By Mike Dougherty
BREWSTER – All season long, Pearl River has made the most of the big moments.
The rejuvenated Pirates got three goals from Max McGee and left a lasting impression on another quality opponent Monday at Brewster Ice Arena, hanging a humbling 9-3 loss on Greeley.
It’s not an upset.
“We’ve just been coming out, having fun and getting things done,” senior defenseman Connor McMorrow said. “We’re working hard and good things are happening for us.”
The latest Pearl River winning streak is up to seven games.
For some reason, the Quakers did not have the same level of intensity from shift to shift and they were in a 1-0 hole when Pat Burns hit McGee on the fly in the opening minutes. Sam Mishkind got loose and netted the tying goal with 6:43 to go in the first, but McMorrow stormed in seconds later and pushed in a rebound on the power play to make it a 2-1 game.
Dolan Ocasal came up with his first varsity goal before the period ended, giving Pearl River a 3-1 edge.
“We want to leave an imprint that we’re here to play,” McGee said. “We’re Pearl River and we’re ready. We’re making strides as a program this year.”
Mishkind cut into the deficit with a shorthanded goal three minutes into the second, but McGee got it back in a blink, making it 4-2. The Pirates (12-1) were not yielding momentum. Kevin Murphy and Burns upped the lead before Scott Jakubawicz ended the run. McGee completed the hat trick before the period was over, making it a 7-3 lead.
Greeley (6-5-2) quickly lost interest.
“You don’t like to lose like this, but I’d rather lose in January than do this again in February,” Quakers coach Zachary Dargaty said. “These are preparation games for (the playoffs), and this is a lesson for us. I think a lot of guys got the message that our best players have to play better and we have to have better energy, or we’re not going to beat anybody.”
Thomas Murphy and Burns tacked on third-period goals.
Like it or not, the Pirates, who also have wins against Scarsdale and North Rockland, are on the growing list of contenders for the Section 1 Division II title.
“I think what we’re trying to do is focus on the next practice and not look too far ahead,” Pearl River coach Brian DelSavio said. “Even in this game, there are lots of things we can work on. The kids are excited, but we’re still taking it one game at a time.”