Saturday, February 20, 2016 by Aidan Joly
With momentum on the enemy side, Saratoga came out powerful and recorded a win.
The Saratoga Blue Streaks defeated the Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa Spartan-Scotties on Friday night at the Weibel Avenue Ice Rink by a score of 4-2 in the Section 2 semifinals, clinching them a berth in the sectional final.
With Saratoga up by a score of 2-0 late in the second period, it seemed as if they would go into the locker room with a lead in both of the intermissions. BH/BS had other plans, scoring twice in 20 seconds with goals from Santino Benamati and Geordan Buffoline. These tied the game and put momentum on the Spartan-Scotties’ side.
“I told them, ‘This is our last home game.’ We played three five-minute games, to make it a smaller game,” Saratoga head coach Dave Torres said.
Saratoga answered the call early in the final frame, as Josh Dagle found the back of the net less than two minutes into the third period, giving Saratoga the lead. It was Dagle’s second goal of the game, as he had one in the first period.
“I knew I didn’t have much support,” Dagle said. “But I saw my opportunity, and those are the times where I want to do it. Those are the positions I like to be in.”
Dagle’s goal in the first period was initially credited to Jonathan Luse, but the ruling was changed after the game. He also added an assist.
“We’ve got a good hockey team. We can’t be putting ourselves down, we can’t be trying to change things,” Dagle added.
After Dagle’s second goal, Caleb Smith added the goal that put BH/BS away with four and a half minutes remaining.
Both goals in the first period were on the power play, as the Spartan-Scotties struggled to stay out of the penalty box in the early stages of the game, and also struggled to get the puck out of their zone.
“I think we were overthinking the game, trying to do it by ourselves, weren’t playing as a team, tried to do some individual stuff in the defensive zone,” BH/BS head coach James Buffoline said.
BH/BS also struggled on offense, taking only 10 shots on goal in the whole game, and not a single one in the first period, making for a quiet night for Saratoga goaltender Tom Fornabia.
“We have a relentless forecheck, kids moving their feet, not coasting or gliding their feet anywhere. They just keep moving,” Torres said.
Saratoga advances to the Section 2 final on Thursday night at the Union College’s Messa Rink for the seventh straight year, this year as the number one seed. They will take on either Tri-Falls or La Salle, in a game which will be played on Saturday. The final is set for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Josh Dagle: 2 goals, 1 assist
Brendan Coffey: 1 goal, 1 assist
Caleb Smith: 1 goal
Jonathan Luse: 1 assist
Colin Paton: 1 assist
Santino Benamati: 1 goal, 1 assist
Geordan Buffoline: 1 goal
Sam Swingruber: 1 assist
Alec Lind: 1 assist
Saratoga (Tom Fornabia): 8/10, 80% saved
BH/BS (Mark Stocker): 38/42, 90% saved