Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa completed its sixth contest in nine days Saturday, as it managed to hold off a young and determined G/M/S/V/S team.
“Even when it was 4-1, we told the kids, ‘It’s not going to end up 5-1, 6-1,’ ” Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa coach Jim Buffoline said. “[G/M/S/V/S] will just battle right to the end.”
Sophomore Bernie Townsend scored his first goal of the year for Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa with 47 seconds left in the second period, right after the Spartans had finished a penalty kill, for a 4-1 lead.
G/M/S/V/S rallied in the third period with an early goal from Aiden Pike followed by a power-play goal from sophomore Dylan Bzdell midway through the final period to cut the Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa lead to 4-3.
Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa senior Owen Gabb tallied his second goal of the game two minutes later for some breathing room, but G/M/S/V/S forward T.J. Pierce ripped a shot from atop the left circle that hit nothing but net with 2:30 left to make it a one-goal game.
“Attack, attack, attack and don’t apologize,” G/M/S/V/S coach Jim Archibald said.
After Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa successfully killed a power play, G/M/S/V/S pulled its goalie, and Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa senior Kevin Cullen slid the puck through the zone and into the empty net with less than 10 seconds left.
“This is only our second game,” Archibald said. “We got our practices in and we have Zoom meetings and go over clips. If you get the kids to buy into it . . . you see a hockey game like you had today.”
Meanwhile Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa will enjoy Sunday off before hitting the ice against the Niskayuna/Schenectady/Amsterdam Monday afternoon.
“We have our lines set before the first game and I’ve only made one or two moves,” Buffoline said. “The lines just seem to be connecting right now.”
With a season that didn’t receive clearance until
Feb. 1 because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic at both the state and county level, Buffoline has focused on in-game decisions.
“Everyone’s life is just so crazy right now with COVID, kids need something good. They want to get out of the house and try to play,” Buffoline said.
G/M/S/V/S needed to wait to start its season longer than most Section II ice hockey teams because its Albany County athletes weren’t able to start as soon as its Schenectady County athletes. Thus, Archibald knows he needs to be patient.
“With a short bench, I’m trying to space out the games,” Archibald said. “I’m more worried about teaching the kids than playing games. If we can teach them, it makes them that much better. I’m just glad we got a season this year.”
IN OTHER ACTION
The Plainsmen scored two early goals and goaltender Lucas Lasher turned back 25 out of 26 shots in Shenendehowa’s 3-1 win over Niskayuna/Schenectady/Amsterdam Saturday afternoon.
Will Detora scored a pair of goals as Saratoga Springs defeated Adirondack, 5-4.
BURNT HILLS/BALLSTON SPA 6, G/M/S/V/S 4
G/M/S/V/S 1 0 3 — 4
BH/BS 2 2 2 — 6
G/M/S/V/S scoring: Pierce 2-1, Bzdell 1-0, Pike 1-0, Mulligan 0-3, Leschen 0-1. Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa scoring: Cullen 2-2, Tribley 1-0, Gabb 2-1, B. Townsend 1-0, Rossetti 0-2, Schnitzler 0-1, Bowers 0-1, J.D. Townsend 0-1. Goalies: G/M/S/V/S, McKone, 23 saves. /Ballston Spa, Folli, 17 saves.
SHENENDEHOWA 3, N/S/A 1
Shenendehowa 2 0 1 — 3
N/S/A 0 0 1 — 1
Shenendehowa scoring: Ryan 1-0, Magaletta 1-0, Sassone 1-2. Niskayuna/Schenectady/Amsterdam scoring: Buchanan 1-0, Abbato 0-1, DiGesualdo 0-1. Goalies: Shenendehowa, Lucas, 25 saves. Niskayuna/Schenectady/Amsterdam, Coons, 10 saves.
SARATOGA SPRINGS 5,
Adirondack 1 2 1 — 4
Saratoga Springs 2 1 2 — 5
Adirondack scoring: D. Cormie 1-0, W. Cormie 1-0, Paris 1-0, Willis 1-0. Saratoga Springs scoring: Detora 2-0, Blanchard 1-0, Kenney 1-0, Todorovic 1-0. Goalies: Adirondack, DiFiore 29 saves. Saratoga Springs, Bradley 2 saves; McNeil, 8 saves.