TO THE SPOILS GO THE VICTOR
Saratoga spoils La Salle Institutes “Cadets for Vets” night with the 5-2 road win
TROY, N.Y >> Just this past Wednesday, Saratoga and La Salle Institute Hockey couldn’t find a winner in regulation. Saturday night’s first period looked as if things would once again need a few extra moments to claim a winner.
Luckily, Saratoga Head Coach Dave Torres disagreed.
“No it wasn’t,” said Torres when asked if Wednesday’s overtime was in the back of his mind. “We just stuck to our systems, took it to them , got the puck deep, and got good shots on goal. That’s how things happen here.”
Saratoga and La Salle were able to find a winner in regulation as Saratoga walked away from Hudson Valley Community College with the 5-2 win over the Cadets on “Cadets For Vets” night where La Salle fundraised for the Albany Housing Coalition for the second straight year.
“It’s a great atmosphere and the kids and the parents do a great job of putting together the program for the ‘Cadets for Vets,’” said La Salle Head Coach Tim Flanigan. “We get great support from the school for the game and we are really happy we can help out the
Veterans at the coalition house.”
The Cadets sported special camouflage jerseys and held a ceremonial puck drop to begin the game.
Once the actual puck dropped on game time, there was no pageantry in how the Cadet’s and Blue Streaks played. Hard hits and physical play went back and forth. Both sides were getting penalties called and trading man advantages, neither squaring much of anything away.
With the physical play, injuries are bound to happen. It is part of the game, and Saratoga realized that when Captain Mack Ogden went down in the opening frame and did not return Saturday night.
“When you lose your captain it affects the guys in the locker room,” said Torres. “They played a little harder for Mack.”
The first goal of the game did finally come in the second period on the powerplay when Saratoga’s Michael Montague absolutely sniped the corner from the blue line. La Salle goalie Leo Paul had the difficult task of tracking the puck through traffic, and trying to stop the shot.
“The powerplay worked today, that’s a big thing,” said Torres.
Andrew Blanchard stuffed in a rebound on the open net with less than a minute left in the second period to give the Blue Streak’s a 2- 0 lead into the final frame.
“He knows where to be,” said Torres of the first year offensive threat in Blanchard. “He’s a smart player — he’s wanted to make this team so badly and now he is contributing so it’s good.”
In the third, another Montague shot from the point was too quick and beat Paul five hole along the ice for an insurmountable three goal Saratoga lead.
“He’s been stepping up in games recently,” said Torres of the two goal Montague. “He’s been climbing the depth chart and he’s really started to contribute. He’s one of our top defenseman now and he is only a sophomore.”
“It felt good, they were my first two of my career,” said Montague. “We had a lot of momentum coming in. That overtime win was a great win for our club and we wanted to take that win into this game and we played great.”
Despite the odds, La Salle fought tooth and nail.
“I thought we played better than the score,” said Flanigan. “We fought back — It was exciting when we got it to 3-2 and I thought we were going to get it done but then they got that breakaway goal.”
Both Sebastian Geiger and Nic Pauley scored and took the glass jump into the student section as La Salle tried to erase the Blue Streak’s lead.
But, Joe Amodio did what Joe Amodio does best. Amodio scored goals.
An odd man rush into a dangle of the defender that turned into a breakaway with just under three minutes left and an empty netter as time ticked down for Amodio gave Saratoga all the insurance it needed for a comfortable cushion.
“I think we’ve been playing really well hockey the last three games and we have to turn it around and play again Wednesday night at Shenendehowa,” said Flanigan. “We look to play hard and get the win.”
Despite the three goal differential, La Salle fought back and made a valiant effort.
With the win, Saratoga improves to 6-2 overall in league competition and 10-3 overall. La Salle’s loss makes them 3- 5 in league and 4-7-1 overall.
Both teams are back in action Wednesday when La Salle travels to Clifton Park to take on Shen at 7:30 and Saratoga hosts Bethlehem at 6:45 p.m. at Weibel Ave Rink.
Saratoga and La Salle Institute played to a 5-2Saratoga win Saturday night, January 12, at Hudson Valley Community College, after Wednesday’s overtime thriller.
Jack O’Bryan hits the ice running on January 12at Hudson Valley Communtiy College for “Cadets for Vets” where La Salle raised money for the Albany Housing Coalition.
Mack Ogden went down with a knee injury Saturday, January 12, at Hudson Valley Community College. Ogden did not return to the game.