COLONIE Zach "Moon Dog" Dignum was the leader of the pack in Shaker/Colonie's first-ever win over Mamaroneck.
The junior goaltender stopped 24 shots to lead the Jets past the Tigers 2-0 in Friday's opening round of the Shaker/Colonie Thanksgiving Tournament at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
"I feel like we lose the first game every year," said Shaker/Colonie coach Steve Hudak. "We try to play good teams out of the gate."
"It's a great feeling to get that weight off your back," said Dignum.
Andrue Caruso gave Dignum a lead to work with when he scored on a first-period breakaway to put the Jets (1-1) ahead 1-0.
"We had a nice outlet pass to Caruso, and he skated in all alone," said Hudak.
Brendon Closs doubled Shaker/Colonie's lead on a penalty kill early in the second period. Closs broke up a Mamaroneck pass near the Jets' blue line, skated the length of the ice and shot the puck off Mamaroneck goaltender Brian Carducci's stick and into the net.
"He's doing a much better job of deciding when to carry the puck, when to pass the puck and when to shoot the puck," Hudak said of Closs. "He did a great job on that goal."
Mamaroneck applied steady offensive pressure on Dignum the rest of the second period, but the player most people associated with Shaker/Colonie hockey know as "Moon Dog" stopped every shot that came his way.
"I think we definitely got running around in the second period and let their forwards take over," said Hudak. "But 'Moon Dog' came in and made some big saves."
"I was trying to do my job and stop the puck. That's all I was focused on," said Dignum.
Mamaroneck slowed down in the third period as the players' legs started giving out on the Olympic-sized ice sheet. That allowed Shaker/Colonie to take control of the action, as the Jets out-shot the Tigers 11-6 over the final 15 minutes.