In a penalty-filled game Thursday night, Saratoga took down Shen 5-1, with the teams receiving seven and five 90-second penalties, respectively. The game drew a huge crowd for Saratoga for the White Out Weibel rivalry matchup. After a shaky start to the season, Saratoga finally entered the game with a full roster once again and came ready to play.
Both of the teams shared plenty of shots at each other through out the game. This game was one of the more physical ones that Saratoga has played all year. The rivalry could be seen on the ice and became very heated, with a few roughing penalties to show for it.
On the topic, Drew Patterson ’14 said, “It’s all a part of the game. When you have a big rivalry like this; things get heated.”
At the end of the first period, the game looked even as it was 1-1 in goals, one from Saratoga’s Jack Rittenhouse ’15, assisted by Patterson and Ian Frey ’15, and the other from Shen’s Kyle Marr ’15, assisted by Ryan Mortka ’14. The Plainsmen were just one ahead of Saratoga in shots.
The game really got going in the second period. Saratoga started picking up momentum after JT Rafferty ’15 scored the second goal for Saratoga around five minutes into the period, a low shot picked up from Brendan Coffey ’16. That was later followed by Grayson Rieder ’14 and Patterson adding on two more goals before the close of period two. Rieder knocked in the puck after getting it off a Shenendehowa defenseman, while Patterson’s goal came off of a Nick Conchieri ’14 to Rieder pass.
The Plainsmen defense was able to hold off the Streaks for most of the last period, until Ian Frey scored unassisted on an empty net with 31 seconds remaining.
“The effort overall was pretty good. I think you can expect more things from this team. I think we have another gear past what we showed today,” said Patterson, Saratoga’s away game against Shen in December ended in a 3-3 tie, with a similar number of penalties.
The defense did a great job tonight,” said goaltender Danny Hobbs ’16, who got a second chance after the earlier tie with Shen.
“It’s a hockey game, it’s over and we have to move on because that is not the type of team that we are,” Shenendehowa coach Juan de la Rocha said.
Coffey said, “I think if we can go out like we did with a two to three goal lead at the end of the second period we can win any game.” The Blue Streaks saw a subsequent 5-3 win against La Salle on Saturday in Troy, but still lag one point behind #1 Shenendehowa in section standings. Their last regular season game is against CBA on February 14 at Albany County Hockey Facility. Saratoga, if they remain the #2 Section 2 team, will then enter the sectional quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 19, against the winner of an earlier game between the #7 and #10 seeds of the section. These are currently Bethlehem and Guilderland/Mohonasen/Scotia, respectively.
For some players and fans, the Shen result might be even more important than the playoffs. “To beat these guys on senior night, nothing could really make me happier,” said Patterson.