No Surprise, Garnets Looking Like a Contender Again

Rye’s ice hockey team has made it to five consecutive Section championship games, and if their sizzling 2011 start is any indication, they’ll be back for a sixth crack at the title.

Published December 19, 2011 4:37 PM
2 min read

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sp-hockeythumbRye’s ice hockey team has made it to five consecutive Section championship games, and if their sizzling 2011 start is any indication, they’ll be back for a sixth crack at the title.

 

By Jim Byrne

 

Rye’s ice hockey team has made it to five consecutive Section championship games, and if their sizzling 2011 start is any indication, they’ll be back for a sixth crack at the title.

sp-hockeyThe Garnets have kicked down the door of the new season, racking up four victories while outscoring opponents 19-3. They dominated Shaker-Colonie 6-1 in the season-opener December 2 at the Ice Hutch, and then put up the same lopsided score at home against Mt. Pleasant December 7.

“I was hoping we would start off the way we did, and thought we had the potential to do it, so it’s very exciting to see it come to fruition,” said head coach Jason Friesen.

 

The Rye train continued to roll last weekend, as the Garnets headed upstate and beat Bethlehem 4-1 and Glens Falls 3-0. Friesen said the games were good tests, and that his team executed well, especially on the power play.

 

Junior Michael Benincasa and senior captain Ryan Rogers, last year’s second- and third-leading scorers, have picked up right where they left off. Benincasa was quiet in the opening victory, but now leads the team with nine points. Kirk Holmes, also a senior captain, and sophomores Cal Hynson and Jack O’Brien have powered the offense as well.

 

“We roll up three lines and all go hard,” said Friesen. “We’re not overly big or physical, but we are quick and we know what we’re doing.”
In net, Aidan Talgo is saving 97% of the shots he’s facing, and is protected by a gritty group including seniors Justin Uzcategui and CJ Murphy and juniors Jason Chin and Max Bresolin.

 

“Every time we’ve needed Talgo he has stepped up,” said the coach. “He’s done a great job, and has stuffed a few 2-on-1 breakaways.”

 

The Garnets have won three of the last five Section titles, but dropped their crown to Pelham in a 1-0 loss last season at West Point. They also fell to Pelham by one goal at the end of the 2008-09 season, but Friesen believes the team is primed for another run at the championship.

 

“I absolutely think we have a chance to contend again,” he said. “Both times we lost there we were in the game but didn’t end up on the right side of the score.”

 

Rye plays post press time against Scarsdale, and then heads to Buffalo at the end of the month for a pair of tilts with Western New York teams. 

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