January 11, 2017 at 11:16 AM
BREWSTER, N.Y.— The hockey game between Mahopac and Carmel pitted two rival teams in a battle on the ice Friday night at the Brewster Ice Arena, but they were both playing this game for a cause.
Mahopac was hosting its annual “Pac Hockey Fights Cancer” game, with proceeds going to Community Cares and Cure Pancreatic cancer—The Lustgarten Foundation. The Mahopac hockey players also donned pink jerseys to show their support. They raised a total of $1,500.
“I’ve been in the program for four years and this game predates me,” Mahopac co-coach Michael Woodrow said. “The Mahopac hockey parents are unbelievable. They put this upon themselves and do a fantastic job.”
As far as the contest, Mahopac scored early and often against the Rams, cruising to an 8-4 victory to improve its record to 7-3-1 on the season.
The Indians had played the day prior, defeating White Plains, 4-3. They had no intention of showing fatigue or a letdown, jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.
“I wasn’t overly concerned about a letdown,” Woodrow said. “This is a big rivalry game and kids find a bit of energy for a game like this.”
Mahopac used its puck handling and passing in open ice in the first period as senior Joe Geary maneuvered past two Carmel players and shot the puck past goaltender Willow Barner for his first varsity goal. The Indians added a second goal 19 seconds later as Chris Bednar scored on an assist from Gianfranco Pulice. Pulice added a goal of his own and the third for Mahopac as he cut across the ice in the Carmel end off a pass from Michael Truschelli.
Carmel looked to get back in the game early in the second period as it was awarded a power play. The Rams had a goal disallowed seven seconds into the man advantage, but were still able to capitalize less than a minute later to bring the score to 3-1.
Mahopac quickly dissolved any chance of a Carmel comeback, scoring two goals in 2:12. The first was scored 24 seconds after the Carmel goal with Pulice’s second of the game on assists from Truschelli and John Dignam while Brian O’Shea scored deep in the Rams’ zone on a feed from Bednar to make the score 5-1.
Woodrow was happy to see his team get the puck deep in the opposing end and getting good shots from point-blank range.
“We scored three goals that way against White Plains,” he said. “That’s how we opened the game back up, getting the puck to our shooters in the slot.”
T.J. McKee added two more goals in the period for the Indians as they took a commanding 7-1 lead into the third period.
The team was able to empty its bench to let other players get an opportunity for playing time. Aiden Martin scored the final goal for Mahopac. Carmel scored three times in the period, all coming from Jake Alfonzetti.
Peter Siolas played a solid game in goal for Mahopac, stopping 14 of 15 shots in two periods of action.
Coach Woodrow hopes to see more of how his team played in the second period in its home-and-home series with Suffern. The Indians host the Mounties at Brewster Ice Arena on Jan. 11 and then head across the Tappan Zee Bridge to Sport-O-Rama for a 7:15 p.m. date with powerhouse Suffern two days later.
“We need to keep playing more as a team and not be individualized,” he said. “It’s fun to play that way, but it’s not winning hockey. Hopefully we can keep that going and pick up another win next week.”
In the win over White Plains, Daniel Borgelt had two goals, while Pulice and Dignam each added a goal. McKee and Brian O’Shea each had two assists.