The 4th-seeded Rye High Boys’ Hockey team played the 8th-seeded Scarsdale Raiders like world-beaters in the first two periods of their Section One Semi-finals on February 24.
By Melanie Cane
The 4th-seeded Rye High Boys’ Hockey team played the 8th-seeded Scarsdale Raiders like world-beaters in the first two periods of their Section One Semi-finals on February 24. But, in a third-period surge, the Raiders came back to beat the Garnets 6-4 in dramatic fashion.
Rye started the game playing very aggressively. Sophomore forward Jack O’Brien scored the Garnet’s first goal just three minutes into the first period. A minute later, senior Co-captain Ryan Rogers added a second goal; another minute later, junior Michael Benincasa made it 3-0. Said Rogers, “We started the game the way we wanted to. We popped a few in early then we started to roll.”
The Garnets were on a high going into the second period with a 3-0 lead; but, this was to be a game of highs and lows, as Scarsdale quickly scored twice. Rye responded: sophomore forward Griffin Tutun scored giving the Garnets a 4-2 advantage starting the third period.
Within minutes, a pumped-up Scarsdale team scored two consecutive goals, tying the game at four. For a brief moment, it appeared to Rye fans — up on their feet — that the Garnets had pulled ahead, when Michael Benincasa charged the net alone only to see his shot saved, phenomenally, by the Scarsdale goalie.
With just 56 seconds to play, the Raiders achieved the near impossible. Coming back from a 3-0 and 4-2 leads, they scored to take the lead. They Raiders sealed the deal with an empty netter, to achieve a 6-4 defeat over a stunned Rye team.
Rogers felt as though “the ice was slanted in our favor for the first part of the game but then shifted halfway through. Suddenly, all the bounces were going their way.”
Rye’s junior goalie, Aidan Talgo, who had 27 saves, called it an unforgettable loss. Speaking for the team, Talgo said they knew Scarsdale was a skilled team that was capable of a comeback. If they had it to do over again, Rogers realized they should have played a more disciplined game not give up so many odd man rushes.
Rogers compared the arc of the game to their season. “Just like the game, we started the season off great, but halfway through the season we lost to McQuaid and ever since then we gave had a tougher time putting the puck in the net.”
Despite the heartbreaking ending, Rogers had more fun this year than any other years. He said the saddest part of losing the game was knowing that he would never play with his team again.
Talgo said, “It’s going to be a tough loss to get over, but we learn from our mistakes, and it will only make our juniors, sophomores, and freshmen stronger for next season. I’m looking forward to getting better over the off-season and strengthening my game in all aspects. I’ll be ready for November and I’m itching for next season to begin.”