The Niskayuna/Schenectady Mohawks found a new way to win Saturday.
They beat the Guilderland/Mohonasen Dutch Warriors, 3-0, without any points from their high-octane top line, working for greasy goals from elsewhere in the lineup to back up a solid effort in goal from Peter Mrazik.
“Once we got the first goal, we just went with it,” Mohawks alternate captain Andrew Gallup said. “Our defensive coach told us to dictate, and that’s what we did. We went out there, worked hard and got some goals.”
The top line of Ben Fisher, Devon Patrick and Matt DiVietro combined for 22 goals and 19 assists in the Mohawks’ first 14 games — that’s 58 percent of the team’s goals.
Saturday, though, the game-winner came from freshman forward Dillon Mensing on a second-period power play. Gallup followed with an odd breakaway tally and an empty-netter at the Schenectady County Recreational Facility.
The Dutch Warriors owned the first period, but came away empty-handed, despite a couple breakaways.
“I think they felt they deserved better after the first period,” Dutch Warriors coach John DeRubertis said of his players. “I would certainly agree after two breakaways and another good four or five scoring chances in that period, and we came away with nothing. That didn’t help us. I think if we find a way to the back of the net in the first period, we might go from there with a little momentum.”
Early in the second period, back-to-back penalties gave the Mohawks all the momentum. On the second power play, Mensing threw the puck at the net from low in the right circle, and it took a bounce past goalie Nigel Simmons at 4:37.
It was Mensing’s first point of the season, but not of his career, as he had a few points last season as an eighth-grader.
“It’s our coaches and captains and upperclassmen. They got us pumped up,” Mensing said. “I think the team just wanted to win for once.”
The win moved the Mohawks to 4-4-0 in the Capital District High School Hockey League and 6-9-0 overall. The Dutch Warriors fell to 2-8-0 and 3-10-1.
The Mohawks doubled their lead at 13:43 in the second period when Gallup jumped out for a breakaway when the puck got past Dutch Warriors defenseman Shane Shields.
Shields, though, never gave up on the play and was suddenly right on Gallup’s heels as he entered the attacking zone. The senior defenseman dove and reached his stick around Gallup to poke out the puck.
Despite the effort, the puck then went off Shields’ skate and hopped past Simmons.
“I thought I was just going to bring it back, get a nice wrist shot, and I did not see him coming at all,” Gallup said. “Then when he got the puck, I thought I was just going to stop, turn around and get the puck, but when I turned around, it was in the net. I was just like, ‘All right, I’ll take it.’ ”
Gallup scored the final goal with just 31.2 seconds to play with a shot from the blue line into an empty net.
Simmons was reliable when facing any shot he could do something about, stopping 33 of the 35 he saw. It took two crazy bounces to beat him.
Mrazik was a rock, finishing his first shutout of the season with 27 saves.
He said he was a little worried with how the first period went, but suspected his teammates would find more possession in the second. Still, with a 2-0 lead, he said he was starting to feel that worry creep in again late in the game.
“I was regretting it [the impending shutout], because they have some really skilled players, and they were getting good shots,” he said. “Our defense did really good at keeping us in the game, but I was regretting it, because I was scared, sort of.”
The Dutch Warriors have had some games get away from them when things don’t got their way late. This time, DeRubertis said instead of hanging their heads, they kept working. He expects the same when they host the Mohawks at Union College on Tuesday.
“As far as competing for three periods, that might have been our highest compete level in quite some time,” DeRubertis said. “The last three games were real difficult losses for us, lopsided. Tonight, they came out and competed for three periods.”
Guild./Mohonasen 0 0 0 — 0
Nisk./Schenectady 0 2 1 — 3
First Period — No scoring.
Second Period — 1, Niskayuna/Schenectady, D. Mensing 1, 4:37 (pp). 2, Niskayuna/Schenectady, A. Gallup 4, 13:43.
Third Period — 3, Niskayuna/Schenectady, A. Gallup 5, 14:28 (en).
Goalies — Guilderland/Mohonasen, Simmons 3-10-1 (35 shots-33 saves). Niskayuna/Schenectady, Mrazik 5-6-0 (27-27).
Nick Quigley scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner at 14:09 of the final period, to lift Shenendehowa over Queensbury, 6-5, at the Lake George Forum.
Brad Tardif, Kevin Miles, Ryan Mortka and Peter Sacks also scored for the Plainsmen, while Brian Walter and Matt Cologgi combined to make 27 saves in goal.
Rob Orban stopped 30 shots for the Spartans, who got three goals from Shane Kanaly, one from
Michael Shultes and another from Brandon Edwards.
Shaker/Colonie stopped Christian Brothers Academy, 7-4, behind a hat trick from Eric Egan.
Tyler Smith, Andrue Caruso, Jordan Vetrone and Derek Hillenbrandt also scored for Shaker/Colonie. Kodi Riddell made 20 saves.
For CBA, Zach Swanteck, Dean McMahon, Chris O’Keefe and John Bassett scored goals, and Kyle Stockman had 35 saves.
Maura Mulligan erupted for five goals and two assists, and Marielle McHale added two more scores in Albany Academy for Girls’ 8-1 Upstate New York League victory over Saranac Lake.
Teagan Ketchum also scored for Albany Academy for Girls. Hanna Courcelle scored the lone goal for Saranac Lake.
SHENENDEHOWA 6, QUEENSBURY 5
Shenendehowa 3 1 2 — 6
Queensbury 1 4 0 — 5
First Period — 1, Queen, Kanaly (Edwards), 0:16. 2, Shen, Tardif (Miles), 3:54. 3, Shen, Miles (Sacks), 4:27. 4, Shen, Mortka (Bearisto, Irving), 10:29.
Second Period — 5, Queen, Kanaly (Edwards, Kirby), 2:04. 6, Queen, Shultes (Aarons), 4:12. 7, Queen, Edwards, 4:29. 8, Queen, Kanaly (Crist, Edwards), 5:47. 9, Shen, Quigley (Mortka), 14:34.
Third Period — 10, Shen, Sacks (Mortka, Quigley), 13:29. 11, Shen, Quigley (Mortka), 14:09.
Goalies — Shenendehowa, Brian Walter, 9 saves; Matt Cologgi, 18 saves. Queensbury, Rob Orban, 30 saves.
SHAKER/COLONIE 7, CBA 4
CBA 1 2 1 — 4
Shaker/Colonie 2 2 3 — 7
First Period — 1, S/C, Egan, 6:20. 2, CBA, Swanteck (Harrison), 9:44. 3, S/C, Egan (Hillenbrandt, Chiara), 13:53.
Second Period — 4, S/C, Smith (Matson), 4:28. 5, CBA, McMahon (O’Keefe), 6:07. 6, CBA, O’Keefe (McMahon), 6:25. 7. S/C, Caruso (Egan, Chira), 6:56.
Third Period — 8, CBA, Bassett (VanEpps), 3:19. 9, S/C, Egan, 6:15. 10, S/C, Vetrone (Bink, Smith), 10:55. 11, S/C, Hillenbrandt, 14:04.
Goalies — CBA, Stockman, 35 saves. S/C, Riddell, 20 saves.
UPSTATE NEW YORK LEAGUE
ALBANY ACADEMY FOR GIRLS 8, SARANAC LAKE 1
Saranac Lake 0 0 1 — 1
Albany Academy 3 4 1 — 8
First Period — 1, AA, Ketchum (Mulligan, Cassin). 2, AA, Mulligan (Ketchum). 3, AA, Mulligan (McHale).
Second Period — 4, AA, Mulligan (Ketchum). 5, AA, McHale (Phelps, Crowley). 6, AA, McHale (Mulligan, Ketchum). 7, AA, Mulligan (Ketchum, McHale).
Third Period — 8, SL, Courcelle (McDougall). 9, AA, Mulligan (McHale, Cassin).
Goalies — Saranac Lake, Katey Snyder, 33 saves. AA, Zoe Shannon, 10 saves; Alexandra Shannon, 9 saves.