Coming off a pair of tough non-league losses over the weekend, Shenendehowa coach Juan de la Rocha was looking for the Plainsmen to bounce back in Wednesday night’s home Capital District High School Hockey League game against CBA.
He got what he wanted, and a little more, as Shenendehowa remained unbeaten in league play with a 6-0 win.
After senior Ryan Mortka opened the scoring, the underclassmen took over. Freshman third-line center John Cady scored his first two varsity goals, junior Austin McDonough chipped in with a pair, 11th-grader Tyler Lesniewski had a goal and sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Moffre turned in two scoreless periods in his second straight start as Shen went to 6-0-1, and gained ground over arch-rival Saratoga Springs, which suffered its first league loss, 6-3, at home against LaSalle.
“We talked about some things we wanted to see in the offensive zone,” said de la Rocha. “The effort was there the entire game. They were looking for seams, they were looking for open areas on the ice and feeding that space and trying to get goal-scoring opportunities that way.
“That was the bright spot from my perspective, seeing them try to execute a game plan that we gave them. At times, it got sloppy. At times, it looked great. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to [Kyle] Stockman in [the CBA] goal. He really was one of the reasons, at times, we had to deal with some frustration.”
McDonough and Lesniewski added first-period goals, Cady and McDonough found the net in the second period and Cady closed the scoring in the third.
“I’m not much of a goal scorer, I’m more of a grinder,” said Cady. “It feels good to contribute. It shows we have depth.”
“John Cady is a hard worker,” said de la Rocha. ”He got some fortunate bounces, but a lot of times, that comes off a lot of hard work.”
McDonough won a standing bet with de la Rocha with his two goals.
“We have on ongoing joke, he and I, that we started a couple of weeks ago,” said de la Rocha. “I told him when you score two goals in a game, I will let you run practice. He skated right over to the bench, and said, ‘I get to coach Friday.’
“He’s a good player, but he’s been a little snakebit lately.”
Moffre’s work drew praise from his coach and teammates.
“He was tested early, when the game was 1-0,” said de la Rocha of an early save. “It could have dictated how the rest of the game could have gone, but he snared that [shot] with confidence and kept them off the board.”
“Moff played great,” said McDonough. “He finally got his first start over the weekend, against the No. 2 team in the state, and he played great.”
Moffre finished with five saves in his 30 minutes, with senior Ben Farstad playing the third period. Stockman made 53 saves.
“I didn’t think we played great at the start, but 3-0 at the end of one [period], I can’t be too upset,” de la Rocha said. “We also came off an exhausting weekend.
“We didn’t play great tonight, but we did enough to get the job done.”
CBA 0 0 0 — 0
Shenendehowa 3 2 1 — 6
First Period — 1, Shen, Mortka (Quigley, Marr), 3:51. 2, Shen, McDonough (Peter Russo), 8:34. 3, Shen, Lesniewski (Tate Cretti, Cameron Kuhl), 12:21.
Second Period — 4, Shen, Cady (Marvin, Young), 8:20. 5, Shen, McDonough (Mortka), 12:27 (pp).
Third Period — 6, Shen, Cady (Tanner Cretti), 11:08.
Goaltenders — CBA, Stockman, 53 saves. Shenendehowa, Moffre, 5 saves; Ben Farstad, 3 saves.