The Riverview hockey team ended the last decade on a ringing high note by winning the Gabriel Richard Christmas Tournament with a 3-2 overtime win over the host school.
The victory was Riverview’s eighth straight win and left the Bucs with 10 victories, as many as they had all last season.
Richard had won its Christmas tournament each of the last two years and the Pioneers were Division 3 state semifinalists last season, but those accomplishments did not intimidate the Pirates, who went toe-to-toe with their city rivals.
“Coming into the game, we knew that GR is one of the top teams Downriver and we have a good group of kids so I expected that we would compete with them, said Riverview coach Anthony Schooley.
The game was knotted at 2-all in overtime when Riverview’s Gavin Holmes ended it with a power-play goal with 5:49 to play in the extra period. Tommy Dunne assisted.
Riverview opened the game scoring with a goal from Ryan Herzog, assisted by Holmes. Holmes then scored later in the first period as the Bcs grabbed a 2-0 lead. That goal was assisted by Herzog and Dunne.
The Pioneers answered quickly when Jake Emery scored from Austin Harrison. And, in the second period, Harrison scored to level the game. Emery and Nathan Vazquez assisted on Harrison’s equalizer.
Afterward Richard coach Rick DeSana said some sloppy play hurt his team.
“They have a couple of very talented players and when you turn the puck over to them it is going to cost you and that is exactly what happened. They got two really nice goals,” he said.
Riverview goalie Josiah Dembrosky stopped 20 of 22 shots in the game and Richard’s Drew Adams got 29 of the 32 he faced.
At the end of the championship game, Riverview’s Herzog and Holmes were named to the all tournament team, along with Richard’s Robbie Chiles and Emery.
To reach the title game, Riverview knocked off Cabrini 3-2.
Ryan Herzog scored a pair of goals in the game and Jack Lenden had the other. Jake Geladin had two assists and Gavin Holmes, Aiden Gazdecki, Ben Lambert and Julian Johnson had one each.
Goalie Dombrosky stopped 20 of 22 shots for the victory.
Host Gabriel Richard reached the finals by beating Wyandotte 4-2.
Chiles (two), Gavin Fink and Jake Emery had goals for Richard, which broke up a 2-2 game with two unanswered goals in the third period.
Adams stopped 14 of 16 shots.
In the consolation finals, Cabrini knocked off Wyandotte 6-5 to claim third place in the tournament.
Riverview heads into 2020 leading the Michigan Metro League West Division and riding an eight-game winning streak.
The Bucs have beaten Richard, Cabrini, Grosse Ile, Dearborn Divine Child, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, Cap City, Cadillac, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Toledo St. Francis and Huron.
Upcoming, the Bucs will face rematches with Grosse Ile on Jan 22 and Huron on Jan. 29.
Gabriel Richard finished 2019 with a 7-3 mark and after playing in their Christmas Tournament the Pioneers quickly played two games in the new year, falling to Grosse Pointe South 5-1 Jan 4 and bouncing back to beat Allen Park 4-3 on Jan 7.
Upcoming for the Pioneers are games at Macomb Dakota on Jan. 20 and a home game at the Yack against the FNV Griffins of the Mid-Michigan Hockey Conference.
2019 GR Christmas Tournament champions
- Jalen McCray
- Julian Johnson
- Kyler Worley
- Ryan Herzog
- Thomas Dunne
- Ethan Borso
- Jack Lenden
- Luke Lenden
- Andrew Wojtowicz
- Jake Geladin
- Justin Severinski
- Luke Snow
- Benjamin Lambert
- Gabe Livernois
- Blake Schwartz
- Kyle Camilleri
- Zachary Werling
- Noah Christman
- Tyler Sprindys
- Aidan Gazdecki
- Gavin Holmes
- Josiah Dembrosky
- Jeremy Wright