BREWSTER, N.Y.— Leading 2-1 with seven minutes to go in the second period against John Jay-Cross River, the Mahopac ice hockey team registered its final shot on goal.
To come out victorious, the Indians needed its goaltender to keep the puck out of his net against John Jay. That’s exactly what senior Peter Siolas did, stopping 24 shots until the final buzzer as Mahopac survived with a 2-1 win Friday, Jan. 27 at Brewster Ice Arena.
“In my mind, he’s one of the best goalies in the section,” Mahopac co-coach Mike Woodrow said. “He puts in the work to be one of the best goalies.”
Siolas’ best saves came in the third and final period. He stopped all 13 shots faced, including two from point-blank range in the final seconds after an icing call with 19 seconds remaining that gave John Jay one final opportunity to tie the game.
“It’s tough to keep your head clear,” said Siolas, who finished the game with 33 saves. “I just wanted to watch the puck and get in front of it.”
Siolas also gave praise to the defensive effort in front of him to attribute to his solid performance.
“This was a great team win. Most of their shots were from the outside and if I see the shot, I’m going to make the save,” he said. “The defense played extremely well tonight.”
Mahopac began the game strong and scored 3:59 into the contest as T.J. McKee re-directed a shot from Vincenzo Santoro past John Jay goaltender Brendan Kaplan.
Mahopac was only able to register one shot on goal the rest of the period and John Jay took advantage. Despite not scoring on a shot from forward Sean Blaney that hit all the three parts of the goal and managed to stay out of the net earlier in the period, they were able to capitalize on a power play. On a 3-on-2 rush in the Mahopac end, forward Brian Daley was able to put a rebound past Siolas after he initially stopped a shot from defenseman Ellis Maloof to tie the game with 1:33 remaining in the first period.
Mahopac answered back with a power-play goal of its own 1:48 into the second period from junior forward Gianfranco Pulice on assists from McKee and sophomore forward Brian O’Shea. Pulice, whose initial shot in front of the goal was stopped by Kaplan, batted the rebound in mid-air past the sprawled goaltender.
“It was a great goal,” Woodrow said. “The goalie made a fantastic save and he was able to put the stick on it in mid-air.”
Mahopac ended up putting the first 10 shots on goal for the period, which turned out to be the last for them in the contest. John Jay put the next 11 shots on goal to end the period along with the 13 in the third period, all of which Siolas was able to turn away. For the game, John Jay outshot Mahopac 34-15.
“John Jay has a lot speed and are really aggressive. They have kids that have been starting since freshman year, so you could see the chemistry they had on the ice,” Woodrow said. “When we were moving the puck well, we were finding our opportunities.”
The victory ran Mahopac’s overall record to 10-5-1 and 3-1 in the league. The Indians still have an outside chance of winning the league title, with the final league game coming in the regular season finale on Saturday, Feb. 11 against Rye Town/Harrison at the Brewster Ice Arena. Its next regular season game is against Hendrick Hudson/Haldane on Feb. 3 at Ice Time Sports Arena in Newburgh at 8:15 p.m.