Hockey: Shen rolls in home opener

Mortka, Tardif lead Plainsmen past Niskayuna/Schenectady

— “With all of our non-league games, they’re all against the top teams in the state,” said de la Rocha. “We schedule tough so we can prepare our kids for what we might see at states.”

Niskayuna/Schenec-tady heads north this weekend for the Saranac Lake Tournament. The Mohawks play Lake Placid Friday and the host school Saturday.

“We have a few non-league games [coming up] to iron out the kinks,” said Templeton. “We have about half of our team [roster] with experience, and the other half is fresh faces. The guys have to learn how to play with one another.”

Defending Section II Division I champion Saratoga Springs and Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa also started their seasons last weekend with victories. Saratoga eased past Guilderland/Mohonasen 10-2 Friday, while Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa defeated South Glens Falls/Hudson Falls 6-2 Saturday.

Alex Luse and Nick Winters each had three goals and three assists to lead Saratoga (1-0-0), which broke the game open with an eight-goal second period. Devin Smith contributed a goal and four assists.

Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa (1-0-0) took control of its game against South Glens Falls/Hudson Falls with a three-goal second period. The Spartans then added a pair of third-period goals to seal the victory.

Trey Swingruber and Nick Van Liew each scored two goals, and Connor Lind added a goal and two assists for Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa.

Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa joins Niskayuna/Schenectady at this weekend’s Saranac Lake Tournament, while Sara-toga hosts Section IX power Monroe-Woodbury Friday. The Blue Streaks visit Christian Brothers Academy Saturday in a Capital District High School Hockey League contest.

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