Mohonasen/Schalmont senior Kyle McKelvey might be looking for a little redemption when the Thundering Herd face Bethlehem at 7 tonight in the Section II Division II playoff quarterfinals at the Bethlehem Area YMCA.
McKelvey easily won the Capital District High School Hockey League scoring championship, putting up 41 goals and 19 assists for the Herd (5-17-0). But when the league’s all-star teams were announced Monday, McKelvey made the Division II team, but didn’t earn a spot on the All-CDHSHL team, which combines both divisions.
“I was kind of disappointed in that, and I hope Kyle might be disappointed enough to try to make a name for himself Saturday,” said Thundering Herd coach Steve Brown. “Sixty points is 60 points. It doesn’t matter what the schedule is, and also, he was playing with a lot of young kids this year. He still had a lot of points in the league games. He had four goals against Saratoga, and had hat tricks against a lot of other teams.”
McKelvey is just the fifth scoring champion in the history of the CDHSHL to amass 40 goals in a season.
“He’s got great hands, and we’ve got a couple of other kids who have been able to feed him,” said Brown. “People think that he just hangs, but I think it’s more that he knows when to get out of the zone and go. If he gets the puck on his stick and there aren’t two or three guys on him, he’s tough to stop because he’s always got his head up and knows how to bury shots.”
The Herd, seeded fifth, only faced the Eagles (7-13-2) once during the regular season, and absorbed a lopsided 12-0 loss on Dec. 5.
“We were so young,” said Brown. “We’re a much different team right now.”
Senior defenseman Petter Lundgren is the Herd’s No. 2 scorer with nine goals and 23 assists, and Derrick Mundweiler (7-13-20) is also a threat.
“We’ve been doing some different things with different players,” said Brown. “We’ve been working all week with players and their roles. If they [the Eagles] try to shut down Kyle, I’m confident we’ve got some other weaspons we can use.”
The Thundering Herd have been vulnerable on defense this season, giving up a league-high 150 goals in 22 games.
While the Eagles don’t have one dominant player, they have a balanced attack led by junior Steven Russo (16-15-31), Kyle Barach (13-17-30) and Eric Halek (13-13-26).
In the other Division II quarterfinal tonight, No. 3 seed Burnt Hills/Scotia (6-15-3) will take on South Glens Falls (1-21-0) at 7:15 at Messa Rink.
“We didn’t have the season we anticipated, so our goal is to win the next three, and win a championship,” said Spartans coach Walt Peretti.
The Spartans’ attack is spearheaded by junior Max Munsey (15-16-31), but Jordan Beck (8-11-19), Trevor Herrick (5-8-13) and Greg Dwyer (8-5-13) are all capable of breaking out for a big game.
“Max has been great, but we need more production from the other two lines,” said Peretti. “Trevor Herrick has been a leader for us, on and off the ice, for two years, and we’d like to see him get going, offensively.”
Although the Bulldogs only won one game, senior goalie Evan Greenwald was named the all-CDHSHL goalie after compiling an .882 save percentage. Greenwald made 774 saves during the regular season, and faced more than a shot per minute (878 shots in 832 minutes).
Niskayuna/Schenectady (8-15-2), coming off a 5-4, triple-overtime victory over Christian Brothers Academy, travels to Saratoga Springs to face the third-seeded Blue Streaks (16-7-2) at 6:45 at the Weibel Ice Rink in the Division I semifinals.
Saratoga beat the Mohawks twice during the regular season by scores of 6-1 and 4-3.
“Saratoga has three solid lines,” said Niskayuna/Schenectady coach Todd Templeton. “They don’t have that one standout guy you know you have to cover, which makes them so tough to defend. They play very well as a team, have great positioning and work their butts off. Mike [Saratoga coach Mike Ricupero] has really gotten them turned around.”
The Streaks defeated Shenendehowa, 4-1, in the quarterfinals. Tristan Sperry had a goal and an assist, and Graeme Bulmer had 18 saves in goal. junior Cody Nizolek, the CDHSHL Player of the Year, also had a goal.