By Mike Dougherty
NYACK — The details are fuzzy, but Eamon DePeter had no trouble recalling the last time he celebrated a win over Suffern.
He was only a sophomore at Nyack.
“I remember it was a Sunday night game,” said DePeter, who is now the Indians head coach. “I remember the winning goal deflected off a defenseman’s stick. I also remember their goalie flattened me.”
Nyack came out flying and made up for lost time on Tuesday, posting an easy 14-7 win, the first against the Mounties since 1995.
The losing streak was clearly a source of pregame inspiration.
“We believe so,” Indians defenseman Chris Woodburn said. “We believe so.”
Suffern has been learning some hard lessons all season long, and was in serious trouble just four minutes in. Andrew Quigley, Brennan Ramos and Zach Soriano had Nyack in front 4-0 before the Mounties realized the difference was only a matter of heart and hustle.
The Indians (8-5) were just quicker to the ball.
“We planned on coming with high intensity,” said Ramos, who finished with four goals and four assists. “That was necessary to win the game. Those key ground balls and key goals at the beginning set the tone for the rest of the game. We just played off the start.”
And the Mounties (3-10) never caught up.
“We are not playing well,” Suffern coach Dave McNally said. “Part of it is our mental toughness. It’s hard because there’s nobody behind the starters to push them. … We keep making little mistakes each and every day. We talk about correcting them. We work on correcting them, and they still make them. We have a lot of work to do.”
Ramos had a hat trick with six minutes to go in the first, and Jake Sullivan legged right on by a mixed-up defense to give Nyack a 6-0 advantage. Steven Vaccari finally ended the run with 1.8 seconds to go in the quarter.
There was a little anger behind the shot Suffern long pole Hugh McNally stormed in and let go five minutes into the second, but Daniel Minunni got the Indians in front 7-2 after they ran a couple minutes off the clock to make certain the momentum did not swing before the break.
“It was part of the game plan,” Ramos said. “They put one in, we gotta answer with two more right away. We had to keep the intensity up the whole way. That’s something that hurt us early in the season, letting teams get away from us.”
Soriano came out after the intermission and threw in two more, giving the Indians a 9-2 edge. From there it was just a matter of closing out. Nyack has come a long way in a month, and is playing with added confidence.
Right now, the goal is to pull off an upset in the sectional playoffs.
“There was just a turnaround,” said Woodburn. “Everyone is trying hard. Everyone is going hard. Everyone wants to win games.”