Friday, February 22, 2008

Elliott's Shorthanded Heroics Knock Off the Cadets

Shen's Tom Asterino (5) cuts off La Salle's Vinny Planz in the Section II Division I hockey final. (J.S. Carras — The Record)

It was a true battle of the goaltenders on Thursday night at the section II Division I hockey final at Union College. La Salle's Brendan Wagner and Shen's Nathan Mellow spent most of the evening standing on their heads, stopping great scoring chances for most of three periods.

With 2:46 remaining in the third period, the game still a scoreless tie, Shenendehowa's Andy Cantiello was called for boarding, setting up a crucial power play opportunity for the Cadets. Who knew the Plainsmen pentaly kill would end up with the game-winner.

Adam Hitchko pried the puck loose from La Salle's Niall Cahill and flung it out to Jesse Elliott on the right boards. Ellioot and Hitchko flew down in a 2-on-1, drawing Wagner to the ice as Elliott ripped a nasty wrister over Wagner's right shoulder to give the Plainsmen a late advantage.

Shen advances to the state playoffs although they do not yet know their opponent. Unlike previous years, the runner-up will not advance to the state playoffs.

Still, the Cadets should be proud of making it to the final - as late as December 22nd, La Salle was second-to-last in Division I. They turned around a goal-scoring drought and, prior to the final, were the only section II team to beat or tie Shen.

While plenty of talented seniors on the La Salle squad will move on, Wagner and a cast of talented juniors and sophomores will return next season.

Couldn't have asked for more of a final - although the final was 3-0 (Shen added two empty-netters) it was as exciting a game as a 0-0 tie could be. Both teams had plenty of scoring chances, there were plenty of hits and the goalies were spectacular.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Liz said...

that's a cool picture!

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