Suffern’s Justin Tiso (26) is checked at the blue line by Mamaroneck’s Ted Bellis (4) in the first period as the Suffern Mounties and Mamaroneck Tigers face off at Sport O Rama in Monsey on Feb. 1, 2013. ( John Meore/The Journal News )
Section 1 Division 1 Tournament
No. 1 Suffern (16-3) bye
No. 8 Clarkstown (10-9) vs. No. 9 Kennedy/Putnam Valley/Haldane (11-8-1), 4:15 p.m. at Palisades
No. 4 White Plains (13-6-1) vs. No. 13 Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville (8-12), 6 p.m. at BIA
No. 5 New Rochelle (12-6-2) vs. No. 12 Carmel (5-10-3), 1:30 p.m. at Ice Hutch
No. 2 Somers/North Salem (15-3-2) bye
No. 7 Lakeland/Panas (12-7-1) vs. No. 10 Nyack/Tappan Zee (11-7-1), 4 p.m. at BIA
No. 3 Mamaroneck (13-7) vs. No. 14 North Rockland (6-13-1), 8:15 p.m. at Hommocks
No. 6 RyeTown/Harrison (10-7-2) vs. No. 11 Mahopac (9-11), 7 p.m. at Ice Hutch
Tuesday at higher seed
No. 1 Suffern vs. No. 8 Clarkstown or No. 9 Kennedy/Putnam Valley/Haldane, 7:30 p.m. at Sport-O-Rama
No. 4 White Plains or No. 13 ETB vs. No. 5 New Rochelle or No. 12 Carmel
No. 2 Somers/North Salem vs. No. 7 Lakeland/Panas or No. 10 Nyack/Tappan Zee, 6:45 p.m. at BIA
No. 3 Mamaroneck or No. 14 North Rockland vs. No. 6 RTH or No. 11 Mahopac
Thursday at higher seed
Feb. 24, 4:30 p.m. at Brewster Ice Arena
Favorite: Suffern has won three straight Division 1 titles, but the defending state champions have struggled at times during the season due to injuries and inexperience. And there will be some pressure. The Mounties haven’t lost a Section 1 playoff game since 2009. Suffern is healthy for the first time in a month and remains a defensive power with Anthony Carudo and Tom Mahoney in front of goalie Nick Modica. There is no extablished go-to scorer at the other end, but Kevin Hill and Justin Tiso are fast and highly-skilled.
Challengers: Mamaroneck split a pair of games with Suffern during the regular season, with each team winning at home by a single goal. The Tigers match up very well. Trey Herlitz-Ferguson, Teddy Bellis, Peter Conley and Robert Morris each present different challenge up front. White Plains also knocked off the Mounties this season. The Tigers have perhaps the best goalie in the section, Chris Stangarone, and play a disciplined style that usually keeps opponents within range. Kevin McGee also ranks among the best finishers in the area. Somers/North Salem isn’t a deep team, but the Sabers are 11-0-1 since Dec. 14 and have enough talent with David Rubenstein and Mitch Lanyi up front and Matt Rubenstein in goal to play with good teams.
Best first-round game: It’s been a long season for No. 11 Mahopac, which came in with great expectations and fell apart. A measure of redemption could be gained by knocking off No. 6 RyeTown/Harrison, a young team that took down Greeley and Rye late in the season.
Upset specials: Mamaroneck is the lower seed, but is expected to beat Somers/North Salem if they meet in the semifinals. The Tigers need to be very careful. Rubenstein is good enough in goal to steal a big game. White Plains is going to have plenty to be worried about if they get New Rochelle in the semifinals. The Huguenots do give up some goals, and they are thin, but they can score in bunches.
X-factor: Leadership. Mamaroneck has more seniors playing big roles than any team in Division 1, and that could outweigh the postseason experience of Suffern.
Players to watch: Justin Tiso (Suffern) So. F; Kevin Hill (Suffern) Jr. F; Nick Modica (Suffern) Jr. G; David Rubenstein (Somers/North Salem) Sr. F; Trey Herlitz-Ferguson (Mamaroneck) Sr. F; Teddy Bellis (Mamaroneck) Sr. F; Brian Schiff (Mamaroneck) Jr. D; Kevin McGee (White Plains) Sr. F; Chris Stangarone (White Plains) So. G, Chris Ramondelli (New Rochelle) Sr. F; Brian Ketchabaw (RTH) So. G; Conner Bubolo (Lakeland/Panas) Sr. F; Mike Gillespie (Clarkstown) Jr. F; Tommy Krincic (Mahopac) Jr. D.; Stephen Varmon (Nyack/Tappan Zee) Sr. G.
The frozen four: Suffern, White Plains, Mamaroneck, Somers/North Salem.
Championship matchup: Suffern and Mamaroneck.