RYE, N.Y. – One look at the Mamaroneck hockey team’s record this season reveals an oddity.
The Tigers were 7-7 entering their annual game with archrival Rye. A .500 record at this point in the season for the Tigers is unheard of when you consider Mamaroneck is annually one of the top Section 1 and New York Division I programs.
“We’ve played a tough schedule and we have a lot of young kids so I don’t think our record is indicative of how much talent we have,” senior captain and goalie Brett Poniros said. “We feel we are definitely starting to pick it up now.”
Mamaroneck showed how deceiving records can be as it scored twice in the first period and turned in its’ finest all-around effort in a 3-0 victory over Rye in a Section 1 hockey game at Playland Ice Casino.
Poniros made 36 saves for his third shutout of the year and second in his last five games. The Tigers won their third consecutive game and fourth in their last five. Teddy Bellis opened the scoring 20 seconds in then assisted on Nathan Mulhaney’s short-handed goal at the 2:44 mark.
“I think our record bothered the veterans and the younger players because we are supposed to be one of the best teams in the section and state, but we were not playing like we know we can,” Poniros said. “I think we showed this is the way Mamaroneck can play.
“We had three JV defensemen playing regularly and all of them played amazing. This win was all about our offense and defense, and goaltending was third.
Mamaroneck jumped on Rye before the fans settled into their seats. The Tigers dumped the puck in, off the opening face-off, and Bellis finished a feed from Eric Hugon.
The Tigers doubled their lead on a Rye power play. Bellis and Mulhaney were on the penalty kill and forechecking ferociously, resulting in Belllis feeding Mulhaney. Rye goalie Aidan Talgo made the initial save, but Mulhaney grabbed the rebound and scored.
Mamaroneck killed four Rye power plays. On the first two, Mamaroneck generated more scoring chances and limited Rye to one shot.
Mamaroneck’s third goal was set up by forechecking of Robert Morris. He raced into Rye’s zone, met the Garnets’ defenseman behind the net, grabbed the puck and fed Trey Herlitz-Ferguson for a goal at the two-minute mark.
Poniros made numerous fine saves. He was seeing the puck well because of his defense. Poniros credited his defense with giving him a clear view of shots and clearing rebounds. Mamaroneck has five regular-season games remaining and it will not be easy. After White Plains, Mamaroneck has Pelham, Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville, rival Suffern and closes out the regular slate with Mahopac.
Talgo finished with 29 saves for Rye, now 9-2-1. The Garnet lost their previous game to McQuaid Jesuit of Rochester.
Mamaroneck 2 1 0 – 3
Rye 0 0 0 – 0
Goals – Teddy Bellis, Nathan Mulhany, Trey Herlitz-Ferguson. Assists – Eric Hugon, Robert Morris, Bellis. Saves – Mk: Brett Poniros36; R: Aidan Talgo 29.