Alex Smith

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January 14th – LoHud

 John Jay senior Ellis Maloof watches his second goal of the third period hit the back of the net Saturday during a 6-3 win over Greeley at Brewster Ice Arena. (Photo: Mike Dougherty/The Journal News)

BREWSTER – Ellis Maloof is making the most of a head start.

A decision to move the speedster up front a few weeks ago was again validated on Saturday during a 6-3 win over Greeley at Brewster Ice Arena. He came blazing into the zone for a pair of third-period goals to help the Indians close out another stubborn opponent.

Truth be told, Maloof has always been quick.

“I think moving to forward was a big help,” Maloof said. “On defense I was coming from the back, trying to gain speed. When I’m up front I can get in quickly and get a shot off. I think it’s the reason why I look faster.”

The Quakers came in with a four-game winning streak, but were missing five regulars who had conflicts with travel.

David Browne scored five minutes in to get John Jay (8-4) started, but Dillon Rusiecki answered in the opening minutes of the second. While the Indians are skating away from the .500 mark, they are struggling to play with a high level of intensity from start to finish.

It’s been a source of exasperation from the first game of the season.

“We keep telling ourselves we need to be more consistent and we need to play hard for 45 minutes, but we don’t always do it,” Maloof said. “I’m not really sure why, but we are working harder to get better. Hopefully, we figure it out and play hard the entire game.”

The good news is John Jay has enough weapons to make something happen when it’s losing traction.

 “We have the players who can fix things in game,” Indians defenseman Charlie Hastings said. “Sometimes we stop moving the puck, then we have talk and get back to being a team.”

And that’s what happened after Greeley knotted the score.

Hastings went low with a blast from the point, scoring a power play goal with 9:44 to go in the second. Michael Fischetti extended the lead to 3-1 before the ice cut.

The Indians were up a man with three minutes gone in the third period when Maloof got loose and scored. Chase Goldman made it 5-1 with 10:19 to play and John Jay began to shuffle the lineup. A couple of breakdowns led to some trouble.

Damon Klein and Sam Whitehouse ignited a comeback, bringing Greeley within 5-3 with 6:27 to go, but Maloof created space again with 1:35 to go and netted a second goal to lock up the win.