By Mike Dougherty
WHITE PLAINS – After losing a number of talented players who turned a struggling program into a contender, Greeley is taking inventory.
There is some good news.
Sam Mishkind, Scott Jakubowicz and Sam Whitehouse can score in bunches. Each of them had two goals in a 7-5 win over Archbishop Stepinac in the Guy Mathews Invitational Hockey Tournament on Friday at Ebersole Ice Rink.
There is some bad news.
A number of issues on the defensive end have to be corrected in the coming weeks if the Quakers plan to avoid making every game a shootout.
“We have goal-scorers,” said Jakubowicz, a senior forward who reached 100 career points with two goals and two assists. “That’s not really our problem. … Defense is going to be the key. If we play good defense, we’re right up there. If we don’t, we’re not going anywhere.”
Despite needing to fill some holes in the lineup, expectations are high.
Whitehouse got the Quakers in front when he unleashed a blast from the point less than four minutes into the game.
The puck was a blur.
“I kind of just threw it toward the net hoping for the best,” said the 6-foot-5 sophomore defenseman. “We had a little bit of traffic, so I just took a slap shot and luckily it went in.”
The Crusaders knotted the score when Ryan Mahoney got loose on a breakaway, and went in front with 4:53 to go in the first when Justin Bernhard got loose in front of the net.
Whitehouse ended the run a minute later when he scored on the power play.
Mahoney scored again in the final minutes of the period, but Mishkind got that one back in short order, making it a 3-3 game. Stepinac applied more pressure early in the second, but a short-handed goal by Jakubowicz put Greeley in control again.
“That one slowed us down,” said Mahoney, who finished with two goals and two assists. “You lose momentum when something like that happens. We have work to do on our power play.”
Mathew Mutkoski upped the lead with four minutes to play in the second, and Mishkind and Jakubowicz scored in the first three minutes of the third, making it a 7-3 cushion.