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Ketchabaw Saves Titans' 2-1 Win over Rye

RYE, N.Y. -- Once the buzzer sounded to end the hockey game between Rye and Rye Town/Harrison, the Titans stormed the ice to congratulation goalie Jaime Ketchabaw.

The Titans defeated the Garnets 2-1 in a Section 1 Conference III game at Playland Ice Casino Monday because of Ketchabaw’s brilliant play. Ketchabaw, a senior at Blind Brook, stopped 41 of 42 shots. His two finest saves came in the final 69 seconds to preserve the win. The Titans, now 10-7 overall and 5-0 in Conference III, can clinch the league title with a win over Horace Greeley Friday.

“He was phenomenal,” Titans’ forward Sal Giacomo, a Harrison High School senior, said of Ketchabaw.

Ketchabaw denied Rye twice in the final 69 seconds, leaving the Garnets shaking their heads in disbelief.

Rye pulled goalie Aidan Talgo for the extra skater on top of having a power play. With 1:09 remaining in the game, Ketchabaw made the initial save and was down on the ice when Rye’s Caly Hynson picked up the puck from point-blank range. Hynson released a quick shot, but Ketchabaw dove to his left to stop the shot.

The Garnets final chance to even the score came with 8.5 seconds remaining. Hynson, in the left face-off circle, sled a pass over to Jason Chin bearing down on the right post. Once Chin received the pass he quickly unleashed a wrist shot that was snared by Ketchabaw.

“That was a desperation save,” said Ketchabaw of the save on Hynson. “I saw he was in shooting position and I didn’t have time to get up so I kept myself on the ice. The last shot is the same shot that coach (Rob Striar) takes on me in practice.”

The Titans trailed 1-0 through two periods. In the second period, the Garnets had a two-man advantage for 62 seconds but could not solve Ketchabaw. The Garnets would close the second period with a power play that carried over into the third.

Ten seconds after the penalty elapsed, Giacomo scored at the 28-second mark, assisted by Dean Brancucci. Four minutes later, Giacomo gave Rye Town/Harrison the lead on a goal from an unlikely angle as he was parallel to Talgo.

“Coach (Steve Forzaglia) told us between the second and third periods not to give up, keep working hard and the puck will find the back of the net," he said. “Once we got that first goal, it changed the whole momentum of the game. On the second goal, I knew he had been giving up rebounds, but I saw his skates were not on the post so I was able to squeeze one through.”

Ketchabaw has been on the receiving end of a few of those Giacomo shots in practice.

“Sal has great accuracy from below the goal so I am no surprised he scored,” Ketchabaw said. “Even in practice, he’s snuck it by me a few times.”

This was Rye Town/Harrison’s first win over Rye in the seniors’ careers.

“It feels great,” Giacomo said.

Rye’s goal came on a deflection at 11:04 of the first period. Ben Schaffler let go with a wrist shot from the blue line that Michael Benincasa redirected for his 13th of the season.

Rye 1 0 0 -- 1 Rye Town/Harrison 0 0 2 -- 2

Goals -- R: Michael Benincasa; RT/H: Sal Giacomo 2. Assists -- R: Ben Schaffler, Jason Chin; RT/H: Dean Brancucci 2, Evan Jacobs. Saves -- R; Aidan Talgo 23; RT/H: Jaime Ketchabaw 41.

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