One hockey team was hunting for a playoff spot. The other was just happy to be on the ice.
Less than 24 hours after a 7-4 loss to first-place Shenendehowa, Shaker/Colonie eased past last-place Guilderland/Mohonasen/Scotia-Glenville 16-1 in Saturday’s Capital District High School Hockey League game at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
`It was nice playing a game without any pressure or stress,` said Shaker/Colonie coach Steve Hudak. `It was a great opportunity for all of our kids to have a chance to contribute.`
Kevin Egan and Jordan Vetrone each had hat tricks to lead a balanced attack for the Jets (5-4-0 league, 9-7-0 overall). Andrue Caruso and Justin Lange tallied two goals apiece, and Steve Rehfuss contributed a goal and four assists. Mikayla Carhart also recorded her first career point with a second-period assist.
The outcome was nothing new for G/M/S (0-9-0, 0-12-0). The Storm have had only one game this season where they’ve stayed within three goals of their opponent.
`I think they’re always positive and always trying out there,` said G/M/S coach Ed Koivula. `A lot of it is dealing with the frustration of always being out-manned.`
A lack of players has hurt the Storm time and again. They have 11 skaters and are using a 12th — Eddie Harasiemowicz — as their goaltender.
`Defensively, we only have … like, two natural defensemen,` said Koivula. `So you put on top of that the lack of numbers, and it’s too much to overcome.`
Shaker/Colonie had little time to feel sympathetic towards G/M/S. The Jets are currently fighting with LaSalle, Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa, Niskayuna/Schenectady and Bethlehem for one of the final four Section II Division I playoff berths. Shen and second-place Saratoga are comfortably clear of the rest of the CDHSHL entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
`It was important for us to keep it serious and stay with the game plan,` said Hudak.
Jimmy Brady gave G/M/S a little lift when he scored midway through the third period to end Shaker/Colonie’s shutout bid, but by then it was far too late for the Storm to mount a comeback.
Despite the mounting losses, Koivula said his players are happy to be playing.
`A lot of these kids love to play hockey. I don’t think winning is their motivation,` said Koivula. `They just want to be out there.`
G/M/S visits Niskayuna/Schenectady (5-4-0, 6-9-1) next Saturday, while Shaker/Colonie travels to the Lake Placid Tournament — an event that coincides with the Empire State Winter Games.