"They played great defensively like they have all year," said Hennessey. "They're a very disciplined team, and they came up big when they had to."
Dan McKinney gave Niskayuna a 2-1 lead with 5:11 left in the second quarter with the first of his two goals. Shaker had a pair of quality scoring chances to tie the game, but Manchester stopped both point-blank shots to maintain the Silver Warriors' lead at halftime.
A Panneton goal 58 seconds into the third quarter gave Niskayuna a 3-1 advantage, but Shaker chipped away at the deficit with two goals in a 1:10 span. Shields tallied with 5:27 left, and Parker Armsby charged in and scored at 4:17 to tie the game at 3.
Two Niskayuna goals in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter changed the momentum for good. First, Jared Franze ripped an open shot past O'Connor to make the score 4-3. Then, Panneton recovered a rebound off an initial shot by Steve D'Amario and stuffed a shot by O'Connor to put the Silver Warriors ahead 5-3.
"Just being in the right place at the right time," Panneton said of his third goal. "Steve (D'Amario) made a great dodge and hit the goalie with his shot. I was there to pick it up and stuff it in."
McKinney, Franze and Will McPartlon added fourth quarter goals for Niskayuna. McPartlon started the scoring with a fast-break tally less than three minutes into the period. McKinney added his second goal of the game with 5:30 left, and Franze capped the rally with a man-advantage goal at 3:32.
"Being able to hold them off for an extended period of time and then get a three-goal lead was huge for us," said Vorgang.
Manchester allowed a late Shaker goal, but not before making several key fourth quarter saves to preserve Niskayuna's lead. Manchester finished with eight saves.""