Things weren’t looking good for the fifth-seeded Mahopac hockey team entering the third period of Monday night’s Division 1 quarterfinal playoff game against No. 4 Rye Town-Harrison at Playland, with the Indians trailing 5-4 and facing elimination.
But the Indians got a clutch performance from their defense—which allowed nothing in the third—and from sharp shooter T.J. McKee, who delivered two huge goals, including the game-winner with 3:28 remaining, to give the ’Pac a 6–5 upset victory.
Mahopac (19-3) advanced to Thursday’s Feb. 21, D1 semifinal, where the Indians faced No. 1 seed Suffern at Sport-O-Rama in Monsey. The winner advances to Sunday’s Division I championship game, also at Sport-O-Rama.
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Indians coach Tim Donaghy said his team never gave up.
“I think it shows a lot about our guys,“ Donaghy said. “We trailed for most of the game, but the guys kept plugging away. The guys kept believing in themselves.
“We got great teamwork,“ Donaghy added. “They had full faith. And I was amazed at the amount of support we had on the road… The (Mahopac) Maniacs and the student body were out in full force. That was really great to see.”
McKee finished with a hat trick, Brian O’Shea, Nick Bricker and John Dundon each scored once. Logan McDougall had a strong game, stopping 25 shots on net.
“Logan had a good bounce-back game, he played well,“ Donaghy said. “And as a whole, everyone really made the plays that needed to be made. T.J. sees an opportunity, and he buries it. And Nick Biagini also gave us strong defense in the third.“
The Indians advanced to the quarterfinals by beating the No. 12 Cortlandt Rebels, 4-2, in the first round, the prior Friday at the Brewster Ice Arena.
O’Shea had a hat-trick, and McKee had one goal.
“Cortlandt made some good plays, but our guys kept working,“ Donaghy said. “Some people felt we would win this one big, but the important thing is that we survived in the dance.”