Somers/North Salem Skates to Hard-Fought Tie

Christopher Graham makes the save. Credits: Deena Bell

BREWSTER, N.Y.— Sunday’s hockey game at the Brewster Ice Arena pitted two evenly matched teams in Somers/North Salem and Brewster/Yorktown. That ended up being the case at the end of 50 minutes of play. Both teams played hard and put on an entertaining game, but each had to settle for a 3-3 tie.

“It was a fun game. Our kids skated with their kids over the summer,” Somers/North Salem coach John Veteri said. “It was a hard-fought game. Both teams competed very well.”

Things didn’t start out well for Veteri’s squad as the Sabers fell behind 2-0 at the end of the first period. Connor Henderson went end-to-end on a nice individual effort for the first goal. Connor Sullivan was set up alone in front of the net on a feed from Jean-Marc Groux and got a goal with one second left in the period.

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The late goal could have deflated the Somers/North Salem squad, but playing from behind is something they have done on occasion this season.

“That’s been our M.O.,” Veteri said. “We haven’t been a team to jump out on a team and stay ahead. We’ve always been able to come from behind.”

The comeback began when Cross Santaniello won a battle for a loose puck near the blue line and put a shot on net that was redirected in front by Richard O’Leary past goaltender Christian Grossi to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 3:57 left in the second period.

The third period began slowly for the Sabers, not registering a shot on goal in the first four minutes. They were able to keep Brewster/Yorktown off the scoreboard during that time, eventually receiving a power-play opportunity. They registered seven shots on goal with the extra man and eventually their hard work paid off four seconds after the penalty was killed off, scoring on another redirected goal from Anthony Morea with assists from Michael Dutt and Megan Dineen to tie the game at 2-2 with 8:55 remaining in regulation.

Brewster/Yorktown took back the momentum 2:35 later by scoring its third goal on a rush into the Saber end of the ice as Michael Isola was set up with a great feed from Justin Groux to reclaim the lead at 3-2.

The Sabers showed their resilience once again less than two minutes later as Dutt got his second assist of the game with a lead pass to Brandon LaSpina on the left circle and beat Grossi glove-side. Somers/North Salem dominated the period with 16 shots on goal compared to six for Brewster/Yorktown, but Grossi, was able to allow just the one goal.

Yet, it was Somers/North Salem goaltender Christopher Graham who made the save of the game with just under a minute remaining as he stopped Groux on a breakaway opportunity to keep the game tied at the end of regulation.

The action went end-to-end for the five-minute overtime period. Each team registered three shots on goal with Graham, who finished with 21 saves, making another game-saving stop on a 3-on-2 rush from Brewster/Yorktown.

The Sabers outshot Brewster-Yorktown 37-24, including 29-16 after the first period. In the end, it wasn’t enough for them to push past the opposition after falling behind early in the game.

“It’s tough to work that hard and not come away with a win,” said Veteri. “Still, I’ll take the tie any day over a loss.”

Somers/North Salem (6-4-1) defeated Hendrick Hudson/Haldane 4-2 on Jan. 13. The Sabers, which jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, received contributions from LaSpina (2G, 1A), Michael Garrity (1G, 1A), Nick Caleri (1G), Dutt (1A) and Ben Winter (27 saves).

The Sabers face John Jay-Cross River at 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 21 at Brewster Ice Arena.

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