CLIFTON PARK, NY — Mason Snider smiled a little brighter after Shen’s 3-0 victory over Saratoga on Monday thanks to the official earning of his first college hockey career shutout.
“With a game like that, he’s definitely earned our number one spot right now,” Shen head coach Juan de la Rocha said. “There was a period of time where we played without him, but this is by far his best game so far.”
Snider made 21 saves to pick up the win and retire.
Shen picked up his sixth win of the season in the Capital District High School Hockey League on Monday to take first place in the league with a 6-1-1 record. Saratoga falls to 1-4 against CDHSHL opponents.
“We are very satisfied,” said de la Rocha. “They played a very disciplined game. Positionally were sound, not running. I think we improved as the game progressed. In our last three games, we have really taken a step forward. We were close to being in a really dark place.
Shen and Saratoga were tied 0-0 after the first period, but it was Shen who had the majority of chances on Saratoga goaltender Xander Clarke. Clarke finished with 34 saves on 37 shots in the loss.
“He kept us and gave us a chance,” Saratoga head coach Tim Horst said. “He played really well.”
The teams take to the ice for warm-ups…@HockeyToga new jersey score… 6/10 | simple and classic and you can’t hate it, i really wish they kept some kind of version of the lightning socks…god they were sick #518Pallet pic.twitter.com/WPVyFhTZ8Z
— Joe Boyle (@boyleralertTroy) January 17, 2022
Shen came out of the locker room in the second period on full throttle and had the man advantage to start the period. Although Shen did not convert on the power play opportunity, their first goal by Nate Hutchens at 11:20 into the period was on the power play. Hutchens’ goal was created by a point shot from Freddie Hicks that bounced directly off the boards behind the net and straight off Hutchens who was able to pocket the puck and passed Clarke.
The special teams were a real advantage for Shen, who scored another power play goal at 4:02 in the third thanks to some traffic up front on a Brandon Stocker point shot. Hicks was credited with the goal.
“We spent a lot of time there,” de la Rocha said of the special teams game. “Our penalty kill has improved a lot. Although I imagine we are going to be really tested this week against Bethlehem and then again when we climb north to Messina.
Shen’s second goal of the night came at 9:19 into the second period on an odd run. Stocker carried the puck to the right side of the net and found Nolan Sullivan on the other side of the net where Sullivan was able to tap the puck in and passed Clarke for the insurance goal.
As in any Saratoga-Shen rivalry game, the third period got choppy. Five penalties were called in the final frame, but only one was called against Shen.
“They do a great job of being disciplined. I’m very proud of the group,” de la Rocha said of his side’s ability not to fight back late in the game.
Shen had a fourth goal called up at 2:19 into the third period when a Shen forward fell in front of the net amid a group of Saratoga defensemen. The whistle sounded as a forward from Shen picked up the puck and pushed it into the back of the net.
On the other bench, Saratoga’s physique came from an attempt to generate momentum. A penalty or two from Saratoga late in the third might have been considered unnecessary, but most of the Blue Streaks’ physicality came from an attempt to generate momentum.
“I think they have to bring their own motivation,” Horst said of his team’s motivation. “They have to learn from it and move on. If you can’t learn from a lesson like this, you’re not going to improve. The message for them is: sometimes you get taken to school, you take your classes, you take your bumps out and you get better, so that’s where we are. »
Saratoga was solid defensively. Shen’s chances piled up until a few squeaky goals, but Clarke and the Saratoga defense blocked plenty of chances on goal.
“We have to be cleaner coming out of the area,” Horst said. “We don’t make that good first pass on the attacking strip and the result is that we spend more time in our zone which forces the defense to step in and Xander makes a big save.”
Shen is back in action Wednesday when they host Bethlehem at 7:45 p.m. Saratoga travels to play at Albany Academy Friday at 5 p.m.
Shen and Saratoga will meet again on February 9 in Saratoga.
FINAL: @shenhockey 3, @HockeyToga 0 | definitely a dominating performance for Shen, the game could easily have been 5 or 6 nothing | Toga goalkeeper Xander Clarke stood on his head and had good rebound control and had good assist up front #518Pallet
— Joe Boyle (@boyleralertTroy) January 17, 2022
SHEN 3, SARATOGA 0
Capital Ice Rink
Clifton Park, New York
Shen 0-2-1 – 3
Saratoga 0-0-0 – 0
Freddie Hicks 1 goal and 1 assist; Brandon Stocker 2 assists; Nate Hutchens 1 goal; Nolan Sullivan 1 goal; Mason Snider 21 saves
Xander Clarke 34 saves