Pearl River's impressive year continues
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BREWSTER, N.Y. — Heading into the 2011-12 season, Pearl River's Chris Alexander had an inkling the Pirates would be pretty good.
But this good?
With Friday's convincing 7-2 win over Ossining at Brewster Ice Arena, Pearl River improved to 8-1 on the year and is looking more and more like Rockland County's second best team behind Suffern.
“I had a feeling we were going to be pretty strong this year, but I didn't think we were going to be 8-1,” said Alexander, who paced the offense with two goals and one assist.
Making it even more impressive, the Pirates started off last year 1-8 en route to a middling 7-12 record. With nine regular season games left on its 2011-12 schedule, Pearl River has already eclipsed last season's win total.
“We have a lot of younger kids who are coming up that have contributed,” Alexander said.
And that was exactly the case against Ossining (1-9-1). A pair of freshmen forwards — Kevin Murphy and Connor Ocasal — scored back-to-back first-period goals to give Pearl River an early 2-0 lead.
Freshman forward James Brosnan got Ossining on the board with 37 seconds left in the opening period to trim the deficit to 2-1. Alexander responded with a goal three minutes and six seconds into the second period to stretch the lead to 3-1. But the pesky Pride snapped back exactly 34 seconds later behind a tally from sophomore defenseman Jake Camilliere.
From that point on, it was all Pearl River.
The Pirates scored four unanswered goals to close it out, overwhelming Ossining goalie Luke Rothschild (34 saves) with a total of 32 shots over the final two periods.
Sophomore forward Pat Burns sparked the game-sealing run with 9:43 left in the second period, scoring off an assist from senior forward Michael Henry to make it 4-2. Alexander then waltzed in for an unassisted goal at the 7:59 mark of the second. Burns and sophomore forward Connor McMorrow tallied a goal apiece in the third period to close it out.
“We just put pucks on the net,” Alexander said of the four-goal run. “We knew this goalie was going to give up rebounds and we could get to them. We kept pouring it on and trying to get the puck in.”
Pearl River — which suffered a 6-4 season-opening loss to Section 1 Division 1 contender ETB — has now won eight straight games. The Pirates will look to make it nine in a row as they square off against upstart Greeley (6-2-1) in their next game on Jan. 6.
GAME NOTES: Pearl River has now scored seven goals in three consecutive games … Chris Alexander leads the Pirates in scoring with 32 points (14G, 18A) and entered the game third in the section … Ossining's James Brosnan (7G, 5A) and Jackson Kane (7G, 5A) remained tied for the team lead in points with 12 ... Pearl River swept the season series against Ossining, outscoring the Pride a combined total of 14-2.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Pearl River pounds Ossining with shots: The Pirates unleashed 41 shots on the game, including 32 over the final two periods. Pearl River's four-goal run to close out the game was all about wearing down an Ossining squad without much depth to speak of.
2. Pirates eliminate the counter attack: Both of Ossining's goals came on the counterattack — a direct result of Pearl River pushing too many players forward. Once the Pirates regained their discipline, it was a wrap. “We focused more on the defensive zone because they were catching us on a lot of breaks when we were trying to fly the zone,” Alexander said. “We focused on the back and then started moving forward.”
3. Alexander an all-star: Pearl River's Alexander was the best player on the ice. He was a step ahead all game and almost seemed to toy with the opposition at times. In high school hockey, an elite player makes all the difference.
Pearl River: 2 3 2 7
Ossining: 1 1 0 2
PR (11:40) Kevin Murphy from Brian Metcalfe | 1-0 PR
PR (10:49) Connor Ocasal from Kevin Murphy | 2-0 PR
OS (0:37) James Brosnan from Michael Lema | 2-1 PR
PR (11:54) Chris Alexander from Murphy | 3-1 PR
OS (11:20) Jake Camilliere from Jackson Kane | 3-2 PR
PR (9:43) Pat Burns from Michael Henry | 4-2 PR
PR (7:59) Alexander unassisted | 5-2 PR
PR (11:54) Connor McMorrow from Alexander | 6-2 PR
PR (0:41) Burns from Aedan Brown | 7-2 PR
Pearl River: Chris Alexander (2G, 1A); Kevin Murphy (1G, 2A); Pat Burns (2G); Connor McMorrow (1G); Connor Ocasal (1G); Aedan Brown (1A); Brian Metcalfe (1A); Michael Henry (1A)
Ossining: James Brosnan (1G); Jake Camilliere (1G); Jackson Kane (1A); Michael Lema (1A)
Pearl River: Lowell Hunt (18 saves)
Ossining: Luke Rothschild (34 saves)
Pearl River: 5 5 10 41
Ossining: 9 16 16 20
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass