By Mitch Silver
“These are the ones you remember.”
Rye Country Day Head Coach Brett Farson recalled his own coach saying those words in the moments after his team’s late surge overcame The Harvey School to defend their Fairchester Athletic Association crown by a score of 7-4. “Today was definitely one of those games.”
It wasn’t as easy as the final score made it seem. Undefeated in league play, the Wildcats entered the final at Harvey’s own Evarts Rink in Katonah having skated around and through the fourth-seeded King School in the semifinal, 8-4. Then again, so did Harvey, pasting third-seed St. Luke’s 8-3 for their 17th win of the season. And with a little more than six minutes left in the championship game, the two top-ranked squads were all tied up at 4-4.
That’s when high-scoring junior Jack Kissell took over. With Charlie Keating and Will Dodge providing the assists, Kissell slammed home the power-play goal that edged the defending champs’ noses in front. Then, with Harvey pulling their goalie for an extra skater, he scored his fourth goal of the game, an empty-netter to, well, ice things for the visitors. Another empty-net goal, this time by Keating, supplied the three-goal difference.
Coach Farson had high praise for Keating, only a freshman, who had two goals and four assists. But he really wanted to talk about his seniors. “Will Dodge opened the scoring for us and Eddie Abrams, our goaltender, stole the show by taking a few goals away, especially in the first period. The way those two play hockey and approach every game defines senior leadership.”
Dodge added four assists for the Wildcats and Abrams made 22 saves for the 16-5 champions, after stopping nearly twice as much rubber, 43 shots, in the semifinal.
The coach was ebullient after the game. “The team played its best hockey of the season in the FAA tournament, and we needed a maximum effort to take on a very talented Harvey squad. We tip our hats to them on an outstanding final and season on the whole. It’s great for our league.
“Harrison Kadish played a great game on defense, as did his partner, Ryan Peacock. Isaac Sacks logged a ton of physical minutes on the blue line. Up front, we benefited from having three strong lines and major contributions from Shane Holmes, Willy Massaro, Liam McLane, Jake Oddi, George Megdanis, and Nik Goulet. It was a solid team effort.”
Two-time champs take a well-earned rest.