Penalties are usually a bad thing in hockey, unless you can turn your short-handed situations into quality scoring chances at the other end of the ice.
That's exactly what the Niskayuna-Schenectady hockey team did Friday night against Saratoga. Even more surprising, their two short-handed goals were scored by the same player Mike Tenenboym on breakaways, helping the Mohawks to a 3-1 win at the Schenectady County rink.
"We outplayed them in the first period, and their goaltender by all means stood on his head with 14 saves. He kept them in the game," N/S coach Todd Templeton said. "(Our) guys didn't get frustrated, they kept at it and managed to pop in a couple of short-handed goals, which is nice."
"We showed sparks of energy, spurts of good play, but overall we made a lot of mental errors and they capitalized," said Saratoga coach Tim McGuiggan. "At times, we were caught scrambling and panicking with the puck instead of staying focused, calm and patient."
The Mohawks (4-1 league, 5-2 overall) had several quality scoring chances in a scoreless first period, but they couldn't solve Blue Streaks goaltender Graeme Bulmer, who had 14 saves in the opening 15 minutes.
"He's given us two solid starts, and I'm very happy with the way he's been playing," McGuiggan said of Bulmer, who finished with 29 saves.
Tenenboym tallied his first short-handed goal with 11:20 left in the second period. He scooped up a loose puck, skated the length of the ice and beat Bulmer with a shot through the legs.
After another barrage of shots, N/S took a 2-0 lead with 4:59 left in the second period. Junior defenseman Mike Casey skated the puck down low on a Mohawk power play and found Chris Farah standing outside the goal crease. Farah took Casey's pass and shot it past Bulmer for a goal.