BREWSTER – Abbie Ives came off the bench with an icy stare and cold feet.
The unsinkable Fox Lane goalie was left to defuse a breakaway some 30 seconds after taking over between the pipes and came through with a silky kick save to help lock down a 6-3 win over Lakeland/Panas on Friday at Brewster Ice Arena.
“I’d rather come in and face a shot from the point, but stopping a breakaway gets you into the game right away,” said Ives, who made eight saves after coming in during the second period to protect a one-goal advantage.
The workload is usually a lot heavier.
Last month, Ives came up with 62 saves in a 4-3 loss to Greeley and 61 saves in a 2-1 loss to Mahopac. Neither team was being polite. The Foxes are struggling this season and only have three wins, but Ives keeps them competitive.
“It brings a lot of confidence to our players, knowing we have somebody who is strong back there stopping the puck,” Fox Lane coach Scott Miele said.
For some unknown reason, the school has produced a string of reliable stoppers.
“I don’t know what it is, but there is something in the water in Bedford,” Miele said.
Cody Williams stood out a few years back and Ives spent her freshman season watching former Journal News Player of the Year Conor Bunyan make save after save. She took over last season after he graduated. Colleges are taking notice. And the opportunity to play for any number of prep schools has always been there.
“I really thought about it my freshman year,” Ives said. “Honestly, I just wanted to be like Conor. I have so much fun playing on this team and I love Fox Lane. The prep school level is good, but I think I will develop more facing a lot of shots against the boys.”
The games where Ives can relax for more than a few seconds are rare.
“When we’re playing a good team, I know I’m going to see a lot of shots,” she said. “I just try to focus on the next shot and not think about how many I’m dealing with.”
There is plenty of ponytail company in the building. Madison Drezek starts in goal for Yorktown and Willow Barnes starts in goal for Carmel.
Jimmy Rathschmidt was on the other end of the ice Friday and can relate to the volume of shots. Nobody in Section 1 has seen more pucks this season. Fox Lane put 55 shots on the Rebels goalie, and he was all over the crease working to keep his teammates close.
“Jimmy’s been awesome,” Lakeland/Panas coach Bart Mucci said. “He forgets every shot that gets by him during the game, but I’m sure he remembers them at the end of the night. . He’s probably our best athlete and that’s what makes him do what he does. He faced 55 shots tonight, which is a light workload compared to what he’s faced a number of times.”
Rathschmidt faced 87 shots earlier this month in a 17-0 loss against Greeley. It was a forgettable outing, but the 70 saves rank second all-time in New York, according to the state hockey coaches association record book.
“That was a little ridiculous, but it is what it is and I’m not holding any grudges,” he said. “Our team got down and they just kept coming at us. … I like playing this role, but it can be a little bittersweet.”
Joseph Fetter netted two goals, including the game-winner, and Fox Lane got a goal and an assist from Ryder Beitzel and Jacob Rauch. Anthony Cappello had two goals and an assist for the winless Rebels.
Photos by Frank Becerra/The Journal News