Heads were shaking in both locker rooms.
Defense was the primary topic of conversation minutes after Scarsdale defeated John Jay by a ridiculous 10-6 margin on Friday night at Brewster Ice Arena. The fast-and-loose approach probably isn’t the best way to win a championship, and both teams are eyeing Section 1 titles.
There is clearly some work to do in the final week of the season.
“You’re supposed to win games 3-2 or 4-3,” said Raiders forward James Nicholas, who finished with two goals and four assists. “It’s always nice to get 10 goals, but that’s not the way to play this game.”
It was Senior Night for the Indians (15-3) and the sentimentality lingered after the ceremony.
Scarsdale came out with a higher level of intensity and was buzzing around goalie Matt Lanza most of the period. Matt Blakley, who netted four goals, and Devon Schell had the Raiders up 2-0, but they let up and let John Jay back in.
The score was tied five minutes into the second after Shawn Smith threw in the 98th and 99th goals of his varsity career.
“We gave up a touchdown, for God’s sake,” Scarsdale coach Jim Mancuso said of the inadequate effort on defense. “They’re a great team and we just weren’t ready. That’s my fault. I think we were still celebrating that win over Suffern.”
Both teams are known for their quick-strike ability, so it wasn’t long before another goal went in.
Nicholas whistled a shot past Lanza with 9:25 to go in the second period. He got another five minutes later, and Blakley finished the flurry to make it a 5-2 lead.
Scarsdale (14-3) kept winding up in the penalty box. Jack Wertz made the Raiders pay with 1:45 to go in the second. It was 5-4 after Smith reached the century mark early in a wild third period, but the noise level dipped when Blakley struck again.
“How not to play is how we played,” Indians coach Alex Smith said. “Getting behind right away made the climb more difficult. We’d use energy to get caught up, and then rest. And they would score.”
Lucas Prestamo rattled one in to bring John Jay within 6-5 with seven minutes to play, but the Indians were tired. Blakley and Schell threw in goals within seconds of each other to make it 8-5.
“It was definitely a wacky game,” Smith said. “When there’s a player right in front, we have to get a body on them. … This is definitely not how you win.
“Last year, we had some good offensive players, but good defense is the reason we won a sectional championship.”