A save, a clear and a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake goal.
That quick sequence of events in the first quarter Tuesday evening helped the Spartans grab a heap of momentum, and they rode it to an 11-7 Suburban Council win over Ballston Spa at Union College’s Frank Bailey Field.
“To have Tom [Kenneally] put it in at the end of it, that was the turning point in the game early on,” said Burnt Hills coach Tom Schwan.
Kenneally scored with the Spartans down a man, Erin Dillon scored with no time left in the opening quarter to extend the Spartans’ lead to 5-1 and Trevor Hiss collected five goals over the next two periods as the lead grew to
10-3 in their second victory over the Scotties this season.
Hiss added two assists to his five-goal outburst, Chris Buono had two goals and an assist, Tom Ruppel also delivered two goals and Lucas Carter made 17 saves, just as the junior had in BH-BL’s 11-6 triumph over Ballston Spa late last month.
“He made some great saves that allowed us to pull away, pull away, pull away,” Schwan said of Carter, a first-year starter. “He’s done good things throughout the season.”
“I was seeing the ball really well today,” Carter said. “I made a save early on the post. and that got me going.”
Carter made one of his five first-quarter saves about a minute after Burnt Hills had been penalized for an illegal stick, which gave Ballston Spa a six-on-five advantage with 6:18 left.
“After I made that save, I got it to a midfielder. I believe it was Billy Chapman, and he did a good job of legging it,” Carter said. “He got it to Tom, and when he was able to finish, it was big.”
Burnt Hills (10-5, 7-5) found itself defending six-on-three soon after Kenneally’s goal, due to a pair of simultaneous penalties, one a minute slash and another a 30-second hold. The Spartans killed each infraction off, with Carter making just one save during the defensive stand.
“We just didn’t finish,” said Ballston Spa coach Joe Pollicino. “We just didn’t shoot well today.”
“If they had pumped in a couple, my confidence goes down. Our confidence on defense goes down. Our confidence on offense goes down,” Carter said. “When they didn’t score on us, everything went forward.”
Carter played a big role in turning Ballston Spa (8-7, 5-7) back, making seven stops in a busy third quarter, and allowing five of the Scotties’ seven goals.
“We had a junior [Kyle Olson] in goal last year, and he was going to be our starter. He hurt his shoulder in football and couldn’t play this year,” Schwan said. “I feel terrible for him, but when one door closes, another one opens, and Lucas has done a great job.”
Carter was on the sideline after being whistled for a two-minute illegal equipment penalty in the fourth quarter, and Scotties got man-up goals from John McDonald and Jake Gargiulo 12 seconds apart to get within 10-6.
“It was my mouth guard,” said Carter. “I have a habit of taking it out and putting it in my sock during breaks. It was still in my sock. In all the excitement, I forgot about it. I feel bad about that. They climbed back in.”
Ruppel gave BH-BL an 11-6 lead with 4:12 left, and McDonald completed the scoring with 1:15 remaining. Garrett O’Grady also had two goals for the Scotties, and John Blake made 15 saves.
“Blake kept us from losing, 20-7,” Pollicino said of his promising sophomore netminder. “He played a fantastic game.”
Blake stopped Dillon’s initial drive down low, but the ball trickled in to give Burnt Hills its 5-1 lead after one quarter. Hiss answered a Coltin Moseman second-quarter goal with two of his own, and the standout attackmen notched three in the third period while O’Grady tallied for the Scotties.
“When we got it back to six-on-six [in the first quarter], that was like a jolt of electrity,” said Schwan. “That carried us for a long time.”
Buono sandwiched goals around one by Ruppel to give BH-BL a 3-1 lead, with Hiss setting up both Buono’s connections.
“Burnt Hills played with heart and they played with hustle, and they did the little things. They made the extra pass and got to ground balls,” Pollicino said of the reigning Section II Class B champions. “That was the difference in the game.”
Ballston Spa 1 1 1 4 — 7
Burnt Hills 5 2 3 1 — 11
Ballston Spa soring: R.J. Borgolini 1-0, Coltin Moseman 1-0, John McDonald 2-1, Garrett O’Grady 2-0, Matt McDonald 0-1, Kyle Abdelattif 0-1, John DeGuardi 0-1, Sam Groves 0-1, Jake Gargiulo 1-0. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake scoring: Chris Buono 2-1, Trevor Hiss 5-2, Tom Ruppel 2-0, Nick Vincent 0-2, Tom Kenneally 1-1, Eric Dillon 1-0, Billy Chapman 0-1.
Goaltenders: Ballston Spa, John Blake, 15 saves. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Lucas Carter, 17 saves; Ian Reed, 1 save.