RYE – The Suffern Mounties got a nice present over the holiday break, though it wasn’t immediately apparent at the start of their game against Rye on Wednesday night.
Despite the return of CJ Greco, arguably the team’s best player, from an upper-body injury, Suffern trailed 2-0 after a lackluster first period.
The Mounties, however, found themselves in the second period, and were able to roll off three unanswered goals in the third period to get a 3-2 win at the Playland Ice Casino.
“We had a few weeks off, so I think we had a little rust in the first period, but I’m happy with the way we played in the second and third,” Suffern head coach Rob Schelling said. “I think a lot was just getting the rust off and working a little bit harder. They responded, and it shows a lot about our leadership and what we’re made of.”
It was Suffern’s first game since December 18th, and the Mounties extended their winning streak to four games. For Greco, it was his first game of the season.
“The first period was definitely a little rough to get back, but second and third, I felt a little more comfortable getting back in to play,” Greco said. “Six months really had a hard time on me, but I’m back and ready to play.”
After being outshot by Rye 14-11 in the first period, Suffern turned up the pressure in the second period but were unable to score. With 3.1 seconds left in the period, Reed Stark saw a slapshot from the point off of a faceoff win go in, but after time expired.
Suffern’s Shaan Greenberg scored the winning goal with 4:43 left in the game, coming out from behind the right side of the net and roofing a shot past Rye goalie Daniel Bonaventura.
“We’re a really special team when we’re all healthy, we all know that,” Greenberg said. “When we’re playing the right way, we’re probably one of the most dangerous teams in the states, so we just got to stick with it.”
Rye, which went 1-2 against out-of-area opponents in the last three games, fell to 4-4.
“I look at our season in that its not winning and losing, its winning and learning,” Rye head coach Peter Thomas said. “The reason I put together the competitive schedule I did is because that I’d rather challenge our team. Suffern is a terrific team, they are one of the quality programs.”
Player of the game: Shaan Greenberg, Suffern. In addition to getting the game-winning goal, the junior forward also had the primary assist on the game-tying goal two minutes earlier.
Turning point: Suffern started the third period with a powerplay, and after drawing another penalty to force a 5-on-3, got a goal from Michael Ruthberg, who deflected a slap shot from Stark with 13:26 left in the game. At the 6:30 mark, Troy Daniels tied the game on a shot from the point after the Mounties had sustained possession in the Rye zone.
Stat line: For Suffern, Ruthberg and Greenberg both had one-goal, one-assist games, while Sean Gordon made 20 saves for the win. … Rye’s Tommy O’Brien had a goal and an assist, Theo Bresolin scored the opening goal and Daniel Bonoventura made 28 saves. … Suffern out-shot Rye 20-8 in the second and third periods, and 31-20 for the game.
Quotable: “Next two games coming up, we got Clarkstown and Mamaroneck, so those are big games for our seeding and momentum-changers going into the playoffs,” Greco said. “Those are must-win games, so we’ll come out strong and hopefully win those games.”