Since having a disappointing early start to their season, the Garnets have turned it around, winning four straight.
By Melanie Cane
Since having a disappointing early start to their season, the Garnets have turned it around, winning four straight. In their most recent matchup, January 6 at Playland, they beat Division 2 rival John Jay 4-1. This was their fourth time beating the Indians in as many meetings, including the 6-3 win in the Section 1 semifinal game last season. The Indians are coached by Alex Smith who played hockey for Rye High.
Theo Bresolin opened the scoring with three minutes left in the first period. He received a pass from Rocco Macri and, on a nice move, put the puck through the goalie’s legs. A minute later, Derek Mullane, who Coach Thomas named Player of the Game, scored from the point on an assist from Tommy O’Brien.
Seven minutes into the second period, John Jay got on the board, but Aidan Lavelle quickly answered with a shot from the point. Bresolin netted the last goal of the game on a clean shot from the top right of the circle and assistance from Macri and O’Brien. Goalie Nat Deen deflected 26 shots and the Garnets out shot the Indians 37 to 34.
This game marked Bresolin’s seventh and eighth goals in the past four games, including a hat trick against Fordham Prep on December 20 and an overtime winner against Glens Falls on December 30.
Coach Thomas calls him “a dominant go-to scorer for us.”
Mullane was named The Player of the Game.“Derek has been rock solid for us from the start,” said Thomas.” “He sets the tone on defense and contributes in big spots offensively. He played big against John Jay and scored the game winner against them.”
The win against John Jay game was important, because the Indians are a potential playoff opponent. “We wanted to send a message that we are the better team to make sure they know we have their number if we meet again,” said Thomas.
Regarding the team’s turnaround, Coach Thomas explained that early on, even though the team was playing very good hockey, they were having trouble scoring. “It was tough for the players because they would play their hearts out and weren’t getting rewarded. To their credit, they believed in our system and kept at it. Now that we are scoring, things have turned around and we feel more confident in our ability and our team game.” He continued, “The first line is really starting to play very well together. O’Brien (center), Macri (right wing), and Bresolin (left wing) are developing a good chemistry together on the ice and are creating quality scoring chances. Also, my third line is playing terrific hockey. Billy Haynes (center) is the anchor of that line and really gets it going, along with Nick Berger (right wing) and Theo Berner (left wing). On defense, Lavelle has really come into form and is playing some strong defense for us, while chipping in some goals as well.”
The Garnets are currently 5-6-0, with nine games left in regular season play. They met Rye Country Day at Playland, January 14, post-press time, and play New Rochelle January 21.