A banged-up Saratoga Springs hockey team had plenty left in the tank to handle a struggling Shaker/Colonie squad.
The Blue Streaks scored in the final 20 seconds of the first period and the first minute of the second period on their way to a 3-1 victory over the Jets last Saturday at the Saratoga Springs City Rink.
The win moved Saratoga (6-1-0 league, 8-4-0 overall) past Shaker/Colonie into first place in the Capital District High School Hockey League's Division I standings. The Blue Streaks have won their last three league games, while the Jets (4-3-1, 6-4-2) have lost their last three contests.
We had a great weekend, said Saratoga coach Mike Ricupero. "We got full points this weekend [for two wins]."
"I think we're in a little bit of a slump right now, and we have to find a way out of this as a team," said Shaker/Colonie coach Steve Hudak. "Everyone's giving it their all. We just have to rely on each other."
Saratoga entered the game off a 5-3 victory at Bethlehem last Friday, but it also entered the game without senior forward Cody Nizolek, who was injured in that contest. That plus several more injuries left the Blue Streaks with only enough forwards for three lines.
"We ran with three lines, but I think we held our own," said Ricupero.
Both teams had scoring chances in the first period, but it took a special effort by Tristan Sperry to get Saratoga on the board first. Sperry was in the middle of a scrum in front of Shaker/Colonie goaltender Jim Lanne when he knocked the puck into the goal before it was dislodged by a pile of players from both teams. The referees conferred for a moment before allowing the goal.
Once the Blue Streaks were on the scoreboard, it didn't take long for them to strike again. Senior forward Stephen Cash tapped in a hard shot from the blue line less than one minute into the second period to give Saratoga a 2-0 lead.