were lights out,” Ferreri said. “He’s good. He played really well. It was a special teams battle and he had to kill a ton of penalties Tuesday night. He was our best penalty killer.”
Victor certainly had to kill a ton of penalties, but the same was true for Canandaigua. The Blue Devils had a 5-on-3 power play to start the third period and they eventually scored. Sophomore forward Cal Lambert got the tally to make it 4-0 and junior forward Sam Bresson picked up the helper.
About three minutes later the Blue Devils made it 5-0, as senior forward Peter Rydzynski scored his first of the night. That prompted a goalie switch for the Braves, as Caleb Meyer came off the bench to replace Cade Chesler.
Meyer made some excellent saves early on, but eventually the Blue Devils got to him. Albert scored his second of the night with 8:29 left in the third period to make it 6-0. Then, less than a minute later, senior forward Ryan Briggs got on the board to extend the lead to 7-0.
However, the Braves weren’t going to allow a shutout on home ice. With 6:51 left in the third, forward Josh Fitzpatrick beat Bartelse to cut the deficit to 7-1.
Canandaigua head coach Pat Wade shared his thoughts after the game on the tough loss.
“Well, I think we took a lot of undisciplined penalties. When you give teams like that power play opportunities, it could cost you,” Wade said. “I thought we had a better second period. Then we took a couple of penalties at the end that caused the 5-on-3.
“What our kids need to learn from this is to play with discipline. I don’t mind the physical play, but you have to do it cleanly. We talked about that and we have a solid group of leadership and we’ll get back to work on Wednesday.”
After Tuesday night’s result, both Canandaigua and Victor now hold a record of 3-1 on the season. The teams will meet again for a rematch on Jan. 15 at Rochester Ice Center.