Not every game will go as smoothly for the Niskayuna/Schenectady hockey team as Saturday's home opener against South Glens Falls, but it was a promising start for a young Mohawks squad.
Britton Leone scored twice off Greg DuCharme assists to lead N/S to a 6-0 victory over South High at the Schenectady County Recreation Facility in Glenville.
Chris Farah, Sam Hartz, Matt Kimmey and Mike Casey also tallied for the Mohawks (1-0), who are in a rebuilding mode after graduating several forwards from last year's team.
We've got a handful of returning players, so we have some experience, said N/S coach Todd Templeton. "But we don't have a lot of depth, and we're young at certain positions."
The Mohawks are especially young up front. Leone, Kimmey and John Watson are the only seniors among the team's 10 forwards. Hartz, who scored his team's second goal, is only a freshman.
Fortunately for Templeton, he has an experienced group of defensemen anchored by senior goaltender Scott Hartz. Bryan Bruce, Chris Kugler and Mike Pasley give the Mohawks a trio of seniors on the blue line.
"Defense and goaltending are our strengths. That's where we have our experience," said Templeton. "Our challenge will be trying to score goals."
The challenge for N/S this weekend will be winning the Saranac Lake Tournament, which brings together some of the top North Country programs.
"Obviously, we're going up there with the intention of winning the tournament, but more importantly it gives us a chance to gain some experience, move forward and hopefully continue to improve," said Templeton.
Once the Mohawks return from the North Country, they get back into the Capital District High School Hockey League schedule with a Tuesday game against Guilderland. They then host CBA " which lost to Shenendehowa in last year's Section II, Division I finals " next Saturday at the Schenectady County Recreation Facility.
"We've got to be ready to play every night," said Templeton. "If you don't show up ready to play every night, anything can happen in this league.""