Mamaroneck’s Robert Morris (13) heads up ice on a breakaway and scores a first-period goal against White Plains during a boys hockey game at Ebersole Ice Rink in White Plains Jan. 24, 2013. ( Frank Becerra Jr / The Journal News ) To view a gallery of photos from the game, click here.
By Mike Dougherty
WHITE PLAINS - Thomas Brill was under siege and shots were coming in from every angle. He was darting left and right between the pipes, bouncing up and down, finding the puck and valiantly protecting a precarious one-goal advantage in the opening minutes of the third period.
With a bitter wind blowing and the mercury falling, the huddled masses in front of the net weren’t completely unwelcome.
Brill came up with all of the necessary stops, and Teddy Bellis threw cold water on the White Plains comeback attempt when he got loose and created some breathing room. Robert Morris tacked on two more goals and Mamaroneck left Ebersole Ice Rink on Thursday with a 6-2 win.
The age old cliché proved to be true.
Mamaroneck was clinging to a 3-2 lead after the second intermission, and the next goal did indeed win the game.
“It took their breath away, I guess,” Bellis said.
The arctic blast that’s enveloping the region helped on that front. It was 19 degrees when the game started, and the wind chill made it feel like single digits.
“It was very cold, the coldest game I’ve ever played in, our own little Winter Classic,” Bellis said. “We knew it was going to be cold so we kept our feet moving and kept moving the puck. That was really the key. We kept the pressure on them in their zone and once we get it going, it’s hard to stop us.”
White Plains didn’t really feel the sting until the Bellis goal.
“I thought we created the chances,” head coach Howie Rubenstein said. “We just didn’t bury them. Mamaroneck did. They had a couple of quality chances and put them in the back of the net. We were all over them and could’ve been up 4-3. Sometimes it doesn’t hop your way.”
Peter Conley had Mamaroneck (10-6) up early, but a Phil Variano slap shot glanced off the crossbar and in to even the score.
The ice was ridiculously fast because of the cold so when a shot went hard off the stick of goalie Chris Stangarone the puck skidded all the way into the neutral zone where Rob Morris gathered it in and took off.
He was poetry in motion until wiping out in the middle of a goal celebration.
“It was nice, a pretty play,” Morris said. “I was lucky and happened to be standing in the right spot for that one, and then I was able to chip it by Chris.”
Bellis made it 3-1 in the opening minute of the second, but Kevin McGee set up Matt Conroy with a nifty crossing pass and White Plains (10-5-1) was back within a goal. There were plenty of prime opportunities, but Brill came up with 24 saves.
“We kept battling and battling and it just wasn’t working,” Variano said.
Mamaroneck was usually precise when it came in with a chance to finish, especially Morris who got his first career hat trick with two goals in the last nine minutes of play.
“You don’t normally do that against a goalie like Stangarone,” he said. “We just happened to put the puck where we wanted and we got some nice breaks.”