The threat of poor weather conditions this weekend forced a reschedule of No. 1 Genesee vs. No. 6 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex, and both teams took to Pinnacle Athletic Complex in Victor to square off on Friday night. Originally scheduled for Saturday at noon, both teams took the field at 10:30pm on Friday night and the top-ranked Cougars held off CCBC-Essex 13-11 in GCC's closest game so far in its early season.
Pat Van Bortle scored less than two minutes into the first quarter to give Genesee the lead and struck again just seven seconds later off of a face-off win and assist by Sean Gorenflo. The Knights got both goals back to tie the game at two before Davis Prince scored Genesee's lone man-up goal of the game at the end of the period to send GCC into the second quarter with a 3-2 lead.
Prince and Van Bortle went back-to-back to start the second quarter and Genesee held a 5-2 lead with 6:28 to go in the half. Seth Ferguson helped on Prince's goal and Van Bortle's came unassisted.
CCBC-Essex fought back and scored two in a row to cut the Cougars' lead to just one, but with one second left in the half, Baden Boyenko scored his only goal of the game to send GCC into the half with a 6-4 lead.
Sherman Williams scored one of his two goals in the third quarter at the 10:03 mark, and Van Bortle and Prince both found the back of the net in the frame, but the Knights outscored GCC 5-4 in the quarter and trailed 10-9 going into the fourth.
CCBC-Essex tied the game less than 15 seconds into the final quarter, but Williams, Van Bortle and Patrick Bilbrey scored in succession to give the Cougars a three goal lead at 13-10. The Knights added a late goal with less than a minute to go, but GCC ran out the clock to hold on for its second win of the year.
Van Bortle finished the game with five goals, and Prince and Williams each scored three times and added an assist.
Darin Eakins earned the win in net, logging all 60 minutes while making eight saves.
Genesee was one for three on man-up opportunities, and killed off all four penalties against in the game.
GCC (2-0) will return to action at home on Wednesday against Monroe CC. Face-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.