SPARTANS HOLD OFF WARRIORS 3-1 AS HOCKEY RIVALS SKATE AT CLINTON ARENA
#14 Derek Bard embraced by teammate as Spartans celebrate big road win!
Photos Kevin Montano-MHTS
Two traditional hockey powerhouses and rivals kicked off an edition of Friday Night Ice at the Clinton Arena as the Clinton Warriors squared off with the New Hartford Spartans in, Division II, league play.
Both teams entered the game coming off losses to non-league opponents with Clinton losing to McQuaid 4-1 and New Hartford to Williamsville East 5-1.
New Hartford netted a goal in each of the three periods to pick up the victory over Clinton by a score of 3-1.
The Spartans looked to jump on the Warriors early as they wasted no time getting a shot on goal within the first :20 seconds of regulation.
Freshmen Garrett Mahoney and Tom Mandel got into the action sending two solid shot towards Clinton sophomore goalie Joe Bonanza.
Clinton responded with three early shots and opportunities of their own when junior Dan Barrett made a move towards the goal and a scoring chance presented itself on the stick of junior forward Lucas Hameline.
Freshman Eddie Allen skated towards the net looked to poke one through only to be denied by Spartan freshman net minder Tyler Hansen.
New Hartford continued to dump and work the puck towards the goal but not before Clinton’s Matt Orlando was able to wind up and put a hard shot on goal.
Orlando, an eighth grader and the youngest player on the ice showed he certainly belonged showcasing both speed and good stick handling skills.
The visiting Spartans took advantage of their overall team speed and spent much of the first 15 minutes beating the Warriors to the puck and to the boards enabling them to consistently move the puck and work it towards the Clinton net.
What resulted was a barrage of scoring opportunities for the Spartans every time down the ice. Senior forward Derek Bard had two scoring chances in front of the net after picking up his own rebound and following through on a one timer.
Senior forward Greyden Nimey was able to unleash a shot only to be denied by a quick and nimble Joe Bonanza.
New Hartford came up empty-handed again when senior Patrick Coughlin fired a shot towards the goal which bounced out in front of goalie Joe Bonanza for a waiting Greyden Nimey who tried to tip it in while skating across the crease.
The Spartans were able to finally push one through on their twelfth shot of the game after freshman forward Peter Rayhill was set up by senior teammates Greyden Nimey and Michael Rich. Rayhill’s goal made it 1-0 New Hartford midway through the first.
Despite being out shot 18-3 in the first period Clinton had to feel lucky being down just one goal heading into the second.
The second period began with the Warriors fighting off the late penalty call on Jake Zoller at the end of the first period and did so by combating a series of New Hartford chances.
Down only one the Warriors had a bounce in their step and sought chances of their own. Clinton senior forward Austin Bouse and Jake Zoller both raced towards the crease and gave the Warriors two solid scoring chances,but were quickly turned away by Tyler Hansen.
The Spartans quickly dampened the spirits of the home team when Christian Nimey found the back of the net on a goal assisted by sophomore Cullen Moran and freshman Tom Mandel and New Hartford jumped out to a 2-0 advantage less than five minutes in to period two.
A momentum shift quickly followed after a penalty was called on New Hartford’s Michael Rich, for roughing at the 11:07 mark, giving the Warriors a much-needed man advantage.
The Warriors wasted no time making the best of the power play chance with Ben Owens scoring off a wrap around from behind the net followed by a pass from Lucas Hamline.
Owens beat Spartan keeper Tyler Hansen for a power play goal and the Warriors were on the board down just 2-1.
Feeling the momentum starting to shift the Spartans began to get more aggressive putting the pressure back on the Warriors.
The period came to a close with Clinton down 2-1 on the score board and being out shot 28 to 10.
Having played a good second period of hockey the Clinton faithful was optimistic that the hometown boys could knot the game up and give the local rivals a run for their money.
Then with 8:28 remaining in the third the Warriors took another penalty for hooking by senior Mike Barrett and then a late roughing penalty after the whistle by senior Mike Martini gave the Spartans a 5 on 3 advantage.
With such an advantage the Spartans spread out the offense resulting in open passing lanes and after a shot by Alec Bard was saved by Joe Bonanza a second shot by Christian Nimey found its way into the goal and New Hartford took 3-1 lead.
The momentum changing goal was assisted by Tom Mandel and Cullen Moran.
Clinton had one more opportunity to get back in the game late when a series of penalties against New Hartford resulted in a game misconduct on Alex Cooke, a roughing call on junior Alex Vitagliano and a roughing call on Clinton’s freshman Peter Burke.
The Warriors at one point had a 4 on 3 as well as a 5 on 3 advantage but were unable to move the puck and were only able to get one quality shot off in the third period.
A last-minute offensive burst by Clinton came when they pulled their goalie for a man advantage but the effort came up short and the game ended with New Hartford picking up the victory 3-1 improving to 5-2-1 in league play and 5-3-1 overall while Clinton drops to 0-7 in league play and 1-9-1 overall.
In the losing effort Clinton goalie Joe Bonanza stopped 39 of 42 shots while winning goaltender Tyler Hansen needed to make only 11 saves to pick up the win.
After the game New Hartford’s Tyler Hansen said, “I played a good game today and our defense was strong in front of me.” “We let them (Clinton) get back into the game in the second period but we got back at it in the third.”
In response to the power play goal that was scored against him he said, “He was left open in front and it went right through my legs…overall I’m happy with how we played.”
Catching up with winning Coach John Cunningham after the game he was also pleased with his team’s performance. “The kids got off to a good start today and we were able to get our game plan in place…we did a good job of working the puck in, however Clinton is dangerous if you let them hang around and we let them hang around and they got inspired and bounced right back but we got back at it in the third.”
He added, “Anytime you have a kid like Joe Bonanza in net you have a good chance – they had good goaltending.”
New Hartford 3 Clinton 1
1 2 3 F
Spartans 1 1 1 3
Warriors 0 1 0 1
Shots on goal:
New Hartford 42