By: Aidan Joly
After the game was tied at one, Saratoga rattled off five straight goals to take a 6-1 lead and carried the momentum for the rest of the game as they beat Shenendehowa on Thursday afternoon, 11-6.
Plainsmen attackman Dean Cannon tied the game at one midway through the first quarter and that was when the Blue Streaks began to come up big. Andrew Lipscomb scored to give the Blue Streaks the lead late in the first, and then the Blue Streaks outscored the Plainsmen 4-0 in the second quarter courtesy of a second goal from Lipscomb and goals from Spencer Flansburg, Malcolm Smack and Pat Ladd to give them a commanding 6-1 lead at the break.
“It was important, but we just try to concentrate on one thing at a time, one goal at a time. Our biggest problem this year is that we try to do too much at once, and people get frustrated with each other,” Saratoga coach Joe Hayes said. “Today was a big team win, a lot of people on offense touching the ball, a lot of assisted goals, so it was a great win.”
After that, Shen pressured and kept scoring but was never able to get within three goals of Saratoga, cutting it to 6-3 and later 9-6. The defense of Saratoga was what really kept Shen out of the game, causing them to turn the ball over and miss a lot of shots.
“We practice that quite a bit, we play against that quite a bit, and we’ve executed against that. Today was just an off day,” Shen coach Jason Gifford said.
While Saratoga’s defense was shut down, the offense was very good as well. They had four multi-goal scorers, led by Flansburg who had three goals. Will Fox, Lipscomb and Matt Shamberger all had two each.
The win comes as a big one for Saratoga, as it is quite an upset coming at the tail end of a regular season that did not go their way, finishing with a record of 6-13 after the win.
“This is what we thought we could get from this team and what we’ve been trying to put pressure on them to produce,” Hayes said. “It’s a huge win for confidence.”
Shenendehowa finishes the regular season with a record of 11-5 but finished the season on a three-game losing streak and will hope to turn it around to avoid an early playoff exit.
“We don’t have much time to turn around. We practice tomorrow and we’ll play Saturday, we’ll have to see how some other games shake out,” Gifford said.
Both teams now await their sectional seeding. The bracket will be coming out on Friday morning.
Spencer Flansburg: 3 goals
Andrew Lipscomb: 2 goals, 3 assists
Will Fox: 2 goals
Matt Shamberger: 2 goals
Pat Ladd: 1 goal
Malcolm Smack: 1 goal
Charlie Beck: 1 assist
Graham Patten: 1 assist
Patrick Nagy: 1 goal, 1 assist
Jack Hyde: 1 goal, 1 assist
Dean Cannon: 1 goal
Eric Makhatadze: 1 goal
Justin Leblanc: 1 goal
Drew Liguori: 1 goal