The Shenendehowa hockey team reverted back to their mastery of Christian Brothers Academy Friday when the two Capital District High School Hockey League rivals renewed acquaintances at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
CBA (8-1-2 league, 12-5-3 overall) earned its first points against the Plainsmen in the school's history earlier in the season when the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie at Shen's home rink on Dec. 23. Friday's game held a different result, with Shen routing CBA 5-1.
We were outworked all night long, from the opening face-off to the end of the game, said CBA coach Ron Kuhl. "They took it right to us, they never let up and we never really got out of the gate."
The game was dubbed as "the battle of the unbeatens" in the CDHSHL as both teams entered the game with identical 8-0-2 league records. The Plainsmen entered the game percentage points behind CBA in the Division I standings, but moved into sole position of first place with the win.
"We knew that if we wanted to control our own destiny, we needed to win this game," Shen coach Juan de la Rocha said. "We're looking for a No. 1 seed and a first round bye. That's our goal."
The Plainsmen entered the tilt missing three key players who were out because of either an illness or injury. Luckily for Shen, none of them were members of the team's most productive line this season. The line of Adam Hitchko, Jesse Elliot and freshmen Alec Pacheco has been the top scoring line for the Plainsmen all season long. That didn't change against CBA as the trio accounted for two goals and two assists.
"That line is excellent " they're really outstanding. They've been playing together since December, and they're the guys that we rely on," de la Rocha said.