Seems like this game ended a year ago. Sorry for the late update. The logistics of filing a story from that rink were an absolute nightmare. I just sent something in for the Northern Westchester edition of the paper, and now I’m trying to pretty it up for Rockland and throw in some quotes.
A few quick notes before I go, though: Tom Natoli had 46 saves. He’s an animal. Nick Clark had three goals. He’s a superstar. Shen was hitting like a bunch of escaped lunatics. The Mounties are going to be sore in the morning. More later…
OK, Suffern was amazingly disciplined in this game. They were down 1-0, then 2-1, but they worked their way back by playing defense, being patient, staying out of the box, scoring power play goals, etc. They played their game.
Again, Natoli had 46 saves. The most important stat of the game was that Natoli had 19 saves in the first period. He shut Shen out in the second and third periods, but the first period was by far the most important for him. If it was an average high school goalie in there, the game would have been over at the first intermission. It would have been something like 6-1, at best, and Suffern’s spirit would have been completely crushed.
Natoli kept the Mounties in it so that they could do what they ended up doing in periods 2 and 3, which was to outplay Shen in their own way: letting the Plainsmen have the puck most of the time, letting themselves get outshot, absorbing a lot of shots before they reached Natoli, then capitalizing when they got an opportunity.
Suffern goes to the state final four for the second straight year. Nice work.
Suffern now has to play Ithaca in Utica. I don’t know if as many Suffern fans will make the trip for that one (there was a great turnout tonight).