The Shaker/Colonie hockey team is in rarified air.
With last weekend's victories over Saratoga Springs and Niskayuna/Schenectady, the Jets soared into the Capital District High School Hockey League penthouse. They own a 2.5-point lead over Saratoga in Division I with three league games left.
Not bad for a team that has a roster dominated by sophomores and juniors.
What's gotten us here quicker is the leadership from our five seniors, said Shaker/Colonie coach Steve Hudak. "Our captains have done a great job leading our younger players."
Shaker/Colonie's top line of Corey Brustle, Matthew Vetrone and Ryan Phillips have been leading the way of late. The trio accounted for all of the Jets' goals in last Friday's 4-2 victory over Saratoga, and they tallied four of the team's six goals in Saturday's 6-0 whitewashing of Niskayuna/Schenectady at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
Though Hudak is grateful for the production, it does concern him.
"What I told the other lines is that we can't rely on just that one line," said Hudak. "They have to step up and contribute, too."
The other lines contributed in their own way against Niskayuna/Schenectady. The Jets (8-2-0 league, 12-4-1 overall) carried the bulk of the play throughout the game, bombarding Mohawk goaltender Ben Phillips with more than 30 shots. And when they weren't sending shots on net, they were frustrating the Mohawks by playing strong defense.
Junior goaltender Jim Lanne did his part for Shaker/Colonie against Niskayuna/Schenectady (2-6-0, 4-10-1). He came up with several key saves including four big stops during a 5-on-3 power play midway through the second period that effectively ended any hopes the Mohawks had for coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
"He played unbelievable," said Hudak of Lanne, who had been sidelined with an injury. "It was his first game in two weeks, and he was ready."