The Saratoga Springs hockey team has the best record in the Capital District High School Hockey League, and beat rival Shenendehowa twice during the regular season.
But what the Blue Streaks don’t have is the Delvecchio Cup.
Because of the points system used in the league, the Plainsmen (11-2-0) were awarded the Cup, given each year to the regular-season champion. Shenendehowa (15-4-1 overall) also earned the No. 1 seed in the expanded Division I playoffs, which begin today.
The Streaks, who were 13-1-1 in the CDHSHL, actually finished third, behind Shenendehowa and Queensbury (11-1-0). The Streaks had 19 points, while Shenenedehowa and Queensbury each had 20. The Plainsmen won the tiebreaker with the Spartans to secure the Delvecchio Cup.
“It is what it is,” said Saratoga coach Mike Ricupero, who played at Shenendehowa from 1994-98, Sunday. “It’s an award based on points and obviously, we didn’t get enough.”
The points system went into effect prior to the 2002-03 season, when the league had 14 teams and was broken up into two divisions — Suburban Council and Independent.
If two CDHSHL teams only play once during the regular season, the winner of that game is awarded two points. If teams play each other twice, the winners of those games get one point.
“It can get frustrating, because some teams don’t want to play you twice,” said Ricupero. “It’s just a matter of preference.”
With the CDHSHL broken up by classification this year, 10 teams were in Division I, and all 10 will be going to the playoffs.
In today’s first round, No. 7 Guilderland/Mohonasen (5-15-0) will play No. 10 South Glens Falls (1-19-0) and No. 8 Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa (4-13-0) takes on No. 9 LaSalle (3-16-0). Both games will be at the Bethlehem YMCA, with the double-header beginning at 5 p.m.
Saratoga (17-2-1 overall) will face the Mohonasen/Guilderland-South Glens Falls winner on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. at the Weibel Avenue Rink as it begins its quest for a second straight Section II Division I crown.
Shenenedehowa will also be in action Tuesday, hosting the LaSalle-Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa winner at 7:30 at Clifton Park Arena.
“I really didn’t expect us to be this good,” said Ricupero. “We lost some very good seniors, and I thought this would be a rebuilding year. But we’ve been strong defensively, and our offense has picked up.”
Because Queensbury (16-2-2) and Glens Falls (9-9-2) are the only two teams classified as Division II, they will advance directly to the championship game on Feb. 26 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
On Saturday, Albany Academy ran its New England Prep School League record to 22-5-1 with a 4-1 victory over Hebron School of Maine.
Derek Barach scored two goals, and Nick Pichette had a goal and two assists. Ben Halford turned aside 33 shots, and also picked up an assist.
Albany Academy 0 2 2 — 4
Hebron School 1 0 0 — 1
First period — 1, Heb, Joey Collins (Drake Hart), 15:09 (pp).
Second period — 2, AA, Derek Barach (Mark Knowlton, Nick Pichette), 15:10. 3, AA, Barach (Pichette, Conor riley), 17:07.
Third period — 4, AA, Albee Daley (Jeff Taylor, Ben Halford), 3:19. 5, AA, Pichjette (Taylor, Riley), 11:07.
Goalies — Herbon, Guillaume Belanger-Therian, 32 saves; Albany Academy, Halford, 33 saves.