Hendrick Hudson Head Coach Ken Sherman could only express his admiration for Pearl River's speed and tenacity after the Tuesday in a Section 1 Class A quarterfinal game at Pearl River.
"It's a pleasure to watch as another coach, but you don't want to be on the opposing bench when you are watching," Sherman said.
Sherman said he and his team had seen video of Pearl River (18-2), but it was difficult to prepare for hte Pirates' speed. Pearl River's defense held Hen Hud (12-9) down all game, but it was the up-tempo offense that helped the Pirates pull away in the second quarter. The two aspects of Pearl River's game play off one another.
Hen Hud was able to keep the pace of the game slower than Pearl River likes early, but couldn't make shots to take advantage. The Pirates led, 3-2, midway through the first quarter before taking control of the game with a 16-0 run capped by Emma Daly's 3-point play with 4:35 remaining in the second period.
"We started defending better," Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan said. "It usually generates from our defense. When we start defending better, we start playing better."
The Pirates also rebounded better as the game went on.
"They are non-stop," Sherman said. "Even as the shot is going up, they are moving. We got caught watching. Thatw as a big deal."
Albertus Magnus Head Coach Pat Buckley constantly talks about Pearl River's willingness to fight for every loose ball and rebound. His Falcons will play the Pirates for third time this season in the section semifinals Feb. 28 at the Westchester County Center. Pearl River won both regular-sason meetings with Albertus, a 76-46 winner over John Jay-CR Tuesday.
This is the third consecutive year the teams will meet in the quarterfinals. Pearl River won the last two.
Rockland County nearly sent three teams to the Class A semifinals, but Nanuet lost at home in overtime to Pelham, 49-45, Tuesday. Pelham will play Peekskill in the other section semifinal.
The Class A championship game will be played Sunday, March 3 at the County Center.
Pearl River Faces John Jay in Section 1 Hockey
No. 8 Pearl River (8-10-1) will play No. 1 John Jay Cross River (18-1-1) in a Section 1 Division 2 ice hockey quarterfinal 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Brewster Ice Arena.
Pearl River opened the playoffs with a 9-2 victory over Yorktown while John Jay had a bye. Patrick Burns scored three goals and assisted on two and Kevin Murphy scored once and assisted on four for hte Pirates. Goaltender Sam Coughlin continued his solid play with 19 saves on 21 shots.
Murphy leads Pearl River with 42 points on 10 goals and 30 assists. Coughlin has a 3.47 goals against average for the season.
Shawn Smith leads the John Jay offense with 33 goals and 43 total points. Goaltender Matt Lanza has been outstanding, with a 1.53 goals against average and 92.2 save percentage.
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