LARCHMONT — For some unknown reason, Pelham is not big on the path of least resistance.
When the situation calls for additional urgency, the Pelicans are suddenly difficult to deal with. They were a different team after Mamaroneck grabbed an early lead Friday night, and stormed to a 6-3 win at Hommocks Park Ice Rink.
“Quite honestly, we play better when we’re down a goal,” Pelham coach Ed Witz said.
A five-game losing streak has not disheartened a young Tigers squad, which played loose and fast in the opening period. Alex Ewald lifted a puck over the shoulder of Pelicans goalie A.J. Gugliara with 1:32 left in the first to get Mamaroneck (4-8) on the board first.
The goal was a source of inspiration for the Pelicans.
“We came out lazy,” Pelham forward Will Donovan said. “After we came back to the huddle at the end of the first period we realized we had to pick it up and play the game we’ve been playing all season.”
There wasn’t any hesitation.
The Pelicans (7-2-1) were on every puck and were playing with purpose.
Ben Hurd was battling for the puck along the boards five minutes into the second when it bounced into the slot where Andrew Schauer was camped out.
It was a 1-1 game in a blink.
“They did come at us early and play a little better than us,” Schauer said. “I don’t know how much of a surprise it was because I feel like if we had come out playing our game we would have gone up on them early. We kind of came out hesitant and they took it to us with that first goal. … I think we turned it around instantly. After we got settled in I think we played our game.”
It was the first of many opportunities.
Donovan got the Pelicans on top when he threw a rebound in with eight minutes to go in the period. The real push came in a hectic third. Hogan Peters and Hugh McNulty scored early in the period, then Donovan made it 5-1.
John Wojciechowski scored twice in the closing minutes, and the Tigers had one more apparent goal waved off with 1:35 to play. Schauer tacked on an empty-netter.
“They worked their tails off,” Mamaroneck coach Mike Chiaparelli said of his team. “Scoring is a little tough for us, but we’re building for the end of the year when the freshmen will be sophomores and the sophomores will be juniors and things will be a little better for us.”