By Mike Dougherty
BREWSTER – Nobody complained when Brendan McDonough took a detour.
The game plan usually calls for the forwards to skate the puck in deep, but the junior saw a lot of room to roam in the middle of the ice. He accelerated into the open space, took aim and calmly gave White Plains a lead with 6:47 to play.
Mike Carrier tacked on an empty-netter in the final minute, and the Tigers were soon celebrating a 4-2 win over Mahopac in a Section 1 Division I semifinal at Brewster Ice Arena.
“I got the puck on the boards and saw a kid over-commit,” McDonough said. “He was taking away the outside, so I cut back to the middle, saw a lane and took it. There were a couple of slashes along the way. I saw an opening, picked out a spot and fired. I got a pretty good look at it going in, and it felt great.”
Next up for the Tigers is a Tuesday semifinal against Scarsdale.
White Plains threw a scare into the No. 1 seed five weeks ago, falling 2-1 in overtime, so there is no fear going into the game.
“It should be interesting,” said goalie Chris Stangarone, who made 48 saves in that game. “Playing them close earlier in the season gives us more confidence. It let us know we could play a really good team like that and have a chance to win.”
The Indians (10-9-2) were almost dominant in the first period.
Matt DeRosa had them in front in the opening minutes, then Joe Mastracola upped the lead to 2-0 when he went backdoor on the power play.
“We didn’t panic,” McDonough said. “We know what we needed to do. We had confidence we would start playing our game. We just had to play more physically and put some pucks on the net.”
There was a momentum swing when the second period got under way.
“I don’t think much changed except we had some tough luck there,” Indians coach Chris Lombardo said. “Our confidence was definitely high, getting two goals against maybe the best goalie in the state, but we knew they weren’t going away.”
Carrier scored on a fastbreak and Nico Mancini poked in a loose puck on the power play with 9:40 to play in the second, getting White Plains (14-6) even at 2-2.
Stangarone was busy in the third as was the Tigers’ penalty kill unit, but they held on.
“I was just doing what I have to do,” he said. “And the other guys were doing what they had to do.”
Best of the rest: James Nicholas had two goals and two assists for No. 1 Scarsdale in a 9-0 win over No. 8 Rivertown. Devon Schell and Steven Nicholas each added one goal and two assists. … Adam Marvin, Joe Tokarczyk and Dean Baumann scored for No. 2 Clarkstown in a 3-1 win over No. 7 North Rockland. … Justin Tiso had two goals and two assists for No. 3 Suffern in a 9-4 win over No. 6 New Rochelle. Troy Daniels added one goal and three assists. Kenny McLean had four goals for the Huguenots. … Rob Sanders completed a hat trick with an overtime goal that gave Stepinac a 6-5 win in a CHSHL B Division semifinal against St. Francis.