The Blue Streaks lost during the state finals in 2010 and 2011 and lost an overtime thriller during the state semifinals in 2012. Their fourth-straight trip to the state championship tournament turned out to be the charm, with Saratoga Springs bringing home the gold in front of a crowd filled with their supporters.
Twin brothers Matt and Ryan Flynn provided the firepower for the Blue Streaks’ attack, each scoring two goals and combining for three assists in the championship. Ryan Flynn would be named the tournament’s MVP for his efforts, which included the game’s first and subsequent game-winning goal: a penalty shot past McQuaid’s Brian Kick within the opening half of the first period.
Ryan Flynn would tally his second goal of the game later in the period, with his brother Matt and Division I Player of the Year Tyler Bullard tallying the assists.
The Blue Streaks admit one of their weakest areas was coming out flat during the first periods of games, and relying on rallies later in the game. That was not a problem for them during their playoff run, jumping out to early leads against Suffern, Niagara-Wheatfield and eventually McQuaid.
Goaltender Dakota Smith was the difference maker for Saratoga, stopping all 17 shots he faced and posted his fourth shutout during the Blue Streaks’ six-game post season run.
Saratoga had four players selected to the “All-Tournament Team,” which included the Flynn Brothers, Bullard and senior defensemen Brendon Wormley taking the honors. Coach Torres was honored as the Division I Coach of the Year on top of his players’ accolades.
In order to reach the finals, Saratoga Springs had to take care of business in the semifinals against Niagara-Wheatfield Saturday afternoon. The Blue Streaks played aggressive early, jumping out to a lead and wrapping up the Falcons by a final score of 4-1.
McQuaid Jesuit had their hands full Saturday afternoon with Section X representatives Massena, who were defeated 5-1.
17 players from the 2012 team remained on the roster for the state championship win. Mayor Scott Johnson has indicated plans to celebrate the achievement by naming a day in the team’s honor.