Oswego, NY – The Oswego Squirt I Snowbelt Hockey Team skated to second place finish at the Connor LaFrance Squirt Tournament recently in Saratoga.
The Bucs won all three games in the qualifying rounds before losing in the championship 3-2 to Camillus.
Oswego opened the tournament with a 9-0 win over the home team Saratoga Blue Knights. Aidan Taylor led the way with three goals and one assist. Spencer Stepien added 2 goals and an assist. Other netters were Joe Palmer, JJ Harter, Cole Cullinan, and Bryson Bush. Assists were credited to Derek Sabatini, Cullinan, and Bush (2).
Oswego Goalie Brandon Demling had 2 saves in the win. The strong play of Tyler May, Joe Palmer, Alex Thorpe, Alex Vescio, and Billy Waterbury helped secure the victory.
The Oswego Squirts battled to a 2-1 win the following day over the Camillus Cougars. After a scoreless first period, Bush got the scoring started for Oswego at the 5:09 mark of the second. Taylor would add another just minutes later off a feed from Cullinan. Camillus would net their lone goal in the third period.
Demling made 11 saves in capturing Oswego’s second win of the tournament.
In the final qualifying game of the tourney, Oswego won a 6-1 matchup over the Bethlehem Eagles. Stepien netted a three-goal hat trick, Taylor added two goals, and Bush added a score. Registering assists were May, Cullinan (2) and Waterbury.
Oswego goalie Demling picked up 17 saves in the win.
The win over Bethlehem advanced Oswego into the championship against the Camillus Cougars.
In the championship game, Oswego jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after the first period. Stepien got the scoring started again for the Bucs at 10:05 of the first, followed just minutes later by a Waterbury goal.
Despite strong Oswego play over the next two periods, Camillus netted two goals to take the 3-2 win. Demling played strong once again in net with 31 saves, despite the loss.
“I was so proud of these kids throughout the tournament,” said Oswego Head Coach Dan Taylor. “Their progress to this point of the season has been incredible, and it was evident all weekend-long in Saratoga.
“While it is never easy losing in a championship game, it should be noted that our goalie Brandon Demling allowed only five goals in the four games, and our offense was very productive scoring 19 goals. It’s hard to ask for more than that,” he added.
The Oswego Snowbelt Squirt I coaching staff includes: Head Coach Dan Taylor and Assistants Pete Cullinan, Nick Demling and Shawn Ocorr.