St. Anthony’s bests Chaminade in hockey finals

Gregory Giaconelli

The Chaminade High School varsity boys ice hockey team fell to the St. Anthony, 5-2, Friday night, falling for the second time in the best of three series at Ice works in Syosset and sealing the Catholic High School Division A championship for the Friars from Huntington Station. 

Chaminade would fall short of their goal to repeat as Class A champions, but it was St. Anthony’s that seemed the team of destiny, sweeping the series to improve to a perfect 21-0 and taking home the title for the 10th time in 11 years. 

For Chaminade’s head coach Ed Smith, coming up short of their goal was a tough pill to swallow. However, he’s proud of the effort his squad put in against a tough St. Anthony’s team that refused to lose.

“We set a goal in the beginning of the year and these kids never wavered from it” said Smith. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys across the bleachers and it’s their year. We took them to the brink a couple of games and the score did not indicate the outcome of this game.”

After a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1, the Flyers came into Game 2 with the aim of containing the duo of Tyler Barrow and Patrick Cozzi

The Flyers would break through first on the scoreboard with a goal by senior center Henry Hitchcock with 4:45 left to play in the first period. As the puck goes down the Flyers’ end, Defenseman Alex Squeri passed to Nick Riebl from his own end and Riebl would dunked the puck out to mid ice, where Hitchcock picked it up and cut to the left side, beating the Friars’ keeper to give the Flyers the 1-0 lead.

It would be short-lived. The Friars evened up the game at 1-1 with a goal off a turnover behind the Flyers net with two minutes remaining in the first. The period would end with the game tied at one.

A goal 3:03 into the second period gave St. Anthony’s a 2-1 lead. Despite his team getting outshot and outplayed, Flyers goaltender Trent King did all he could to keep his squad in the game as they headed into the locker room down by a goal. 

“We needed to shoot more” said defenseman Glen Lizza.  “We didn’t take enough shots. That’s what killed us.”

The Friars defense was the deciding factor down the stretch, consistently clearing  the crease and limiting shots from the opposition. 

“Going into the locker room, I told these guys they played a great game” said Smith. “I give credit to St. Anthony’s. They had a terrific defense and they protected their goalie very well.”

With 8:29 into the period, the Friars would turn what could have been a breakaway from the Flyers into an odd man rush going the other way. The Friars would connect to tak a 3-1 lead, prompting the Flyers to call a timeout.

The Flyers would answer back with a goal of their own by junior center Chris Parisi on the power play to cut the lead to 3-2 at the 9:46 mark. Parisi missed his initial shot, but with the Friar’s goaltender out of position, Steven Falgoust was able to retrieve the rebound from the side of the net and pass it back to Parisi, who tapped it in.

With 2:22 left in the game, the Friars would add an insurance goal off another turnover, taking back the two-goal lead. They would put the game out of reach with an empty net goal late in the third, sealing their trip to the state championship. 

Chaminade finished with a record of 15-6-1.

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Gregory Giaconelli

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