St. Anthony's fly past Chaminade
Ties can sometimes leave a bad taste in a team's mouth.
Eleven days ago Chaminade and St. Anthony's skated to a 2-2 tie, leaving the balance of power in the CHSHL 'A' Division further in doubt.
"I thought we should’ve won the last game," St. Anthony's head coach Jeff Stelmok said. "(Chaminade) played very well, they’re a good team with good discipline. It’s a challenge. It was good to go back on the horse and go right at it."
The Friars showed their eagerness, flying by a somewhat fatigued Chaminade squad, 3-1 Tuesday night at the Dix Hills Skating Rink.
St. Anthony's (12-2-1) came out flying from the opening puck-drop and looked to take advantage of a Chaminade squad that was playing its fifth game in 10 nights.
Brent D'Iorio wasted no time getting the Friars on the board 6:14 into the first period to give St. Anthony's a crucial 1-0 lead.
"I just saw a lot of traffic in front and the goalie couldn't really see it," D'Iorio said. "I just thought I'd take a quick low shot. I thought I'd get a juicy rebound, but I didn't think the puck would go in."
The first-place Friars were noticably quicker in the opening 15 minutes, something they wanted to right from the previous 2-2 affair played in Syosset on January 18.
"Last game I think we were a little excited with a packed house at Iceworks," said D'Iorio. "We came out pretty slow."
Stelmok pressed the importance his team's overall speed and, more importantly, physicality in Tuesday night's win.
"We made sure we stayed aggressive. We wanted to play more physical," Stelmok said. "Every time a red shirt touched the puck we wanted contact and we got it."
"We played a majority of the game in their zone and when you do that regardless whether its 2-1 or 10-1, you got a better chance to win," he added.
St. Anthony's doubled its lead in the second period as Chaminade (10-2-1) got in penalty trouble with Bryan Whalen's fifth goal of the year on a two-man advantage.
The Flyers pulled within one goal 2:06 into the final frame as James Henry pounced on a loose puck in the slot and slid it past St. Anthony's goaltender Dan Peterson to cut the deficit to 2-1. However Michael Martino iced things with 28.7 seconds left with an empty netter to give St. Anthony's the two-goal victory.
The question now begs to be asked: Will these two teams meet again in the postseason? As the top two seeds in the CHSHL 'A' playoffs, these squads sure seem on the path to meet once more, but Stelmok doesn't just have his eye on just the Flyers.
"It’s a huge rivalry," Stelmok said. "We have to consider them and whoever else is in the playoffs a dangerous team."
"Regardless of who we play, hopefully it will be a good series for us," he added. "If it’s Chaminade, yeah it will be a little bit sweeter."