No. 1 Suffern (19-2-1) vs. No. 2 White Plains (18-4)
West Point, Tate Rink
Previous meetings: Suffern 6, White Plains 1 on Jan. 28 at Sport-O-Rama; White Plains 3, Suffern 2 on Feb. 11 at Sport-O-Rama.
Suffern line by line: Keith Nicholson (16G, 7A), John Redgate and Mike Gorton. Jake Jaeger (27G, 20A), Willie Sanchez and Willy Baker. Ian Adler (11G, 8A) Greg Dgheim and Kevin Haggerty.
White Plains line by line: Dan Broderick (35G, 30A), Drew Sobo, Paul Variano. Brian Warager (7G, 1A), Kevin Broderick and Chris Medeot. Daniel Marks (1G, 1A), Chris Medeot and John Sullivan.
Suffern defensemen: Steve Scholer (6G, 13A), Jon Fuchs. Adam Brenner, Connor Delaney.
White Plains defensemen: Jack Peeples (10G, 19A), Connor Lawrence. Kevin McGee, Philip Heimo.
Suffern goalie: Tyler Stark (1.52 GA).
White Plains goalie: Chris Stangarone (1.62 GA).
Suffern game plan: 1. Get in front immediately. Suffern always likes to send a message in the opening minutes, and must give White Plains a reason to worry. And stay in front. You know Howie Rubenstein’s been up late working on another trap in case his team grabs the lead. 2. Keep the emotions in check. Revenge is good motivation, but the Tigers do know what to do on the power play. Giving them any kind of advantage is a mistake. 3. Finish. Suffern has at times struggled to put the puck in the net, like in the second meeting against White Plains, and the frustration seems to lead to even more shots going high and wide.
White Plains game plan: 1. Play to an obvious strength: Use the deepest defense in Section 1 to kill time. Peeples, Lawrence and McGee are all strong with the puck. There’s no hurry to push it through all that neutral zone congestion. Get organized, then go. 2. Play it clean. White Plains has three lines, but if those last three guys spend more than four minutes total on the ice, the Tigers are doomed. The headliners need their legs at the end, and every penalty kill is an energy drain. 3. Stay patient. Let the game be decided in the last five minutes. All of the pressure is on Suffern, let the Mounties feel it down the stretch. The Tigers need to be in a situation where one play gets them even or puts them ahead.
Pick: Suffern, 4-2