COLONIE A strong defensive effort and a pair of late power play goals fueled Shaker/Colonie's biggest win of the hockey season to date.
Andrew Serafino and Eric Egan scored with the man advantage late in the third period to help the Jets beat Bethlehem 3-2 in Saturday's Capital District High School Hockey League game at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
"It was a great team effort," said S/C coach Steve Hudak. "I think it's the first time all year where we battled through [adversity] and came out on the other end [with a win]."
Bethlehem (4-1-0 league, 9-3-0 overall) had a rough night all around. The Eagles had two goals disallowed -- one because of a clock malfunction, and the other when the goal came off its mooring before the shot went in -- and their frustration boiled over in the final 3:26 in the form of four penalties and a misconduct call.
"We were frustrated," said Bethlehem coach Andre Rodrigue. "I think a lot of it was that what happened earlier in the game wore on us, but the fact of the matter is ... we didn't respond well when they tied the game. We responded to the tying goal like it was the winning goal."
S/C (4-1-0, 4-5-2) grabbed the lead on Egan's sixth goal of the season 3:29 into the first period and had several chances to expand it, but Bethlehem goaltender Zachary Sanchez turned away several scoring bids.
Meanwhile, Bethlehem's offense found it difficult to get anything on goal against an aggressive S/C defense. The Jets consistently placed bodies in the middle of the defensive zone and deflected several Bethlehem shots.
"For the most part, we out-skated them in the defensive zone ... but they crowded the front of the net," said Rodrigue.
Bethlehem thought it had finally broken through when John Gosstola ripped a shot over S/C goaltender Kodi Riddell's shoulder with 1.9 seconds showing on the clock. However, it was waved off when the referees learned that the clock had not started following a face-off with 10.6 seconds left in the first period. The clock did move, but only after several seconds should have come off, which resulted in the referees' ruling that Gosstola's shot would not have gotten off before the buzzer sounded.