HOCKEY: Lineup changes pay off in Amity's win over Scarsdale, N.Y.
WEST HAVEN — Hovering around the .500 mark, the Amity hockey coaching staff decided changes were needed. One of the biggest changes included moving Brett McNeil to a line with Keating Seymour and Adam Shea.
That move worked to perfection Saturday afternoon.
Combining for 10 points, including all five goals, the trio helped Amity come from behind to defeat Scarsdale, N.Y., 5-4, at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“We decided to change things up against East Haven,” assistant coach Mike Richetelli said after his team improved to 6-5. “We moved Brett McNeil with Keating Seymour and Adam Shea. They have had a lot of flow.”
The move paid immediate dividends in the final 5 minutes of the game. Trailing 4-3, Amity turned to its top line and the trio came through twice in a span of 15 seconds.
Seymour made a good play to find Shea in front and Shea quickly deposited a shot behind Scarsdale goaltender Gabe Harousseau for the equalizer with 4 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Amity faithful did not have time to calm down from its celebration when McNeil found Seymour on the right wing and Seymour’s shot found a space on the left side for a 5-4 lead with 3:53 to go in the game.
“This is huge for us,” Seymour said after finishing with two goals and two assists. “We knew we needed this game badly. We kept saying we are not going to lose this game.
“We played with a lot of heart. We came out and had a big first period then let up a little in the second period. This is a big win for us.”
The Spartans came out of the gates quickly, taking a 3-1 lead after one period of play. Shea got things started when he tipped in Seymour’s shot in front just 5:07 into the game for a 1-0 lead.
The Raiders (11-3) came right back, using the line of Matt Blakley, Devon Schell and James Nicholas to even the game. That trio for the Raiders was just as good as they also combined for 10 points and all four Scarsdale goals.
Using perfect passing, the line finally connected to even the game at 1 when Blakley finished off the precision passes and beat Amity goaltender Brian Mosher with 7:46 left in the opening period.
“They play very well together,” Scarsdale coach Jim Mancuso said of the line.
The Spartans wasted no time coming back, needing only 13 seconds to take a 2-1 lead. Seymour’s first of the game came off assists from McNeil and Shea.
Amity extended the lead with 5.4 seconds remaining in the opening period. John Uscilla’s point shot was deflected by McNeil past Harousseau for the 3-1 lead.
“I like the new line,” Seymour said. “We needed a change and I like the way the line is working.”
The Raiders controlled play in the second period and made the Spartans pay. Schell opened the scoring 3:36 in when he tipped in a shot by Nicholas, and Blakley scored his second with 2:08 left in the middle period to even the game at 3.
Blakley’s goal gave the Raiders momentum and they capitalized with 2.1 seconds left in the middle period. Blakley again found the back of the net off assists from Schell and Nicholas to send the Raiders to the third period with a 4-3 advantage.
“Unfortunately, they came to play three periods today and we played one and a half,” Mancuso said. “Our goal was to come up here and get two wins, especially after winning yesterday.”
Mosher was the difference in the third period, making nine saves. His best save before Amity took the lead came with 4:25 remaining when he stopped a backhander by Blakley in front. Just 17 seconds later, Amity tied the game.
“He gave us a chance to make a comeback,” Seymour said of Mosher. “He has been there every game for us. He made a lot of big saves today.”
Mosher finished with 23 saves.
“I told him it was time to shut them down in the third period,” Richetelli said of Mosher. “He was a wall in the third period.”
Shea finished with two goals and an assist and McNeil had two assists and a goal. Blakley led Scarsdale with three goals, while Nicholas had four assists.