WEST POINT, N.Y. Scarsdale had just evened the score of the Section 1 Division II Ice Hockey Championship game Sunday, with four seconds remaining in the second period, leaving Pelham angry.
During intermission, the Pelham captains felt it was time to speak up because Scarsdale proved it was more than worthy of taking the title.
We knew that this could be our last 15 minutes playing for Pelham and we did not want that to happen so we needed everyone to step up, senior and captain Colin Reilly said. Pelham came out and, after a slow start, dialed up the intensity from the six-minute mark on, led by Reilly and his fellow captains.
Reilly set up Andrew Schauers decisive goal as top-seeded Pelham defeated eighth-seeded and upset-minded Scarsdale, 3-2 at the Holleder Center on the campus of the United States Military Academy.
Pelham, now 16-5-2, advances to the New York State Final Four where it will play the winner of the Section 5-Section 6 on Saturday, March 10 at 3:15 p.m. at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
This is the Pelicans second consecutive sectional title and sixth since 2000. Pelham is 7-0-2 in its last nine games.
This feels amazing, winning sectionals for a third time and going to Utica for another chance at a state championship, senior and captain Graham Lambdin said.
Scarsdale, which tied the score at 2-2 on a James Nicholas goal with four seconds left in the second period, opened the final 15 minutes with all of the momentum. However, that would change beginning at the six-minute mark.
The line of Danny Shea, Reilly and Schauer fore checked relentlessly, keeping the puck in Scarsdales zone for approximately 70 seconds. Once Scarsdale cleared the zone, briefly, the David Morgan, Tristan Weeks and Andrew Dzenis brought the puck right back in kept it there, also for more than a minute.
We knew we had more depth than them so we wanted to just get the puck and keep it deep in their zone, senior and fellow captain Graham Landis said.
Schauers tie-breaking goal began with Reilly picking up the puck just before the Scarsdale blue line. He was mirrored by a Scarsdale defenseman as he skated in by the left-wing circle, but slid a pass right to Schauer, who was parallel to him. Schauer deflected it home one stride from the goal mouth with 4:25 in the game.
Trailing by a goal, Scarsdale applied pressure of its own. The Raiders, who finished 15-8, were meeting with little success against Pelham goalie Josh Borofsky. In the final 90 seconds, Scarsdale met with Pelhams ferocious fore checking and was unable to get the extra skater until 55 seconds remained.
Scarsdale had one final outstanding opportunity as Borofsky stopped a bouncing puck but could not control the rebound. Nicholas came charging in to grab the rebound, but his shot was held by Borofsky with 30 seconds remaining. Scarsdale won the face off, but defenseman Matt Landis blocked a slapshot. Pelham cleared the puck down the ice and Landin raced down to harass the Scarsdale defenseman with 15 seconds on the clock. His forecheck delayed Scarsdales last rush by a few seconds.
Scarsdale 0 2 0 2 Pelham 1 1 1 3
Goals Sc: Jake Bank, James Nicholas; Pl: Colin Reilly, Garrett Martin, Andrew Schauer. Assists Sc: Travis Misarti, Jake Bank, Hunter Jurman; Pl: Colin Reilly, Matt Landis, Will Cullen, Danny Shea, Andrew Schauer. Saves Sc: Connor Wolfe 25; Pl: Josh Borofsky 19.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.