Friday, January 22, 2016

High School Fridays: Burnt Hills at LaSalle (hockey), 1/22/16

These are the times that try men's souls---Thomas Paine.

If there was ever anything that could sum up the plight of the skating Cadets of LaSalle Institute, that would be it. 0-January, winless in their last seven games entering play tonight. Time is running out on the regular season for the Cadets, who want to improve their position with sectional play to begin on February 15.

Two weeks ago, LaSalle lost to Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa. Tonight, the Spartans came to town hoping for a series sweep. Not only that, but after Burnt Hills' basketball teams were crushed by Troy High on Tuesday night, a restoration of school spirit & pride was in order.

After a quiet, scoreless first period, Burnt Hills' Santino Benamati broke through for the first goal of the game in the second, beating Cadet goaltender Zach Hurst to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Not long after, LaSalle answered back, as Ben Leinweber got one past Spartans goalie Mark Stocker to even the score. Before the period was over, however, Sam Swingruber put Burnt Hills back on top, 2-1, and added an insurance goal in the third period.

That last goal turned out to be the difference, as Christian Rudd brought LaSalle back within one at 3-2 late in the third, but Stocker and the Spartan defense slammed the door shut, sending the Cadets to their sixth straight loss, and seventh in their last eight games (0-7-1 over this period). With five games left, LaSalle needs to run the table to have any chance of improving their position for the sectional tournament. The Cadets will be right back at home next week vs. Niskayuna-Schenectady, as they play three of their final five games at home following a week's rest. It won't be easy. No one ever said it would be.

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