The Step One Creative Peewee independent hockey team won the 2014 Perinton Big Thaw Hockey Tournament this past weekend in Fairport, outside Rochester.
The Bucs defeated the host Perinton team in the championship game, 3-1.
It was the second championship of the season for the Bucs. They won the CNY Cup in Clinton in December.
In this past weekend’s tournament, Step One Creative lost 2-0 against Perinton, won 8-1 over Webster, and won 3-1 against Canandaigua to earn a trip to the championship game against Perinton.
Perinton 2, Peewees 0
In the opening game of the Big Thaw against Perinton, the Step One Bucs fell 2-0 against the hometown Blades.
Despite the loss, the Bucs outshot the Perinton team 26-15.
Goalie Tyler Wallace had 13 saves in the contest, and played strong in the matchup.
“Our team really outplayed Perinton in the opener, but our opponents took advantage of two opportunities in the second period, and we could not respond,” said Step One Creative Head Coach Dave Morgia.
Peewees 8, Webster 1
Step One Creative’s next game against the Webster Cyclones provided a different outcome, as the Bucs found their offense and won 8-1.
The Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Step One’s Nick Burnett tipped in a shot from defender Monica Cahill.
In the second period, the Bucs jumped on the Webster team, when Derek Morgia scored a three-goal hat trick in just 31 seconds to make it 4-1. Dylan Reitz and Bryon Bush added assists on the goals.
With all of the momentum on Step One’s side, the Bucs added four more goals in the final period to complete the 8-1 win. Drake Morgia, Jack Rice, Reitz and Spencer Stepien each added goals, and Rice and Gavin Neuland added the assists.
Strong pressure throughout the game by Christian Talamo and Ryan Mosher on offense also contributed to the win, as well as a relentless defense led by Brandon Graham, Isaiah Raby, Reitz, Bush and Cahill.
Wallace had 8 saves in net to secure the win.
“Our kids came out very strong and played great at both ends of the ice,” Assistant Coach Bill Cahill said.
Peewees 3, Canandaigua 1
In their third tourney matchup, Step One Creative defeated Canandaigua 3-1.
The contest was a rematch from a game held the previous weekend at Oswego, in which the Bucs lost 3-2.
“They really wanted this win, and knew that if they played strong throughout the game they would redeem the previous weekend’s loss, and also earn a spot in the championship game,” Morgia said.
Tyler Eckert got the scoring started for Step One Creative in the first period, with a strong coast-to-coast effort through the Knight defenders.
Neuland added a nice backhand goal off a feed from Cahill and Stepien later in the second period, before Derek Morgia iced the game in the third to make it 3-1.
Wallace played strong in net once again with 16 saves to earn the victory.
In the championship game of the 2014 Perinton Big Thaw Tournament, Step One Creative once again faced off against Perinton, but it was the Bucs that took control of this game pressuring the Blades in their zone throughout the matchup to capture the 3-1 win.
After falling behind just seconds into the game 1-0, the Bucs took control of the game in the second and third periods with three goals coming from Tournament MVP Derek Morgia. The hat trick was Morgia’s second of the weekend.
“Our players were ready for this rematch and wanted this championship,” said Cahill. “This was a great team win and everyone contributed on both our offense and defense.”
“It was great to finish the season with this tournament win, and our coaches were very pleased to see the strong effort this weekend.”
Step One Creative finished their strong season with a 19-18-3 record.
The Step One Creative Peewee coaching staff included: Head Coach Dave Morgia and Assistants Bill Cahill, Bob Graham, David Morgia, Jr. and Rob Raby.