Even on the scoresheet Wednesday, there was no way to tell the Flynn boys apart.
Twin brothers Ryan and Matt Flynn both had two goals and two assists for Saratoga Springs in a 7-0 Capital District High School Hockey League win over Shenendehowa at Weibel Avenue Ice Rink.
“Me and my brother work really well together,” Matt Flynn said. “He’s been hurt, so it’s great to have him back. We just seem to find each other and the guys we play with. Everyone just passes the puck really well when we’re jelling.”
The brothers, seniors, are playing their first varsity season, having played junior hockey previously for the Senior Selects in Troy.
Their production Wednesday was a big chunk of their season totals. Ryan now has seven goals and seven assists, while Matt has seven goals and 11 assists.
“They played a heck of a game,” Saratoga Springs coach Dave Torres said. “Those guys have been playing together since they were born, I believe. We haven’t had them healthy. Ryan, it’s only his 10th game of the year. To have them both back and on the same line is incredible. So it’s good to have two scoring lines. It’s tough to stop.”
The Plainsmen (9-2-1 CDHSHL, 11-6-1 overall) still sit in first place in the league with 17.5 points, but they have two games left worth only two points if they win both. The Blue Streaks (11-0-0, 14-2-1) — winners of the last three Section II Division I titles — have 17 points, and their three remaining games are worth five points.
Saratoga Springs dictated play from the start, outshooting Shenendehowa, 12-3, in the first period. Still, the Blue Streaks converted only one of those chances, a two-on-one rush at 13:10 that ended with Nick Winters dishing to Ryan Flynn, who was skating down the left side of the slot.
Goalie Dakota Smith made 14 saves to make that first goal stand up as the winner, but the Blue Streaks gave him some breathing room in the second period.
The Flynns share a line with Drew Patterson, who spent the day battling the flu, but still found enough energy to post a goal and an assist on a high-energy line.
On another two-on-one rush at 2:08 in the second period, Patterson sent a pass from the top of the right circle to Matt Flynn as he slipped through the left side of the slot for the finish.
“He finds the puck, and he dishes it real well,” Matt Flynn said of Patterson. “He works great with us.”
Then frustration seemed to set in for the Plainsmen, and they started taking penalties. They had just killed one when Matt Flynn sent a pass through traffic to his brother Ryan on the other side of the slot for a 3-0 lead at 4:15, before the Plainsmen’s fifth man could make it back into the play.
The Blue Streaks got their fifth goal on a power play with just 11.5 seconds left in the period. They added the sixth in the third period, also on a power play.
“We were running around,” Shenendehowa coach Juan de la Rocha said. “We got a little bit undisciplined, positionally. We talked about not getting guys too low on our forecheck, because they’re very quick to transition. Then once we started getting
behind the eight ball, we were either giving up two-on-ones or taking penalties because we were trying to get back in the proper position. And it just snowballed from there.”
Matt Flynn kept the specialty teams’ momentum flowing with a short-handed breakaway goal at 7:26 in the third, streaking up the ice after intercepting a Shenendehowa pass, providing the final margin.
The Blue Streaks have scored 89 goals this season, and Torres was not surprised his squad put up seven against Shenendehowa, which they beat, 2-0, early in the season.
“Why not? We’re a high-scoring team, and that’s what we do,” Torres said. “We put pucks in the net. So, we don’t care who our opponent is, we go and crash the net. We shoot pucks on net, and that’s what we do. We score goals.”
Shenendehowa 0 0 0 — 0
Saratoga Springs 1 4 2 — 7
First Period — 1, Saratoga Springs, Ryan Flynn (Nick Winters), 13:10.
Second Period — 2, Saratoga Springs, Matt Flynn (Drew Patterson, R. Flynn), 2:08. 3, Saratoga Springs, R. Flynn (M. Flynn, Brendon Wormley), 4:15. 4, Saratoga Springs, Patterson (Devin Coffey, Elliot Hungerford), 4:46. 5, Saratoga Springs, Wormley (M. Flynn, R. Flynn), 14:48 (pp).
Third Period — 6, Saratoga Springs, Tyler Bullard (Coffey, Devin Smith), 10:49 (pp). 7, Saratoga Springs, M. Flynn (Winters), 7:26 (sh).
Goalies — Shenendehowa, Brian Walter, 26 saves; Ben Farstad, 6 saves. Saratoga Springs, Dakota Smith, 14 saves.
Emily Cassin recorded a hat trick to help Albany Academy blank Lake Placid, 5-0, in the divisional semifinals.
Hannah Tulchinsky and Maura Mulligan also scored for 12-7 Albany Academy, which takes on the winner of the Saranac Lake-Beekmantown game in the division finals.
Lake Placid 0 0 0 — 0
Albany Academy 1 1 3 — 5
First Period — 1, AA, Tulchinsky (McHale, Phelps).
Second Period — 2, AA, Cassin.
Third Period — 3, AA, Mulligan (McHale). 4, AA, Cassin. 5, AA, Cassin (Mulligan, Cottrell).
Goalies — Lake Placid, Tanner Stanton, 21 saves. AA, Zoe Shannon, 20 saves.