No. 1 Suffern (18-3) vs. No. 3 Mamaroneck (16-7)
Brewster Ice Arena
Previous meetings: Mamaroneck jumped in front early and hung on for a 4-3 win at Hommocks on January 11, and Suffern got the rematch 3-2 on February 1 at Sport-O-Rama when Nick Modica clamped down and survived on a flurry in the final minutes.
Coach: Rob Schelling
Forwards line by line: Robert Clark (5G, 19A), John Costa (8G, 11A), Kevin Hill (30G, 20A); Justin Tiso (13G, 12A), Nick Jaeger (14G, 14A), Joe Verboys (9G, 6A); Dan Demarco, CJ Greco, Michael Redgate.
Defensemen: Anthony Carudo and Tom Mahoney; Tom Brennan (6G, 15A) and Patrick Callinan; Troy Daniels.
Goalie: Nick Modica (1.24 GAA, 94.6 percent).
Coach: Mike Chiapparelli
Forwards line by line: Teddy Bellis (21G, 13A), Peter Conley (22G, 18A), Jason Bienstock; Trey Herlitz-Ferguson (30G, 14A), Robert Morris (10G, 25A), Will Arbo; Spencer Kupferberg, John Wojociechowski, Hunter Boyle.
Defensemen: Brian Schiff (7G, 25A) and Josh Kriss; Matt Fryer and Cooper Lavan; Brendan Barger and Ryan LeBlanc.
Goalie: Thomas Brill (2.9 GAA, 87.8 percent).
Keys to a Suffern win
1. Keep everyone healthy and maintain the playoff momentum.
2. Make sure Trey Herlitz-Ferguson has a nagging shadow.
3. Thomas Brill played on the big stage in lacrosse and won’t get rattled unless he’s under constant pressure.
4. Get some quality minutes early for the third line.
5. Mamaroneck will gamble in catch-up mode, so getting a lead will result in more chances.
Keys to a Mamaroneck win
1. Continue to shoot even if Nick Modica is playing like a Ninja.
2. Do not let Suffern go up by more than one goal.
3. Stay at home on defense, especially if Brian Schiff isn’t taking a regular shift.
4. Break out with numbers to force the Mounties to take the penalty.
5. Start physical and stay physical.
Prediction: Both teams are rolling at the right time of the season, which makes the intangibles a deciding factor. I’m not sure any team grinds better than Suffern, although I have seen the Mounties get flustered when the work is not rewarded with timely goals. Mamaroneck has a lot of seniors who are looking to leave on top, and that counts for something as long as they do not force the issue. I can see this coming down to a bounce. Suffern 4, Mamaroneck 2.