The stats were predictable once the teams had taken the ice for warm-ups.
Perennial power Shenendehowa beat the Guilderland/Mohonasen/Scotia-Glenville Storm at Union College’s Messa Rink on Saturday, 16-0, to open the season.
The part that was less predictable was how both teams would handle the mismatch. And with the Storm dressing just 10 players, it was a mismatch.
“It’s tough to be in games like this, and I know it’s tough for their coach, as well,” Shenendehowa coach Juan de la Rocha said. “We want to make sure the guys are showing good sportsmanship and no one’s getting hurt. You want your guys to play hard, but at the same time, you don’t want to show anybody up. Just trying to find that balance.”
“I give Juan a lot of credit, because it’s also tough for them to come in and play us in these circumstances,” Storm coach Ed Koivula said. “You could see, in the second period and third period, he started going to a four-corner offense and pulling off the forecheck, which was a classy move that I appreciate.”
The Plainsmen started the game just going about business as usual, and that yielded nine goals in the first period. Senior winger Kyle Marr got the first on the game’s first shot, 42 seconds after the puck dropped.
Senior defenseman Peter Sacks had three goals and an assist. He scored both of the Plainsmen’s power-play goals as they went 2-for-2 with the advantage.
“I just really want to get pucks low on net,” Sacks said. “When they come out to me like that, I’m really not looking to shoot for a goal, but for rebounds. Tonight, they just went straight in. That was fortunate.”
Nick Quigley assisted on five goals. Peter Russo added two goals and two assists and Ryan Mortka had two goals and one assist.
The Plainsmen saw several players pick up their first varsity goals: Hayden Haldane, Kevin Knox, Austin McDonough, Tucker Marvin and Tyler Lesniewski.
Goalie Ben Farstad made two saves in the first period before giving way to Jordan Moffre, who made four saves through the final 30 minutes.
Timmy Brisley was kept busy in goal, making 40 saves for the Storm. The nine skaters in front of him were tested, physically, too, as they had to do a job usually done by 18.
“It’s pretty tough,” senior Storm defenseman Jimmy Brady said. “I don’t know, it’s a lot of ice time, but it’s pretty tiring. We had a D missing, too, so it was only nine guys.”
Despite tired legs, the Storm pressed on, and Koivula was pleased with the character they displayed.
“Do you go in and compete and continue to give effort? Or do you wilt and fold?” Koivula said. “Do you come out and put it out there every period? That shows the character. I have 10 kids, but every one of them has a tremendous amount of character. They’re still here, they’re still playing, they want to play and that’s what they’re here for.
“What the scoreboard shows is not indicative of their effort. Their effort has to be what it is, and you have to be accountable to yourself at the end of the game, not to the scoreboard.”
The Plainsmen will face a tough St. Joe’s team from Section VI on Friday night at 8 at Clifton Park Arena.
“That’s one of my big reasons for making sure they were really supporting each other out on the ice tonight and moving the puck well,” de la Rocha said. “There were times where it was a one-man show a little bit before they dished it off, but for the most part, they did a nice job of moving the puck and cycling the puck down low and using the point.”
Sacks said the Plainsmen worked out a few kinks in their game, and he was glad to see the consistency in their play, which they will need next week, as well.
“I like how, even though we were up by so much, we didn’t get sloppy,” Sacks said. “We kept it clean, kept executing the way we wanted to. We didn’t really want to keep putting goals up, but since we were doing the little things right, they just kept finding their way in.”
Shenendehowa 9 3 4 — 16
Guilder/Mohon/Scotia 0 0 0 — 0
First Period — 1, Shenendehowa, Marr (Mortka, Quigley), :42. 2, Shenendehowa, Russo (Young, Tat.Cretti), 1:17. 3, Shenendehowa, Marvin (Cady), 3:06 (sh). 4, Shenendehowa, Lesniewski (Marr, Quigley), 4:36. 5, Shenendehowa, McDonough (Russo, Marr), 6:17. 6, Shenendehowa, Haldane (Tan.Cretti, Tat.Cretti), 8:04. 7, Shenendehowa, Mortka (Quigley), 9:19. 8, Shenendehowa, Sacks, 10:57. 9, Shenendehowa, Sacks (Young, Quigley), 13:24 (pp).
Second Period — 10, Shenendehowa, Russo (McDonough), 7:10. 11, Shenendehowa, Stalica (Cady, Marvin), 9:20. 12, Shenendehowa, Young (Sacks), 11:21.
Third Period — 13, Shenendehowa, Sacks (Russo), :08 (pp). 14, Shenendehowa, Mortka (Quigley), 3:36. 15, Shenendehowa, Rosmarin (Knox), 6:03. 16, Shenendehowa, Knox, 6:46.
Goalies — Shenendehowa, Farstad (2 shots-2 saves); Moffre (0:00 second, 4-4). Guilderland/Mohonasen/Scotia-Glenville, Brisley (56-40).