The Christian Brothers Academy hockey team faced a tough task Friday play top-seeded Shenendehowa in a Section II, Division I semifinal less than a week after the Plainsmen lost a Capital District High School Hockey League game for the first time this season.
Shen appeared to be still suffering from the effects of a 3-1 loss to LaSalle Feb. 9, but the Plainsmen picked up their game in the second period and downed CBA 7-2 to set up their rematch with the Cadets in Thursday's Sectional final at Union College.
We kept more of the play in the offensive zone in the second period, and we played with more of an intimidating factor " and that made the difference," said Shen coach Juan de la Rocha. "I think it might have been the difference between a young team and an experienced team."
"We've got a great group of young kids, and we've had great leadership this year," said CBA coach Ron Kuhl. "Hats off to Shen " they're a great team and well coached. We expect nothing but a dogfight every time we play them."
Bryan Hunter gave Shen (20-2-3) a 1-0 lead midway through the first period after taking a pass and faking out CBA goaltender Andrew Blood before knocking the puck into the goal. But a Plainsmen defensive lapse later in the period led to the Brothers' first tally. Shen goaltender Nathan Mellow stopped two shots after the lapse, but Mark Meybaum pounced on a rebound and shot it past Mellow to tie the game at 1.
"They ran a high trap on us, and we haven't really practiced it the past few weeks," said de la Rocha. "The kids know what to do " it's just reminding them. Sometimes, it's tough to make adjustments in the middle of the period."