“We’re going to score right here,” Somers/North Salem coach John Veteri said with about a minute left in regulation in a tie game with Horace Greeley.
While it did not happen exactly how Veteri planned it, the game winner came shortly after the end of regulation.
Somers/North Salem junior Michael Garrity buried a rebound just a minute and 28 seconds into overtime to propel the Sabers to a 3-2 victory over the Quakers on Saturday, Nov. 28 in the Conference I Icebreaker Tournament.
“I won the face-off and took a shot on net,” said Garrity, who was assisted by junior Nick Caleri. “The goalie saved it, it popped out and Michael Dutt shot it from the point. I turned around and the puck was right there and I just shot it into the open net.”
Veteri was confident his team would pull out the overtime victory.
“We couldn’t finish it in the third, but we played well in the third and we kept the pressure on them,” Veteri said. “The puck went down in our zone and it came right back out. We had all the pressure so you knew it was going to happen at some point.”
Somers/North Salem jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead. Senior Joe Jerie gave the Sabers a 1-0 lead just 55 seconds into the game with the assists going to Jonathan Henning and Garrity. Freshman Brandon LaSpina scored with 48 seconds left in the period on a feed from his brother R.J. LaSpina, a senior captain.
The Quakers battled back with two late goals in the second period to tie the game.
“When they tied it up it was kind of demoralizing,” Garrity said, “but we knew that we had to stick with it and pull out the win.”
Veteri said it has been a theme for the team to struggle in the second period.
“The second period has always been our downfall,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, we haven’t figured it out yet. We’re going to work on that. We got outshot 16-2 in the second period. We got outshot for the game, but 16-2 in the second period, you can’t let that happen.”
Senior captain Tim Henning made 20 saves in net to preserve the victory for Somers/North Salem (1-0-1).
“Timmy played unbelievable for us in the second period even though two goals went in,” Veteri said. “He’s our backbone right now.”
The Sabers advanced to the finals when Jake Lanyi buried a shootout goal and Tim Henning came through with a big save against John Jay-Cross River after regulation and overtime ended at 2-2 on Friday, Nov. 27. The game goes down as a tie.
Brandon LaSpina gave the Sabers the early lead when he found the back of the net with 12:28 left in the first period on a feed from Lanyi.
The Indians answered with two goals in the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Freshman Will O’Leary knotted the game at 2-2 with the assist going to Jerie with 8:09 left in regulation.
Henning had a stellar game in net, recording 26 saves.
Somers/North Salem returns to the ice when it squares off with Mahopac on Friday, Dec. 4 for a 9 p.m. contest.
“I think we have youth and we’re mixing it up,” Veteri said of the positive start to the season. “We’re holding everybody accountable this year. You’ve got to go out there and do your job and I think that’s working. It’s putting a little competition between ourselves where you’ve got to go out there and do your job and hold yourself accountable, and that’s what happens.”