A dream playoff run for Shaker

The biggest story to come from the spring sports season in Colonie was also the most unexpected.

After winning only three games during the regular season, the Shaker boys lacrosse team went on an improbable playoff run. The Blue Bison knocked off No. 2 Guilderland in the Section II, Class A quarterfinals and then defeated No. 3 Shenendehowa in the semifinals before losing to No. 1 seed Niskayuna in the finals.

Perhaps the run wasn't completely improbable, though. Of Shaker's 14 regular season losses, eight were by one or two goals, including a 7-6 overtime loss to Niskayuna in April.

You've got to give them credit. A lot of teams might have given up after losing as many close games as we did, and we didn't, said Shaker coach Shawn Hennessey.

The highlight of Shaker's playoff run came against Guilderland. Sophomore goaltender Ken O'Connor stopped 20 shots, and Stefan Dabkowski scored with three seconds left in the first overtime period to help the Blue Bison defeat the Dutchmen 7-6.

"A lot of it was Kenny because when they were shooting, he was either making saves or they were missing the cage," said Hennessey.

After a 9-5 semifinal victory over Shen, Shaker faced an undefeated Niskayuna squad in the finals. The Blue Bison rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game at 3 midway through the third quarter, but the Silver Warriors went on a 5-0 run between the final 30 seconds of the third quarter and the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away for an 8-4 victory.

"There are no losers for us because people counted us out when we had a poor record in the regular season, and we proved them wrong," said Hennessey. "It was a dream that we had to wake up from today."

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