I finally got a chance to check in on Rye, and I wasn’t very impressed, to be honest.
Now before anyone takes offense, I wasn’t impressed the first time I saw the Garnets last season, either, and they won a Section 1 title. The overall game plan is always introduced piece by piece. As the season progresses, the level of understanding increases and the level of play rises.
“I think we’re like two-thirds of the way there,” Rye coach Jason Friesen said after a 2-1 loss to McQuaid Jesuit. “I’ve got a few young kids that need to come along a bit yet, but I liked today. We didn’t generate a lot, but we covered the ice better. I’m pretty happy with where we are. It was nice to play a team that really tested us and gave me a look at where we really are.”
Here’s what I would be a little concerned about, I didn’t see too many forwards willing to stir things up in the middle of the defense and create open chances for teammates. How many finesse goals are the Garnets scoring this year? Not many. They need to scramble and force miscues and breakdowns.
On the plus side, I haven’t seen too many goalies playing better than Aaron Rix.
As for Pelham, which outshot West Seneca West 43-31 and settled for a 3-3 tie, I still believe the winning streak is going to come, but I see good players trying a little too hard. That’s human nature, I suppose. Instead of winding up and looking for a corner, the Pelicans might’ve gotten a rebound in to win if they had settled for a couple of rips down low.
“We just have to keep the goals and shots to a minimum,” defenseman Matt Landis said. “We know the offense is going to pick it up.”
I have no doubts we’ll get the best of both teams on Wednesday, as these longtime rivals go head-to-head at Playland.