PMHS ice hockey defeats Rye to take sectional title, advances to regionals

PMHS ice hockey defeated Rye 6-4 in Sunday’s Section 1 Division II title game. The Pelicans would trudge through a back and forth game to claim the section title for the second consecutive year. Pelham will now advance to regional playoffs on March 4, hoping for a win against Beekman Town to continue their post-season success and hopefully snag a trip to Buffalo.

Pelham came out hot, as a quick shot from junior Santino Esposito saw the Pelicans in front within the first 90 seconds. Despite the early goal, the 1st period would end with the Garnets taking a 2-1 lead. Pelham tied it up early in the 2nd, with senior Angus Deeny scoring off sophomore Will Crotty’s assist. Rye fought back to reclaim the lead, but a laser from senior Chris Franchini saw the 2nd period end with a 3-3 tie. Stakes were high as the 3rd period began, but with 15:18 to go, a dime from senior captain Luke Green to junior Griffin Evans gave the Pelicans some much needed momentum. The Garnets rallied to knot the game at 4-4, but a second goal from Evans saw Pelham up 5-4 with only 4:56 left to go. The Pelicans battled to help maintain their late lead, and a last second open-netter from sophomore Reid Finster was all that was needed seal a Pelham win.

Pelham had previously lost to Rye at home on Dec. 6, making Sunday’s victory all the more enjoyable, espeically with a packed fan section. With regional playoffs quickly approaching, the Pelicans hope to continue their hot streak as they move upstate.