ETB shoots past Yorktown
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MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — With a marquee matchup against defending Section 1 Division 1 champ Suffern on tap for Tuesday, ETB could have easily overlooked Monday's game versus a scrappy Yorktown squad.
But the Huskers weren't so lucky.
The Eagles (8-2) showed up at the Ice Hutch and took care of business, outscoring Yorktown (9-2-1) 3-1 in the second period en route to a 7-4 victory.
ETB — which jumped out a 3-2 first-period lead — broke it open with back-to-back goals inside the first two minutes and 12 seconds of the second period. Senior forward Ian Palfrey sparked the surge at the 13:30 mark, scoring off an assist from senior defenseman Frankie Sherding (1G, 2A). Matt Power (2G) struck 42 seconds later to give the Eagles a comfortable 5-2 lead.
“We just knew it was important to get one quick right there and take all the momentum,” said Palfrey, who led the way on offense with a hat-trick. “By the end of the second we felt we were in control of the game.”
Yorktown sophomore forward Tyler Proscia (2G) temporarily stopped the second-period blitz with a tally at 9:48. But Sherding squashed the upset bid roughly six minutes later, netting a power-play goal to increase ETB's lead to 6-3 heading into the final period.
“Well, (ETB) is a very good transitional team and we weren't reading the transition,” Yorktown coach Bob Fritsche said. “We were flat-footed. They are a fast team and they were beating us to the puck. We weren't hustling like we should be and they transitioned well.”
The undersized Huskers also had some trouble clearing the zone, which became even more pronounced during the decisive second period.
“We forechecked really, really effectively — especially in the second period,” said Palfrey, who capped ETB's scoring with 3:41 left in the third period. “There was a period of five minutes where we just trapped them in zone the entire time. It was just efficient forechecking from all three lines. That's what we've been working on and that's what we got today.”
Despite the final outcome, the Huskers had some bright spots. In the first period, Neil Jacobsen and Liam Donnelly each got a puck past Lucas Berger (28 saves). ETB countered with goals from Mark Luciano (1G, 3A), Power and Palfrey. Palfrey notched the go-ahead goal at 1:09 to give ETB the lead for good.
Yorktown — which has put together a pretty impressive season and currently sits atop Conference I League A — wasn't totally demoralized by the loss. With the Section 1 Division 2 playoffs on the horizon, the Huskers can look at it as a valuable learning experience.
“It was the toughest game of the year of the year for us,” Fritsche said. “The experience is good to come down here and see these guys. We need this. We need to see this caliber of hockey. As the season goes on, we are going to start seeing these teams, so we just have to start reading and adjusting. But my guys worked hard and battled back and kept working to get loose pucks.”
Ironically, ETB could be in for the same type of experience on Tuesday evening against Suffern. The Mounties have absolutely obliterated Section 1 competition this year, going 5-0 while the opposition by a combined total of 43-2.
“We know (Suffern) is a really good team and saw what they did to Pelham,” Palfrey said, referring to the Mounties' 8-2 win over the defending Section 1 Division 2 champs this past weekend. “Suffern's a really good team — a state championship-caliber team. It's going to take everything from every one of us to beat them.”
GAME NOTES: Ian Palfrey leads ETB in scoring with 26 points (16G, 10A), while Mark Luciano is second with 23 points (11G, 12A) … The eight goals against were a season-high for Yorktown, which relinquished an average of 2.45 in its previous 11 games … The eight goals scored tied a season-high for ETB, which has scored five-plus goals in seven of its 10 games this season … ETB continues its brutal week with games against Suffern (1/10), White Plains (1/12) and Clarkstown (1/13).
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Eagles fly on the forecheck: The Eagles used their speed and size advantage to pummel and trap Yorktown inside its own defensive zone. This allowed ETB to go on its game-sealing second-period run.
2. Luciano untouchable: While Palfrey scored a game-high three goals, linemate Mark Luciano was equally impressive. The senior forward was effortless in his movements, masterfully orchestrating ETB's offense with a goal and three assists.
3. Sherding, McNamara versatile on defense: ETB senior defensemen Frankie Sherding and James McNamara fired an innumerable number of blue-line blasts at Yorktown goalie Randy Ashe, which gave their teammates prime scoring chances on rebounds. The duo combined for a goal and four assists.
Yorktown 2 1 1 4
ETB 3 3 1 7
ETB (14:27) Matt Power from Mark Luciano | 1-0 ETB
YTW (9:28) Neil Jacobsen from Alex Campbell | 1-1 *
ETB (8:08) Luciano from James McNamara | 2-1 ETB
YTW (2:10) Liam Donnelly from Campbell | 2-2
ETB (1:09) Ian Palfrey from Luciano and Chris Hagen | 3-2 ETB
ETB (13:30) Palfrey from Frankie Sherding | 4-2 ETB
ETB (12:48) Power from Jack Dougherty and Joe Blute | 5-2 ETB
YTW (9:48) Tyler Proscia from Adam Rothman | 5-3 ETB
ETB (3:52) Sherding from Luciano and McNamara | 6-3 ETB *
ETB (3:41) Palfrey from Sherding | 7-3 ETB
YTW (0:59) Proscia from Gunnar Boeschl | 7-4 ETB
* Indicates power play goal
Yorktown: Tyler Proscia (2G); Neil Jacobsen (1G); Liam Donnelly (1G); Alex Campbell (2A); Adam Rothman (1A); Gunnar Boeschl (1A)
ETB: Ian Palfrey (3G); Mark Luciano (1G, 3A); Frankie Sherding (1G, 2A); Matt Power (2G); James McNamara (2A); Chris Hagen (1A); Jack Dougherty (1A); Joe Blute (1A)
Yorktown: Randy Ashe (34 saves)
ETB: Lucas Berger (28 saves)
Yorktown 13 6 13 32
ETB 15 10 16 41
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass