Times Union high school hockey all-stars

It was a good regular season for Nolan Sullivan. The Shenendehowa senior led his team in scoring and ranked among the league leaders with 18 goals and 35 points.

When it came time for the playoffs, Sullivan did not literally put his team on its back, even though his hot stick led the way to Shen’s first Section II ice hockey title since 2014.

Sullivan opened his playoff run with five assists as the Plainsmen beat Niskayuna / Schenectady 5-1 in the opening round, and in the days leading up to a semifinal match with the Albany Academy, Sullivan noticed a difference on his team.

“It would take hard work, but the week before we went to Union (College) to play Albany Academy, I remember the team tightened up and did what we had to do,” Sullivan said. “It was all serious from there.”

It was during the 6-2 victory over the Cadets that Sullivan had his signature moment with a highlight goal that went viral on social media and captured the attention of ESPN, which ranked the piece as No. 1 on its top 10 plays today, as he scored as he slid forward on his back towards the goal before shooting the puck into the net.

The goal was one of four he scored in the match.


“I really did not think about it at first. I fell and the puck was sitting on my stick so I shot it,” Sullivan said. “I left the rink and when we got home I saw Twitter shares going on, it seemed was fat and when I woke up the next morning people were writing to me. It was a crazy feeling, I do not even know how to explain it. “

The notoriety was good, but Shen had a Section II final just two days later when Sullivan scored twice to help the Plainsmen avenge a loss in the 2021 final against Adirondack with a 7-2 victory.

Despite all the ESPN hype, the promise of the Section II trophy meant more to Sullivan.

“The Section II title,” Sullivan said. “I realized this is my last year. I wanted to finish with a Division II championship.”

First team

Extensions

William Bievenue, Sr., Bethlehem: Returned to the Eagles after a season out and continued where he left off, scoring 22 goals left with 22 assists in 20 games played.

Sean Bruno, Sr., Guilderland / Mohonasen / Schalmont / Voorheesville / Scotia: Finished the season with 25 goals and 23 assists for Storm as the team advanced to the Section II semifinals.

Nolan Sullivan, Sr., Shenendehowa: Wrote 18 goals and 17 assists in the regular season and got hot in the playoffs with seven goals and seven assists in five games.

Defenders

Axel Kotikoski, Sr., Guilderland / Mohonasen / Schalmont / Voorheesville / Scotia: The senior exchange student from Finland led the entire league’s defender in the regular season’s scoring with 25 points on seven goals and 18 assists.

Jack Scalise, Sr., Burnt Hills / Ballston Spa: Smooth skating, blue liner led Section II defenders with 11 goals in the regular season and added another in the playoffs to go with eight assists this season.

Goalkeeper

Rory Cairns, Jr., Bethlehem: Played in 17 games this year for the Eagles, with an impressive 1.79 goals against the average, while stopping 92.3 percent of the shots he encountered.

Coach of the year

Juan de la Rocha, Shenendehowa: Leading the Plainsmen to their first Section II title since 2014 before advancing to the state semifinals.

Second team

Extensions

Dylan Bzdell, Jr., Guilderland / Mohonasen / Schalmont / Voorheesville / Scotia

Dane Jones, So., Bethlehem

TJ Pierce, Sr., Guilderland / Mohonasen / Schalmont / Voorheesville / Scotia

Defenders

Joe Celtruda, Sr., Shenendehowa

Nate Hutchens, Sr., Shenendehowa

Goalkeeper

Jackson Bissell, Jr., Albany Academy

Sean Martin, a local freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to the Times Union.

Leave a Comment