Photos courtesy of Lohud.com
By Talia Land
Compared to the stellar 5-1 win in the sectional champion- ship, the first ten minutes of play in the New York State Regional Ice Hockey Final did not look good for the Mamaroneck Tigers. The Massena Red Raiders were off to a much quicker start, peppering goalie Tommy Spero ‘17 with 13 shots in the opening frame. The puck was mostly in the Tigers’ defensive end and their style of play was messier than the normally crisp approach fans have become accustomed to. “We had a tough time in the beginning of the game matching their physical play and breaking the puck out, but once we got into the rhythm of things, we were flying,” Senior captain Jason Bienstock 16’ said. The “flying” started with three minutes left in the first period, when Will Arbo ‘16 opened the floodgates with a pretty backhander; it was the Tigers’ game from there. The next goal, a beautiful buzzer beater at the end of the first, came off the stick of Bienstock ‘16, tilting the momentum completely in Mamaroneck’s favor, going into the first intermission. Less than one minutes into the second period, Bienstock, again, found the back of the net with a nice wrap around, extending the Tigers’ lead to 3-0.
Totally in control, the Tigers killed off a pair of Massena power plays before Alex Ewald ‘16 scored on the man advantage in the final minute of the middle period.
In the opening minutes of the third period, Massena scored on a rare defensive lapse. Minutes later, though, Tucker Leicht ‘16 sealed any doubt about about the outcome with a sweet wrist shot from the point to make it 5-1. When the clock finally wound down, the Mamaroneck Ice Hockey team was Regional Champions and headed to the New York State Final 4 for the first time since 2009.
States will be held the weekend of March 12th-13th in Buffalo, NY. The Tigers are slated to play Pittsford in the semis on Saturday at 9:30am; if they win that game, they will play the winner of the Saratoga Springs-West Genesee game in the finals on Sunday at noon. The team could not be more excited for the opportunity to win the first state title in program history, but they know it’s not going to be easy. When asked what needs to be done in order to bring home the gold, defenseman Kesin Ryan-Dehejia ’16 said, “Up in Buffalo, we need to strike first. When we score first, we relax all over the ice. Our feet keep flying […], but our vision and passing becomes much better.” He continued, saying, “we need to stay out of the penalty box and use our depth to our advantage.” Bienstock added, “We need to stay focused all week. This has been our main goal all season and we need to just continue to play our game.”