Greeley Falls in D-II Quarterfinals, Rebels Ousted in D-I

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By Jonathan Martirano

No.6 Horace Greeley Quakers (6-12-2) @ No.3 John Jay CR Wolves (13-5-1), February 20 at Brewster Ice Arena

Greeley’s Ryan Marcus

The Horace Greeley Quakers took on John Jay CR Wolves in the D2 Quarterfinals this past Monday, with the Wolves coming out on top 4-1. The Wolves were hungry and set the tone early with their physicality with two big hits early to start the game off. They would only continue from there with multiple scoring chances to test the Quakers goalie, but Ryne Wolberg wouldn’t budge and kept the game scoreless. Halfway through the first period at 6:13, Greeley would get into some trouble with a tripping penalty, and sent John Jay to the power play. On the power play, the Wolves had great puck movement, and peppered the Quakers with shots and chances. At 5:15, the Wolves thought they broke the ice after Declan Whelan tried to stuff one in on the backhand, but the puck never fully crossed the line and was waved off. Even with John Jay’s aggressive power play, the Quakers killed off the penalty and the game stayed scoreless. With Greeley having killed off the penalty, they used their momentum to find some scoring opportunities, but John Jay defended and the game would stay 0-0 going into the second period.

It was a whole different story in the second period. Greeley had a couple of early scoring chances, but had a huge opportunity to take the lead as John Jay was penalized for cross checking at 13:19. However, it was the Wolves who took advantage of this opportunity. At 11:33 with seconds remaining on the man advantage, Kyle Petschek picked up the loose puck at the blue line and skated all the way down on a breakaway to shoot one top right to give the Wolves a shorthanded goal and the game’s first goal. The chances would continue to come for both teams as the Wolves and Quakers had multiple chances in the slot, but both goalies made crucial saves, along with Dylan Rodgers stopping a 3 on 1 from Greeley.

Greeley’s Ryan Marcus

However, with 5:54 remaining in the second period, PJ Denioa would ship off the puck to Petschek at the red line, and Petschek skated down the left side and shot one top right for his second of the game and the 2-0 lead for John Jay.  Shortly after at 4:11, Greeley would have a breakaway, but John Jay was penalized for tripping on the play. Greeley had some close chances on the power play, but John Jay killed off the penalty. With only a minute remaining in the second, Whelan picked up the puck on the right side boards and continued to skate along the top of the circle, where he fed Michael Mendicino in front, who shot and scored to give the Wolves a commanding 3-0 lead. With only 12.6 seconds remaining however, the Wolves were penalized for an interference and were down a man heading into the third period.

The Quakers started things off early in the third period at 15:21 after Jacob Schaltner tipped a puck off the post and put home the rebound to cut the Wolves lead down to 3-1 on the power play. However, John Jay responded quickly a minute later at 14:22 after Mendicino picked up the puck in the corner, skated around the low right circle and shot one past the goalie in front for the 4-1 lead and his second of the day. Two minutes later at 12:23, the puck hit off a Wolves defender next to the net and it looked to have gone in, but was called off as no goal and kept the game at 4-1. Greeley would have another opportunity to cut the lead again at 11:33 after John Jay was penalized for roughing. But on that power play, John Jay got a 2 on 1 opportunity and Wolberg made a great save on a one-timer. At 9:55, Ellis Adams of Greeley sent the puck across two John Jay defenders to a wide open teammate in front, but Rodgers made a spectacular save on a backhand try. The Wolves kept their momentum coming as at 6:43, PJ Denioa and Declan Goldrick had a 2 on 1 opportunity, but Wolberg again made another huge save. With 2:37 remaining in the game, Greeley called a timeout to regroup and plan their attack and with 1:40, they got a huge opportunity after a Wolves player was penalized for checking from behind, and sent the Quakers to a power play for the rest of the game. John Jay called a timeout shortly after at 1:29 and with an empty net from the Quakers, they now had a 6 on 4 man advantage. But even being down two players, Rodgers and the defense came up big for the Wolves to hand Greeley a 4-1 loss.

John Jay CR then went on to play the 2 seed Pelham Pelicans in the D2 Semifinals, but lost 6-3 to the Pelicans to end their season and send Pelham to the championship where the Pelicans knocked off Rye to win the D-II title.


Cortlandt Can’t Hold off Rivertown in 5-2 Playoff Loss

No.11 Cortlandt Rebels (6-13-1) @ No.3 Rivertown Legends (17-3), February 20 at Westchester Skating Academy

The Rivertown Legends beat the Cortlandt Rebels in the D1 quarterfinals, 5-2, to advance to the sectional semifinals. In the first period, the Rebels got an early opportunity after Anthony Cappello of Rivertown made a huge hit for an interference call at 15:52. However, the Legends killed off the penalty and seconds after the Rebels power play was over at 13:46, the Legends had an odd-man rush and Braedon Gallante finished off a pass in front to take the 1-0 lead. At 9:43, the Rebels had another opportunity on the man advantage after the Legends were penalized for high sticking.  However, the Legends had good defense and goaltending and killed off the penalty. Afterwards, the Legends kept pushing with chances and had numerous close calls, along with a post, but the Rebels had crucial saves and steady defense to hold off the pressure. The Rebels also had 2 on 1 chance, but could not convert for a goal. Going into the second period, the Legends held a 1-0 lead.

The second period started off with two early chances for both the Rebels and Legends, as the Rebels had a 2 on 1 and the Legends had a front shot chance. But it was the Legends who capitalized on their opportunities at 12:07 after Cappello took a shot after a faceoff win and wired one from the top left circle top right to beat the goalie and to take a 2-0 lead. Cappello would have another close chance shortly after, but couldn’t stuff the puck fully in. The Rebels came back with another 2 on 1 three minutes later, but Joey Riggio hit the post on a quick one timer. At 5:54, the Legends had a 2 on 1, and Gallante fed Alex Zinman, who slapped one home to give Rivertown a 3-0 lead. Only eight seconds later however, the Rebels were penalized and sent Rivertown to the power play. Riverown had a few good chances, but the Rebels defense held them off for the 2-minute man advantage. But only seconds after the power play ended, Rivertown was penalized for roughing at 3:18, and then the Rebels, again, shortly after Cappello was cross checked after a break chance.  With the play being 4 on 4, the Legends capitalized on the opportunity at 2:47 from Jacob Miller. Miller toe dragged around a Cortlandt defender, and then sniped one top left from the left hand circle to score a beauty of a goal and to take a 4-0 lead. But unfortunately for them, they would be down a man again after a player was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. With the play being 4 on 3, Rivertown used the open ice and had a 2 on 0 with the goalie, but Cortlandt netminder Nick Mele made a huge save and then another save, this time robbing a wide open rebound in front off the 2 on 0 shot. With 38 seconds remaining, the Rebels would be penalized for slashing, and with 1.5 seconds to go, Dominik Kulan stripped the puck away from a Rivertown player on the side of the net and slid the puck 5- hole on the backhand while falling in front to cut the Rivertown lead to 4-1 heading into the third period.

In the final period, both teams got into some penalty trouble early at 14:22, with the Rebels and Legends getting coincidental penalties. The Rebels were penalized for interference and the Legends were penalized for roughing. As play went on, both teams had close chances, but Rivertown was penalized for tripping at 10:58. On the power play, the Rebels converted to cut the lead to 4-2 at 10:13 from Colin Cody, who picked up the puck behind his own net, skated all the way down, and took a quick shot in the high slot to beat the goalie. Cortlandt and Rivertown kept pushing with chances, and both came close to scoring, but none could score. At 1:49, the Rebels called a timeout and pulled their goalie. Unfortunately for them, Rivertown defended well and scored an empty net to ice the game. The Legends won 5-2 and were moving on to the semifinals where Rivertown lost to No.2 seed Clarkstown, the eventual sectional champ, by a score of 7-1. Clarsktown went on to upset perennial power Suffern in the finals.

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