Boys’ Ice Hockey Notebook: Bzdell alone atop Storm all-time scoring list

The Storm’s Dylan Bzdell carries the puck against Mohawk’s Connor Foley during a Dec. 13 game at Union College's Messa Rink in Schenectady. Bzdell, now the Storm's all-time leader in points, will take on Foley and the Mohawks again on Jan. 13 at Schenectady County Recreational Facility Ice Rink in the fourth annual “Hockey Fights Cancer” Cup to raise funds for the American Cancer Society of Schenectady County’s Relay for Life.
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The Storm’s Dylan Bzdell carries the puck against Mohawk’s Connor Foley during a Dec. 13 game at Union College's Messa Rink in Schenectady. Bzdell, now the Storm's all-time leader in points, will take on Foley and the Mohawks again on Jan. 13 at Schenectady County Recreational Facility Ice Rink in the fourth annual “Hockey Fights Cancer” Cup to raise funds for the American Cancer Society of Schenectady County’s Relay for Life.

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HIGH SCHOOLS – Dylan Bzdell stands alone in Storm boys’ ice hockey history.

A first-period goal in a 4-3 loss to CBA on Dec. 28 moved the Scotia-Glenville senior ahead of Mohonasen 2022 graduate TJ Pierce into first place on the program’s all-time points list with 79 on 37 goals and 42 assists. He went on to pot another goal in that game, and another in an 8-1 loss against Queensbury on Dec. 30.

“I think the biggest thing I remember is the guys coming over and congratulating me,” Bzdell said, “and that’s the most important thing because I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates, both past and current.”

The forward is in his third year playing for the program made up of student-athletes from Guilderland, Mohonasen, Scotia-Glenville, Voorheesville and Schalmont school districts. His former teammate Pierce was on the team five years to reach his mark of 78 points. Along with 2022 Voorheesville graduate Sean Bruno, who finished his career with 67 points, the trio all eclipsed 40 points last season.

When asked what makes his senior star stand out, head coach Ryen Young said, “perseverance.”

“He puts the best effort out on the ice,” Young said. “He’s always the hardest working one. He’s the first on the ice, last off the ice, and just the effort that he brings and the energy that he brings to our team.”

Bzdell has 15 points — seven goals and eight assists — already this season, bringing his career number to 81. After leading the team with 49 in 2021-2022, the century mark is very much in sight.

STORM FACES SARATOGA SPRINGS

The Storm visits Saratoga Springs for a 6:45 p.m. game Wednesday.

Both Young and Saratoga Springs head coach Tim Horst are looking for energy from their squads right from the start. After practice Tuesday, Young brought up the need for a rebound game with his team currently riding a three-game losing streak.

“Right from the get go, I’m looking for us to come out swinging and really, really push ourselves to be the best we can be … I want to win tomorrow night,” Young said.

Horst’s Blue Streaks (0-3-1 CDHSHL, 2-6-1 overall) are coming off a 4-2 non-league win over Cortland at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon, where they also lost a back-and-forth game to Pelham 3-2 on a goal with 55 seconds left.

Horst said Tuesday that his team is getting past a group of flu cases that kept some key players out the last couple weeks. The absences came just as the group is starting to put together stronger performances.

“Our goal is to come out, and come out with pace and really try to put together a really good first period and build off of that, because we know that they’ll be up,” Horst said. “They’ll be ready to play. They’re well coached, and they’re a good team, so we know we have to be at the top of our game against them.”

Both coaches are also looking for big games from their goalies. Horst gave a lot of credit to junior Xander Clarke for keeping the team in contests thus far. Young pointed to Shane McKone and Aidan Pike, who have split time in net thus far, as key players for the Storm this year.

FOR CHARITY

The Mohawks and Storm will contest the fourth annual “Hockey Fights Cancer” Cup on Friday, Jan. 13, at Schenectady County Recreational Facility Ice Rink.

It is a league game — counting for one point — and it is a rivalry game for the two Schenectady County-based squads, but first and foremost they play to raise funds for the American Cancer Society of Schenectady County’s Relay for Life.

“I think it’s great to know that you’re playing for something other than the win, and to know you really are helping out because it really is a great cause,” Bzdell said.

The cause is close to Mohawks’ head coach Ryan O’Connell’s heart. His wife’s family has had several members impacted by cancer, including the loss of his wife’s aunt at Thanksgiving two years ago.

“There’s so many people that that’s affected by cancer every day, so it’s really great to know that we’re donating money to a really great cause,” O’Connell said. “And any dollar helps to donate that to cancer research, resources, patients and families is really special. High school sports are all about bringing together communities in the first place.”

The Storm and Mohawks already met this season on Dec. 13 at Union’s Messa Rink, a 3-2 win for the Storm. The visitors scored all three goals in the third to overcome a 2-0 deficit after two. They have also won all three charity games so far.

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