Pelham boys hockey hands No. 1 Suffern first loss since 2020 in come-from-behind victory


Pelham and Suffern mid-faceoff in the thrilling Pelican victory.

For the second time this season, the PMHS varsity hockey team defeated the top-ranked program in the state. First, it was Skaneateles; Monday night it was Section 1 opponent Suffern in a 4-3 come-from-behind thriller.

Suffern came into the game with an 11-0 record and without a loss since the 2019-2020 state championship. The Mounties defeated Pelham 7-4 in December and looked the part in the first two periods Monday, taking a 3-1 lead.

But Pelham started hot in the third, making it 2-3 off a power-play goal from senior Henry Smith with 13:45 left to play. The Pelicans trailed up until the 2:51 mark, when Smith tied the game, scoring again on a power play.

Just over a minute later, freshmen Reid Finster netted a wrist shot from the slot to give Pelham the lead and the win.

Junior goalie Jack Mallinson made clutch saves to keep Pelham in it, while junior Louie Marcellino tallied the Pelican’s first goal.

This win propels Pelham to a 10-2-2 record. As a result, they will remain at the top of the charts in New York State’s smaller-school division (Division 2). Pelham could end up the top overall school in the state because Suffern was the number one team in Division 1.

“We persevered after a tough first period,” said Smith. “In the second, we started to gain more confidence even with a goal waved off. We never gave up. All three lines contributed on both sides of the ice. This game was a test to our character and grit. Our defense stood tall, and our goalie made some big stops late in the game. We deserved this win, and we’re going to take this momentum into the home stretch.”

The boys will travel to Massena on Friday to take on Potsdam and Massena in a back-to-back as the hunt for the state championship rolls on.