BREWSTER – It was the only logical explanation for a disappointing loss.
There was no reason to fault the effort in a shootout loss to Somers/North Salem in the season-opener, so John Jay head coach Alex Smith chose his words carefully.
“Ice is slippery,” he said.
The Indians were very strong in the second period and went ahead 2-1 on goals from David Brown and Ryan Cavanagh. The Sabers pushed back in the third and freshman Will O’Leary got his first varsity goal with 8:09 to go off a perfect Joe Jerie pass.
“I was just coming down the middle, saw the pass and just one-timed it,” he said. “It’s my first varsity game so it’s a nice feeling to score a goal and feel like you’re part of a team.”
John McKeon appeared to give John Jay a lead in the final minutes when he ripped a shot that rattled in and out in a blink. The officials never saw it glance in off the post, but a photo shows it was indeed a goal.
The game moved into overtime.
Neither team was able to scare the other in sudden death. Officially, the game is a tie. Since it was part of the Thanksgiving Icebreaker Tournament at Brewster Ice Arena it went to a shootout.
Jake Lanyi was first up for Somers/North Salem and converted.
Sean Blaney attempted to answer, but lost control of the puck on the way in.
“I was just trying to relax, calm down,” Sabers goalie Tim Henning said. “I play pretty badly when I think about things. … Once I saw that he kind of lost an edge, I was like, “All right. That’s it.” And when I saw that he couldn’t get hold of the puck, I went for the celly.”
Player of the game: Lanyi kept the pressure on the Indians all game long, pushing out in transition and setting up Brandon LaSpina for the first goal of the game. He also scored the shootout goal.
Turning point: After getting outplayed and falling behind in the second period, Somers/North Salem came out with renewed intensity and regained momentum by outshooting the Indians by a 22-12 margin in the third period and overtime.
Stat line: Henning stopped 26 shots. … Ellis Maloof and McKeon had assists for John Jay. … Indians goalie George McMichael came up with 34 saves to give the Indians close.
Quotable: “We got a little Helter Skelter and our margin for error is slim because we can’t afford to be out of position. I was frenzied at times and settled at times, and that’s what you’re going to get early in the season.