BREWSTER, N.Y.— Lakeland/Panas’ ice hockey squad played in its first playoff game in three years when it took on No. 6 Mahopac at the Brewster Ice Arena in a Section 1 Division 1 opening round-contest on Feb. 19.
The No. 11-seeded Rebels were as one could imagine very excited to play in such a big game but so were the Indians and it showed, as the Putnam County squad came home with an 8-0 victory that eliminated Lakeland/Panas.
Mahopac took a stranglehold on the game early as it jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead. The Indians didn’t let up, as they scored five more goals in the second period on their way to victory.
Rebels Matt Piciocchi and John Corso recorded 18 and 10 saves, respectively.
Lakeland/Panas finished its regular season with a 6-4 loss against host Rivertown at the Westchester Skating Academy on Feb. 14.
The Rebels were led by Christian Jimenez (3G, 1A), who made it difficult for Rivertown to stay with him.
“Probably the use of my speed and the space I got from my other teammates,” said Jimenez, when asked why he had such a big game against the Legends.
Lakeland/Panas trailed 5-2 at one point but fought back to cut the hosts’ lead to one. The goals came from Kyle Carroll, with 2:05 left in the contest, assisted by Jimenez and Matt Sillcocks, and by Jimenez, assisted by Dylan Gullo, with 1:18 to go in the game.
Jimenez was in a position where he had to come through for his team and he did just that late in the game when the Rebels needed him the most.
“I knew I had to spark my team, so I just turned on another gear in the neutral zone and I was lucky enough to squeak it by the goaltender,” said Jimenez, a freshman defenseman.
Sillcocks (3A) and Anthony Cappello (2A) did a great job in setting up Jimenez and Carroll.
Jimenez said the playmaking ability of both Sillcocks and Cappello has been very important to the team all season and the game against Rivertown was no exception.
“Their vision and hockey sense opened up the ice for me and it showed with their assists,” Jimenez said. “They have been great all year.”
Piciocchi garnered 23 saves for the Rebels (8-12-1).