Cortlandt Upsets Mt. Pleasant in Gut-Wrenching 4-3 Playoff Loss

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By Jonthan Martirano
Cortland F Joe Riggio skates up ice en route to having had a hand in all four Rebel goals, bagging a hat trick while adding an assist.

No.11 Cortlandt Rebels (6-13-1) @ No.6 Mt. Pleasant Ice Cats (11-7-2)

Friday, February 17 at Westchester Skating Academy

It was the opening round for the Section 1 Hockey playoffs on Friday night between the 11th-seeded Cortlandt Rebels and the No.6 Mt. Pleasant Ice Cats, who came in with high hopes and left on the shy side of a 4-3 Section 1 D-I opening round playoff loss.

In the first period, the Rebels struck first early at 10:54 when Joe Riggio sniped a shot top left from the top left circle to take the early 1-0 lead.  Shortly after the Rebels would come inches away from their second goal, but the Ice Cats goalie John Sarfaty made a great diving stop from a rebound to keep the game at 1-0.  However at 6:31, both teams would get into some trouble as the Rebels were penalized for roughing and the Ice Cats for cross-checking.  Both teams had great scoring chances throughout the rest of the period, and the Ice Cats had numerous close calls but the game would stay at 1-0 at the end of the first.

It only took 36 seconds into the second period at 16:24 for Mt. Pleasant to tie the game at 1-1.  Joey Engleman took a shot from the right side boards and Nicholas Delia tipped it past the goalie for the goal. Only 7 seconds later the Ice Cats got another early opportunity at 16:17 after the Rebels went to the box for interference.  However, after numerous chances, the Rebels killed off the penalty to keep the game tied at 1.  At 12:17, the Rebels took the lead again by another Riggo snipe after he skated across the into the offensive zone and ripped a shot from the high right circle to take the 2-1 lead. And less than a minute later at 11:42, the Rebels were headed to a 5- minute power play after Ice Cats were penalized for head contact.  On the power play, the Rebels had multiple scoring chances but could not convert on the man advantage.  However, the chances kept coming for both teams but both netminders made crucial saves.  The Rebels had many shots in front but couldn’t beat the goalie and the Ice Cats also had chances in front but could also not beat the goalie.  Cortlandt held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Mt. Pleasant Ice Cats goalie John Sarfaty reaches to his left to keep the puck out of the net in the first period of Friday night’s playoff game vs. Cortlandt at the Westchester Skating Academy.

It was all or nothing for both teams in the third period, and both teams went all out. Early into the final frame at 11:38, Louis Sdao of Mt. Pleasant walked in and shot one high slot to beat the goalie and tie the game.  But only less than a minute later at 10:56, Joe Riggio sent one in front and John Gannon tapped it home to take the 3-2 lead back for the Rebels.  However, the Ice Cats responded back quickly at 9:32 when Daniel Kauber picked up a loose puck, walked in, and shot one top right to tie the game back up again at 3-3.  However, the goal frenzy wouldn’t stop there as just over a minute later at 8:22,  Riggio would take back the lead for the eventual winner after he took a shot coming down the right side that dribbled in.  A total of four goals in the span of 3:16 were featured.  The frenzy would cool off from there but a huge opportunity came for Cortlandt at 5:36 when Mt. Pleasant went off for roughing.  Now with a power play, the Rebels could  take the lead and ice the game.  But a minute into the power play, Delia got a breakaway but was stopped by the Rebels netminder to keep the lead at 1.  The power play ended with no goals and the Ice Cats needed a big push to tie the game.  At 1:39, the Ice cats pulled their goalie and called a timeout shortly after to keep their attack and pressure, but it wasn’t enough to convert and the Cortlandt Rebels were victorious and completed the upset.

Colin Cody of the Cortlandt Rebels rushes the puck up the ice with Mt. Pleasant’s Josh Chang in pursuit during the first period of Friday night’s 4-3 first-round playoff victory for the Rebels at the Westchester Skating Academy.

This was a bitter end to a great season for the Ice Cats, but the Rebels came to play and are moving on to face third-seeded Rivertown Legends (17-3) on February 20 in the quarterfinals.

Other Scores for this week:

Monday 2/13: Carmel Rams Win 4-1 against Pearl River Pirates

Friday 2/17(Playoffs):

Scarsdale Raiders Win 9-1 against BYSNS to eliminate Bisons from playoffs

Scarsdale advances to play New Rochelle/White Plains on Monday 2/20

Mamaroneck Tigers win 5-2 against Carmel to eliminate Rams from playoffs

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