RYE HIGH HOCKEY
Whitesboro Defeats Rye in State Quarterfinal
BY CHRIS URBAN
Going into the Section 1 Division 2 championship rematch with John Jay at Brewster March 1, Rye had a 13-8 record with quality wins over Mamaroneck and Cortland, and had beaten Pelham 3-1 in the semifinal to reach the championship.
The No. 1 seeded John Jay Indians carried an impressive 18-2-1 record coming into their game against Rye. They defeated Horace Greeley 4-1 heading into the championship game, having won the division the last two seasons.
Two minutes into the action, Mattie Wierl opened up the scoring for John Jay. Rye was unfazed, outshooting and pushing the pace of play the rest of the first period. Their hard-nosed play led to a highlight-reel Reece Dorfman backhand goal which was the play of the game.
Leading 2-1 in the second period, Rye continued to get good chances against John Jay and the team was physical all period. They shut down many Jay scoring chances by playing tight man–to–man defense, with aggressive forechecking that flustered the Indians’ rhythm all game.
Declan Lavelle and Brendan O’Byrne scored within two minutes of each other. Midway through the third period, Lavelle finished off a two-goal performance with an empty-net goal with 2:30 left to play that sunk John Jay’s Section 1 title hopes.
Great penalty killing and excellent goaltending from Annabelle Thomas were also significant factors that led to Rye’s 5-1 thrilling victory and their first Section 1 title in a decade.
On March 7, Rye took on the Whitesboro Warriors in the Division 2 State quarterfinals at Brewster. The 16-5-1 Warriors come from the Syracuse region and were granted an at-large berth after a 5-1 loss to Skaneateles in the Section 3 final.
The measuring stick between both teams were games against Cortland-Homer High School. Rye beat them 5-4 and Whitesboro beat them 2-1, which seemed to foretell a close and interesting quarterfinal.
And that held true for the entire first quarter, in which no goals were scored, with both teams demonstrating great hustle and puck movement up and down the ice. Unfortunately for Rye, the first scoreless period would be their best.
In the second period, the momentum totally shifted in Whitesboro’s favor, as they scored three goals, including two within two minutes of each other. True to their name, they played like warriors, greatly out–possessing Rye and applying heavy pressure in their defensive zone.
After Jim Kraeger’s second goal for Whitesboro, they played with increased confidence and ease on the ice. The Warriors opened up the 3rd period with yet another goal, displaying impressive puck movement near the goal on a powerplay. The Garnets just couldn’t quite capitalize on several different quality scoring chances when they had them. Annabelle Thomas made 33 saves for the Garnets, as Whitesboro outshot Rye 37-23.
Despite their 4-0 loss to Whitesboro, Rye had their best season in the last decade. finishing with a 14-9 record.
Declan Lavelle, No. 9, takes a face off for the Garnets against John Jay. 1293
Rye’s Peter Angelastro takes a shot from the left slot against John Jay in the Section 1 championship game. 1651
The Garnets played tight “D” and Annabelle Thomas excelled in goal VS JOHN JAY
Rye applies pressure in the Whitesboro defensive zone. 1711
The Warriors managed to keep the puck in the Garnets’ end for much of the last two periods. 1713
Graham Ross takes a face–off in front of Annabelle Thomas who, despite the loss, made 33 saves. 1714