I did venture down to the Ice Hutch yesterday and caught Suffern and Pelham scrimmaging each other. The one thing I was most impressed with is how serious both of the Section 1 champions were. Everybody skated hard, and there was just the right amount of mutual respect. That’s a productive scrimmage.
Since everyone is dying to know what these teams have left, I’ll share a couple of thoughts.
Pelham has more physical stature this season. Wait until you see Andrew Schauer (6-3, 185). He’s going to be scary when the meat and potatoes finally stick. The Pelicans didn’t have Will Cullen due to an illness, but were pesky on defense, as usual. Goal tending was a non-issue on both ends of the ice. We’re going to have to wait and see where the goals are coming from. Both teams are looking for a finisher to step forward. Suffern had some issues with the breakout and struggled to control the puck for a good portion of the second half, but it’s still a difficult task for anybody to put goals up against these guys. Keep an eye on Joe Verboys, an experienced newcomer up front who’s going to be pressuring opposing D-men. The Mounties did not have Anthony Carudo due to an illness.
Oh, yeah, the final score – Suffern 2, Pelham 1.
Graduation took a toll on both programs, so it’s logical to assume they’ve come back to the pack a little. Even so, based on the depth of talent I saw yesterday, I’m warning the rest of the section to be ready for more of the same.