BREWSTER, N.Y.— Following two-straight setbacks to powerhouse Suffern, Mahopac’s offense found its groove to notch a pair of victories last weekend.
The Indians hopped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and never looked back in its 6-3 win over Lakeland/Panas on Sunday, Jan. 22, at Brewster Ice Arena.
“Sunday was also a good effort, but a couple of penalties allowed Lakeland/Panas to stick around,” Mahopac co-coach Michael Woodrow said. “They are a much stronger team than many in the section realize and they did a great job of battling all night.”
Sophomore forward Brian O’Shea played like a magician, sharing the puck for four assists. Junior forward Gianfranco Pulice sped his path to two goals while John Dignam added a goal.
Senior captain Chris Bednar scored once as T.J. McKee distributed three assists and tacked on a goal. Brendan Groth netted his first varsity goal and senior Peter Siolas saved 18 shots.
“We pressured the puck carrier well and didn’t give them a chance to do much with it,” Pulice said of the key to the win. “And from there on we transitioned to offense.”
Saturday’s road match at Mount Pleasant brought a greater challenge, since Mahopac trailed 3-0 and soared back to claim a 4-3 overtime victory.
“We really struggled to finish against Mount Pleasant,” Woodrow said. “We had a lot of good looks, but the puck either went off the post or hit the goalie square. Mount Pleasant plays a smart system to capitalize on their opportunities. The team did a good job of picking each other up after falling into the 3-0 hole. All of the goals were team work, puck moving, hard effort goals.
O’Shea knocked through the game-winning goal and fellow sophomore goalie Logan MacDougall earned a win in his first varsity start.
“Logan MacDougall played well in his first varsity start,” Woodrow said. “He let up a goal that he would have liked to had back in the second, but was an absolute rock in the third period and overtime.”
Pulice said they had to just finish to pull out the win.
“The key was to keep playing like we were playing,” Pulice said. “We had a ton of shots—we just needed to capitalize on our chances.”
Woodrow added that Groth has been a lockdown defender for the Indians.
“He also came up big offensively this weekend,” Woodrow said. “He made a great jumping play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, which led to the game winner on Saturday.”
Mahopac (9-5-1) looks to keep its steak going when it faces league opponent John Jay-Cross River on Friday, Jan. 27, at 6:40 p.m. at Brewster Ice Arena.