Powers Says Saturday’s Game is One of the Biggest in Rye History

After opening holes for Cole McCormack and company on the Rye football team’s offensive line in the fall, Brian Powers, a senior, made the on-ice transition from defense to offense for the hockey team. He did it because, after years of playing on D, it’s what his coach asked him to do, and Powers — the unsung senior of Rye’s troika of upperclassmen — hasn’t looked back since.

Brian Powers receives his medal at West Point

Now he’s looking forward to Saturday’s State quarterfinal with Section 2’s Queensbury, the fourth-ranked team in all of New York’s Division II. The Garnets, ranked No. 2 themselves, will be ready to roll come 8 p.m. at home in the Playland Ice Casino, but will need YOUR help to advance to the Frozen Four in Utica March 13 and 14. Get there much earlier than the 8 p.m. start time, because the Spartans are planning on busing some 200 fans to Rye to take your seat — yes, YOUR seat! Don’t get shut out. Make sure the Casino is rocking in favor of the home team.

“Everyone in Rye needs to come on Saturday because it is one of the biggest games in Rye Hockey history,” said Powers. “The last time Rye hosted a game of this magnitude was back when Zegras was coaching, so everyone needs to get down to Playland at 8 o’clock on Saturday to watch us beat Queensbury and get back to Utica. Get there early and be loud.”

Biggest game since the Zegras era! Must be some hockey team we have here, eh?

“This hockey team in particular is so special because of our tremendous depth,” continued Powers. “We have three great forward lines and six skilled defensemen that we can roll at anytime. Other teams don’t have that advantage, and we are able to wear a lot of teams out because our lines just keep coming at you in waves.”

Powers and the Garnets faced Queensbury twice this season, winning the first meeting 5-4 and dropping the second 4-2. The second meeting was the beginning of their now successful three-line experiment, however, and senior captain Paul Mundinger was also forced to leave the game with a concussion.

There isn’t a single Rye player who wants the season to end on Saturday night.

“When I think of what it means to be a Garnet I consider myself extremely lucky,” said Powers. “It is an honor to be a part of an athletic program as prestigious and successful as the one at Rye High School.  It makes every game you play more exciting, because you know the other team is trying extra hard to try and knock you off because they are jealous of what you have. I look back on my high school career as a Garnet with great pride.”

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