GLENS FALLS – With my apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, better to have played and lost than never to have played at all.
The Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa ice hockey team surrendered a 7-1 road decision to the Adirondack Rivermen on Friday in a capital high school ice hockey semi-final played at the recreational rink of Glens Falls, but the team at least managed to qualify the ice.
The league playoffs were turned upside down before they even started, as La Salle and the Christian Brothers Academy were eliminated before the first round due to COVID-19 protocols. Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa were scheduled to face the ABC’s first seed in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, but instead faced The Storm – a team made up of players from Guilderland, Mohohasen, Schalmont, Scotia-Glenville and Voorheesville – who were inserted in the playoffs. mix to complete the support in a short time.
Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa advanced with a 4-1 victory over the Storm, then fell to the Rivermen who will face Shenendehowa in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game at Clifton Park. The Plainsmen dismissed rival Saratoga Springs 4-1 on Friday to earn his place in the Championship game.
After dominating The Storm, defeating the Adirondacks proved too difficult for Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa.
“We just got back on our heels and at the [re-surfacing of the ice between the second and third periods]we tried to change our front axle a bit, ”said Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa coach Jim Buffoline. “It seemed to be working, but we just couldn’t keep up with them today. [They were] a little faster, a little more skillful than us. We are just too young. They have a lot of old people.
The ice hockey season got off to a late start after a long wait for “high” risk winter sports competitions to be cleared by the health ministry and local health authorities. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is not sponsoring any state championship competitions in any sport this year, so the local ice hockey playoffs are the final prize for this year’s teams.
The Adirondacks pushed four first-period goals past second-year goaltender Alex Shear, who was pushed into action after junior rookie Cam Folli was injured in Monday practice. Shear has started two of the team’s 15 games this year.
“We were against it because of our injuries. Our goalie had a concussion in practice which put our sophomore in the net, ”said Buffoline. “One of our best [defenseman] broke his arm, another child is ineligible and our goalie is injured – all in two weeks. It’s no excuse, but the kids did their best. it was a battle today.
Adirondack forward Will Bickford led the Rivermens with two goals and an assist, while Tyler Carruthers had two goals, and forward Will Cormie had one goal and two assists. Ben DiFiore started in the goal and turned back 16 shots before giving way to Andy Buser who made 13 saves.
Buffoline said her lines were full of subclasses; one freshman on their first line, two sophomores on their second, and two freshmen on their third.
“The future looks really good to us,” said Buffoline. “It’s a good experience for them to be in high school hockey.
For Buffoline, the lesson learned for her young team was to enjoy the journey.
“It’s been a long year,” he said, “but it’s been a good two months [of hockey] for everyone.”
In Shenendehowa’s 4-1 win over Saratoga Springs, Shenendehowa captain Justin Miazga scored two goals and Plainsmen goaltender Leo Coons returned 32 shots.
Anthony Sassone added a goal and an assist in the win for Shenendehowa.
ADIRONDACK 7, BURNT HILLS / BALLSTON SPA 1
Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa 1 0 0 – 1
Adirondack 3 2 2-7
Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa score: Grabb 1-0. Adirondack goal: Carruthers 2-0, Reynolds 1-1, Bickford 2-1, Cormie 1-2, DeMarsh 1-0, Scarincio 0-1, Walter 0-2. Goalkeeper records: Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa, Shear, 18 saves. Adirondack, DiFiore, 16 stops; Buser, 13 stops.
SHENENDEHOWA 4, SARATOGA SPRINGS 1
Saratoga Springs 1 0 0 – 1
Shenendehowa 1 1 2 – 4
Saratoga Springs goal: McCoskey 1-0. Shenendehowa goal: Miazga 2-0, Mayo 1-0, Sassone 1-0, Celtruda 0-1, Haldane 0-1, Saelens 0-2. Goalkeeper records: Saratoga Springs, McNeil 16 saves. Shenendehowa, Coons, 32 stops.
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Categories: High school sports, Sports