TO THE SPOILS GO THE VIC­TOR

Saratoga spoils La Salle In­sti­tutes “Cadets for Vets” night with the 5-2 road win

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Joe Boyle [email protected]­i­tal­first­media.com Sports Ed­i­tor

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.

BY JOE BOYLE [email protected]­I­TAL­FIRST­MEDIA.COM @BOYLERALERTTROY ON TWIT­TER

Saratoga and La Salle In­sti­tute played to a 5-2 Saratoga win Satur­day night, Jan­uary 12, at Hud­son Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege, after Wed­nes­day’s over­time thriller.

BY JOE BOYLE [email protected]­I­TAL­FIRST­MEDIA.COM @BOYLERALERTTROY ON TWIT­TER

Jack O’Bryan hits the ice run­ning on Jan­uary 12 at Hud­son Val­ley Com­muntiy Col­lege for “Cadets for Vets” where La Salle raised money for the Al­bany Hous­ing Coali­tion.

BY JOE BOYLE [email protected]­I­TAL­FIRST­MEDIA.COM @BOYLERALERTTROY ON TWIT­TER

Mack Og­den went down with a knee in­jury Satur­day, Jan­uary 12, at Hud­son Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege. Og­den did not re­turn to the game.

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