HATS FOR GEIGER
La Salle senior Sebastian Geiger nets hat trick in 5-2 upset win over Albany Academy
TROY, N.Y >> After La Salle senior Sebastian Geiger scored two goals against CBA on Wednesday February 6, La Salle Head Coach Tim Flanigan had a pretty blunt message for him.
“I said to him that next time you score two, you better get the hat trick,” said Flanigan. “We moved him up to forward a few weeks ago and he has done a great job. He’s a big body and he’s got a good sense around the net.”
Geiger took Flanigan’s advice to heart as he racked up a hat trick Saturday on Senior night when La Salle upset the Capital District High School Hockey League third place team in Albany Academy 5-2
“All of the seniors got a point tonight and it feels good to get a big win with all of us on the board,” said Geiger. “It was big to get a nice win against them on our Senior night in an awesome game.”
Along with Geiger’s three goals, senior Taylor Nitz and sophomore Brendan Witte each tallied goals of their own. Jack O’Bryan assisted on two goals and Spencer Carpenter contributed an assist of his own.
“Albany Academy is a rival of ours in a lot of sports,” said Flanigan. “And it was senior night. Our team has been playing really well over the last month, we let a couple of those games slip away, and tonight I thought the kids did a great job.”
La Salle put pressure on Albany Academy and put it on fast. Just 41 seconds into the game, Geiger tallied his first goal of the game on a bouncing puck in the slot. Geiger’s size let him muscle his way to a position to score.
Albany Academy responded nearly four minutes later with a goal of their own from Anthony Sericolo.
The teams took the 1-1 tie into the second period, and that is where the physicality of the La Salle team appeared.
As both teams began to play more and more physical, it became apparent the refs were going to let the game play out. At 13:04, Geiger scored his second goal. A strong shot from just inside the circles slipped under Albany Academy goalie Dan Guy’s glove. Geiger’s goal gave La Salle a lead they would not give up for the remainder of the game.
The second period continued with both teams playing physical. Albany Academy very clearly wanted to set up traffic in the middle of the ice and continued to force the puck there, but the La Salle de- fense stood stalwart in the attempts.
“They got a lot of pressure on puck and caused turnovers,” said Flanigan. “For the most part I thought it was a very clean game, a tight checking game. I thought the referees called a very good game.”
Taylor Nitz had a breakaway chance to end the second period, but his opportunity missed the net, sending La Salle to the locker room with just the one goal lead.
Albany took the ice in the third motivated to break the La Salle defense and were visibly frustrated. They continued to battle the whole period, but opportunities continued to escape them.
Witte scored at the 8:18 mark in the third off of a Guy rebound. Witte had the open net as he gathered the puck and buried it.
Witte’s goal came just seconds after a hit behind the Albany Academy net that could have possibly been classified as a boarding or from behind hit. But, the referees stayed consistent and let the game play itself out.
Albany Academy, understandably frustrated, began to pressure more and more, with nothing coming.
Finally, at 4:40 remaining in the game, a penalty on La Salle gave Albany a chance to generate some offense, and generate they did.
Just five seconds into the power play, Connor Momrow buried the puck into the back of the net, a possible momentum swing for Albany Academy had finally risen thanks to the power play chance.
With the goal, Momrow now has 23 points on the season. Just second on the team behind Sericolo, who has 33.
La Salle did not let the Albany momentum last long. Just 28 seconds after the power play goal, Nitz got his redemption and scored.
After a Geiger empty netter to complete the hat trick and a scuffle born out of frustration, La Salle earned the Section II win on Senior Night.
Following the game, Albany Academy Head Coach Dave Rider commended La Salle’s great effort on the night.
“Every game is a learning experience, we’ve been learning as we are going,” said Flanigan. “I think to- night everything came together and the kids played really well. They played aggressive and we got a good outcome.”
La Salle is back in action on Tuesday, February 12 when they travel to Glens Falls to take on Adirondack. Albany Academy hits the ice Wednesday, February 13, against Queensbury in Glens Falls.
“We’ve been playing well. We played well against Burnt Hills and won. We played well against Bethlehem and lost. They were one goal games going into the third period,” said Flanigan. “We are right there. I told the kids we need to keep believing in what we are doing and in each other and play with confidence and we will turn it around. Tonight was great.”
LaSalle’s Jack O’Bryan and Albany Academy’s Anthony Sericolo line up for a face off on February 9at the Hudson Valley Community College Rink.
LaSalle Institute celebrates after scoring on February 9at the Hudson Valley Community College Rink.