BLUE STREAK BAT­TLE

Saratoga ice hockey falls to Ma­maro­neck, 5-4 in OT to open sea­son

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Stan Hudy [email protected]­gian.com @StanHudy on Twit­ter

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> The Saratoga Springs ice hockey team was one score, one rush, one save away from mak­ing its sea­son opener one for the ages. In­stead the Blue Streaks will have to set­tle for some valu­able lessons at the hands of vis­it­ing Ma­maro­neck in a 5-4 over­time loss in the open­ing round of the Don Kauth Memo­rial Ice Hockey Tour­na­ment at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink’s Weibel Rink Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Saratoga found it­self down by two goals on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions to the Tigers, in the open­ing pe­riod cour­tesy of 5-on-3 power play goal be­fore Blue Streak de­fense­man Char­lie Leary scored with seven sec­onds left in the open­ing stanza from as­sists by Joe Amodio and An­drew Blan­chard.

“We were with­out our cap­tain tonight, our cap­tain Mack Og­den went down with an in­jury,” first-year Coach Tim Horst said. “That’s a big loss for us, se­nior cap­tain, he’s our heart and soul of our team and I think that’s why we maybe we had a slow start tonight.”

Sara­totga knot­ted the con

test in the sec­ond, pres­sur­ing Tiger’s goalie Mad­lyn Boyle and saw Will De­tora put back a shot by Luke Shapiro from a Devon Worm­ley set-up.

The Blue Streaks didn’t help their cause forced to at­tempt to kill a four-minute board­ing penalty. Saratoga al­most com­pleted the task be­fore Ma­maro­neck made them play with 1 sec­onds left in the penalty to go up 3-2. Three min­utes later the Tigers re­versed the puck from the Blue Streaks end and de­posited it into the back of the net for an­other two-goal lead, 4-2.

“To­day’s les­son was just men­tal dis­ci­pline, Ma­maro­neck did a great job on the power play, three goals with a man-ad­van­tage,” Horst said. “We weren’t men­tally dis­ci­plined at the end of the game, that’s some­thing that we can con­trol and we’ll do it a bet­ter job of it in the fu­ture, but to­day we didn’t do a good job and it came back to bite us.”

With their backs against the wall in the opener, Horst pulled Saratoga goalie Brad Blake with four min­utes left and saw Joe Amodio find the back of the net from as­sists by Will De­tora and RI­ley Le­feb­vre, cut­ting the lead, 4-3.

Com­ing out of a time­out with two min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion Horst went to the well again, pulling Blake for the sec­ond time and it was the charm as Grif­fin Sarver knot­ted the con­test at four goals each from a Amodio and De­tora.

“It can back­fire pretty quick, if they score an empty net goal and then it’s 5-2, it’s very de­flat­ing,” Horst said. “It is en­ergy too and there is no to­mor­row, with no­body back there you ei­ther win that 50-50 race or they’re scor­ing a goal on you.

“Some­times it can cre­ate that en­ergy that you need. We needed it to­day, it hap­pened to work to­day which was great, it still didn’t come out for a vic­tory for us, but is some­thing the guys are be­hind and we be­lieve in.”

Nei­ther team was able to find the game-win­ner in the clos­ing min­utes of reg­u­la­tion and had to set­tle for a five minute over­time ses­sion — which wasn’t with­out its own fire­works.

WIth 1:45 left in over­time sev­eral play­ers came to blows and shoves, forc­ing the ref­er­ees to break up two scrums and hand out an ad­di­tional three penal­ties and a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion for a hit from be­hind. An­other Blue Streak trip­ping penalty 30 sec­onds later set up Ma­maro­neck se­nior cap­tain Jack De­laet’s game-win­ner with 25 sec­onds left.

“We like them to play with en­ergy, but it’s con­trolled chaos,” Horst said. “You have to know your role and you have top play within our sys­tem, you can’t fly around out there and try to take peo­ple’s heads off. We love that en­ergy, but at the same time you have to be dis­ci­plined.”

There were other lessons for the Blue Streaks to sleep on overnight be­fore fac­ing Wil­liamsville North 1 p.m. on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

“We have to work away from the puck a lot bet­ter, we’re do­ing a lot of puck watch­ing early on and when you do that you get be­hind the play and now you have to catch up and hook some­one, slash some­one,” Horst said. “Along the wall we have to be smarter about how we check peo­ple, we had a cou­ple plays along the wall where we got penal­ties be­cause we’re not smart along the wall and that’s dan­ger­ous.”

The open­ing night loss is far from detri­men­tal for the Blue Streaks, but Horst is look­ing for im­prove­ments.

“It’s early in the sea­son and these are lessons we are learn­ing with this group, they’ve never played to­gether be­fore in a real game sit­u­a­tion,” Horst said. “We have a lot of se­niors and ju­niors in the lineup, it’s kind of on them. How­ever far we go they’re go­ing to take us there.

“There is some re­turn­ing lead­er­ship in that room, so I ex­pect them to step up in times like this and kind of lead us.”

STAN HUDY/THE SARATO­GIAN

Saratoga Springs ju­nior for­ward An­drew Blan­chard faces-off with sticks up against Ma­maro­neck’s Michael Torre in the clos­ing min­utes of over­time Satur­day af­ter­noon at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink in the Blue Streaks sea­son opener.

STAN HUDY/THE SARATO­GIAN

Saratoga Springs se­nior de­fense­man Char­lie Leary looks to tip the puck past Ma­maro­neck goalie Mad­lyn Boyle in the sec­ond pe­riod of Satur­day’s sea­son opener for the Blue Streaks.

STAN HUDY/THE SARATO­GIAN

Saratoga Springs se­nior for­ward Joe Amodio looks to skate past Ma­maro­neck’s Char­lie Molin in the third pe­riod at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink Satur­day af­ter­noon.

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