GLENS FALLS — The proverb “opportunity knocks but once” wasn’t true Saturday, though the Queensbury Spartans wish it were.
John Jay took advantage of a lot of opportunities in defeating the Spartans 6-2 in a Division II ice hockey state quarterfinal at Glens Falls Recreation Center. The Spartans finished their season 12-9, while Section I’s John Jay (14-7-3) advanced to the state semifinals in Buffalo.
The Indians started by taking advantage of Queensbury’s first penalty, scoring a power-play goal on David Browne’s slap shot at 4:11 of the first period.
Queensbury responded well, scoring a power-play goal of its own, as Jack Randall found Gabe Smith down low off the crease, and Smith pushed it in to tie the game at 7:26.
But John Jay turned right around and took advantage of a Queensbury defenseman pinching up to get a two-on-one. Chase Goldman finished it with a shot to the upper right net 24 seconds after the Spartans’ goal.
“Yeah, that was great to score right after they tie it, we came right back,” John Jay coach Alex Smith said. “I thought that was big because (the Spartans) get the crowd in it and the hom-ice advantage, they start to grind. And they grinded anyway, but at least we had an advantage.”
John McKeon later took a routine wrister, but it found the net at 9:52 to give the Indians a 3-1 lead after the first period.
“You tell me before the game you’ve got a 3-1 lead after the first period, I would sign on for that,” Smith said.
There was one thing hanging over John Jay’s head, however. It had committed a major penalty just before the period ended, and had 3:32 of man-down hockey to play to start the second.
Queensbury got off four shots during the power play, but only the last one, a near miss, was a challenge to Indians goalie Taylor Isom (26 saves).
“Not taking advantage on that four-minute major penalty, we didn’t score a goal there and they scored one right after that,” Queensbury coach Dean Williams said. “Those are pretty big opportunities to not cash in on.”
Browne scored his second of the game at 6:06 of the second, gathering McKeon’s faceoff and wristing one to the upper right for a 4-1 John Jay lead.
Again, the Indians scored quickly after that, as just 55 seconds later, Jack Browne found the net for a 5-1 lead.
Jack Browne added a power-play goal later in the second when he was alone on the blue line, skated in and slid one past Owen Smith.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s just my selfish opinion, I thought we dominated the game,” Williams said. “Shot-wise we did. I thought offensive opportunities we did.
“It just seemed like every single turnover we had, every odd-man rush they had, they seemed to capitalize on every single one and we didn’t,” Williams added.
Austin Gordon put in a rebound of Gabe Smith’s shot at 2:39 of the third for Queensbury’s other goal.
Division II Quarterfinal
John Jay 3 3 0 — 6
Queensbury 1 0 1 — 2
First period: 1, John Jay, David Browne (Christian Cuccolo), 4:11 (pp). 2, Queensbury, Gabe Smith (Jack Randall), 7:26 (pp). 3, John Jay, Chase Goldman (Jack Browne, Joe Corelli), 7:50. 4, John Jay, John Mckeon (Brian Daley, Max Klares), 9:52.
Second period: 5, John Jay, David Browne (John Mckeon), 6:06. 6, John Jay, Jack Browne (Brian Daley, Chase Goldman), 7:01. 7, John Jay, Jack Browne, 11:36 (pp).
Third period: 8, Queensbury, Austin Gordon (Gabe Smith), 2:39.
Goalies-saves: Taylor Isom (JJ) 26. Owen Smith (Qby) 12.
Records: John Jay (14-7-3), Queensbury (12-9).