The Pathfinder Bank Peewee team of the Oswego Minor Hockey Association won 5 consecutive games to capture the Division 1 John Abbott Memorial (JAM) Tournament Championship over the weekend. The JAM is the annual year-end tournament for the Central New York Snowbelt League. This year’s tournament was hosted by the Fulton Youth Hockey Association.
The tournament featured the top five teams from the league’s regular season. The tournament format was for each team to play 4 round-robin games, after which the top two teams would advance to Sunday’s Championship game.
The JAM Championship capped a remarkable season for the Pathfinder Bank squad. The team’s overall record was 38-7-4. The Oswego team reached four tournament finals, and were champions twice. They also captured the Snowbelt League regular season championship with a league record of 15-1.
The following is a recap of the weekend’s JAM tournament games:
Friday AM – Oswego 6 – Fulton 1
Oswego’s Ethan Snyder opened the tournament scoring in Friday morning’s game with a first-period goal, assisted by Josh Susino. Pathfinder defenseman Michael Chesare then took over, netting five consecutive goals to round out the Oswego scoring. Ryan Gunther and Justin DeGrenier pitched in with assists.
Great backchecking from Derek Fitzsimmons and Jake Boni broke up numerous Fulton scoring attempts.
Oswego goalie James Jaskula was outstanding, stopping 24 Fulton shots.
Friday PM – Oswego 9 – Lysander 2
Lysander jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after the first period, but Oswego roared back. Three second-period goals by Gunther, and one each by Boni and Chesare, gave Oswego a 5-1 lead entering the final period. Lysander scored again, but Gunther, Chesare, Boni, and Snyder each added third-period goals to give Oswego its margin of victory.
The Pathfinder team displayed terrific passing throughout the game. David McNulty and Chesare each had three assists to earn playmaker recognition, and assists were also credited to Christopher Hannock, Fitzsimmons, and DeGrenier.
Excellent defense by Oswego’s Collin Krassowski, Cody Scruton, and Timmy Woodard repeatedly frustrated the Lysander offense.
Jaskula was again solid between the pipes, and turned away 19 Lysander shots.
Saturday AM – Oswego 5 – Camillus (#2) 2
Gunther scored an unassisted goal just over a minute into Saturday morning’s game, and Oswego never looked back. He later netted two more goals to record his second consecutive hat-trick. Chesare scored twice to give Oswego a 5-0 lead. Boni and Woodard each had an assist.
Camillus scored twice in the third period, but that was all Jaskula would allow, as he made 21 saves.
Oswego’s Wil Wilder had an outstanding game, moving from offense to defense with equal skill.
Saturday PM – Oswego 4 – Camillus (#1) 1
On Saturday afternoon, the Pathfinder squad faced the Camillus team that had handed them their only Snowbelt League loss of the regular season.
Oswego quickly went to work to avenge the defeat. Two first period goals by Chesare, and one from Snyder, assisted by Chesare, gave Oswego the lead for good. Gunther added a goal in the final period.
Intense forechecking by Hannock and Wilder kept Camillus pinned in their own end for much of the game.
Jaskula had 18 saves in the win.
Sunday Championship Game – Oswego 7 – Camillus (#2) 1
The Pathfinder Bank squad was determined to capture the championship as Sunday’s game began. Just 13 seconds after the opening face-off, Gunther slammed in the rebound of a shot by Chesare to give Oswego the lead.
Camillus could not find a way to stop the Oswego offense. Snyder had three goals for a hat-trick, and Chesare and Gunther each had two. Assists were credited to McNulty, Susino (2), and Chesare (3).
As he had all weekend, Jaskula rose to the challenge in the net, making several sensational saves. He turned away 18 shots, giving him an even 100 saves for the weekend.
The Oswego defensive unit of Scruton, Krassowski, Woodard, and Chesare was virtually unbeatable during the tournament, and allowed just 7 goals in 5 games
Oswego defenseman Sean Dain, and forward Bryce Phillips, were unable to play over the weekend.
“We lost two great players when Sean and Bryce couldn’t play” said Oswego Head Coach David Kahn, “but our team responded, and the kids raised their level of play when they had to. We were up against the best teams in the league this weekend, and we couldn’t have been successful without a total team effort. Everyone played well, and each player was important in our victory. It was a great way to end a fantastic season”.
Coach Kahn also thanked the Fulton Tournament Committee for running an outstanding tournament. “It’s not an easy thing to do. They put in a lot of time and hard work, and did a great job.”
Kahn was assisted on the bench throughout the season by coaches Steve Boni, Chris Dain, and Matt Bourgeois.