Friday, January 2, 2014 by Matt Seehusen
Entering a tough matchup against Section I’s Suffern Mounties, the Saratoga Blue Streaks needed to bring a plethora of energy from all 21 players. One player, however, sparked the Blue Streaks offense with 2 goals, including the game-winner. This player was junior forward Elliott Hungerford, who helped lead his team to a 3-2 victory in overtime.
”It felt great, knowing you helped your team when they needed it” said Hungerford.
Entering the game, Saratoga was expecting a contest of physicality. Strong defense from both teams prevented anything easy coming from their opponent’s offense. Neither team could seem to get anything going on offense until late in the first period, when Hungerford slipped the puck past Mounties goaltender Sean Gordon.
”That first goal kind of energized us all,” Hungerford said, “and we just kept moving forward after that.”
The physical style of play continued from both teams in the second period, including large hits from Saratoga senior forward Zach Guzi, and an interference penalty assessed to junior forward Austin Patterson. At the 6:25 mark in the second period, Saratoga got on the board again, off an unassisted goal from sophomore Jake Fauler. Strong play from junior goalie Danny Hobbs helped the Blue Streaks hold a 2-0 lead at the second intermission.
”I felt pretty focused coming into this one,” said Hobbs, bouncing back from a loss at Shenendehowa on December 19, “our defense really helped me out, and I was able to pull off the win.”
The shutout Hobbs was hoping for ended early in the third period, when Suffern’s Justin Tiso found the back of the net, cutting the Blue Streaks’ lead to 2-1. Almost 2 minutes later, Mike Redgate of the Mounties forced a powerful slap shot past Hobbs, tying the score at two.
”It was a bit demoralizing, but I kept my confidence and my focus,” said Hobbs, who recorded 29 saves on the night.
Three periods would not be enough, as the game went to overtime with a 2-2 score. The Mounties generated many offensive chances in the extra period, but they were overpowered by a strong Blue Streaks defense, including seniors Cam McCall and captain Ian Frey. Three minutes into the overtime period, Saratoga put the game away off a golden goal from Elliott Hungerford, finalizing the score at 3-2.
”Overtime is always nerve-wracking,” Hungerford said, “but we kept our eyes on the prize and were able to come away with a big team win.”
”It was a great team effort. The defense played strongly and the offense got the job done on the scoreboard,” said Hobbs. “Everybody helped in this win.”
On Tuesday, the Blue Streaks posted an additional 4-3 win over Section VI’s Williamsville North. These two wins give the Blue Streaks’ a 7-2-1 overall record, which they will hope to improve upon January 3, when they play an away game at Union College against Niskayuna/Schenectady, and on January 7, when they face the Bethlehem Eagles at the Weibel Ice Rink in Saratoga.
SCORING (Box score)
Elliott Hungerford, 2 goals
Jake Fauler, 1 goal and 1 assist
Cam McCall, 1 assist
Justin Tiso, 1 goal
Mike Redgate, 1 goal
Troy Daniels, 1 assist
Saratoga – Danny Hobbs: 29 saves, 2 allowed, .935 saved
Suffern – Sean Gordon: 18 saves, 3 allowed, .857 saved