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Hockey: Shen rolls in home opener

Mortka, Tardif lead Plainsmen past Niskayuna/Schenectady

— The Shenendehowa hockey team started its season on the right skate.

The Plainsmen (1-0-0) scored three goals in a 48 second span of the first period and cruised to a 7-0 victory over Niskayuna/Schenectady Saturday at the Clifton Park Arena.

“We got off to a nice start,” said Shen coach Juan de la Rocha. “We established our forecheck early and when we do that, we frustrate other teams.”

“They outworked us today, and we have to learn to stay out of the penalty box,” said Niskayuna/Schenectady coach Todd Templeton.

Kevin Miles got Shen on the scoreboard when he tallied off a pass from Riley Irving 4:17 into the first period. Brad Tardif and Ryan Mortka soon followed with goals of their own to make the score 3-0 5:05 into the season.

Mortka wasn’t done. The sophomore forward scored again late in the first period off a pass from Joe Ferraro, and he assisted on Nick Young’s goal early in the second period that gave Shen a 5-0 lead.

Kyle Marr – son of University at Albany men’s lacrosse coach Scott Marr – scored his first varsity goal late in the third period, and Tardif tallied with 2:01 left to cap the Plainsmen’s victory.

“They [our forwards] did a nice job tonight, and what I’m pleased about is that along with our veterans, our fresh faces were contributing,” said de la Rocha.

The lone bright spot for Niskayuna/Schenectady (0-1-0) was goaltender Peter Mrazik. The senior stopped 37 of Shen’s 44 shots.

“He made a bunch of saves … more saves than I would have liked to have seen him make,” said Templeton.

Following Wednesday’s game against LaSalle at Hudson Valley Community College, Shen makes its annual trek to Rochester for a pair of weekend contests. The Plainsmen meet McQuaid Friday at Thomas Creek Ice Arena and play Gates Chili Saturday at Genesee Valley Park.

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