Though it fell just short of reaching the Section III Division II playoffs, the Hamilton ice hockey team still had a fine season -- and were bent on finishing well.
Sure enough, when the Emerald Knights went to Kennedy Arena Wednesday night to face Rome Free Academy, it put together a 3-1 victory over the playoff-bound Black Knights.
More than anything else, this game was a tribute to the work Brendon Rusch did in the net. The Hamilton goaltender was under attack all night, but Rusch somehow kept things out on his way to 46 saves in 47 RFA attempts. Only Robbie Waller scored on Rusch in the second period.
Meanwhile, the sporadic Hamilton attack did come alive for goals in each period. Derrick Rogers and Alex Brink each had one goal and one assist, with Blaine Holcomb also converting. Nick Heintz picked up an assist.
This came after the Emerald Knights beat a "B" squad from Oswego 8-2 on Tuesday night as Brink had four goals and one assist. Kinnon Nolan-Finkel scored twice, adding an assist as Holcomb got a goal and two assists. Ricky Runyon also found the net as Joe Santoro picked up three assists.
Hamilton ended up at 10-9-2 (7-6-2 league) and, with 14 points, were just two points back of the fourth and final spot Clinton claimed. It was a far cry from the Emerald Knights' 3-16-2 mark of a season ago.