Bronzo, Sea sinks Farrell
Because of a shoulder injury, Michael Bronzo has only played in three CHSHL regular season games for St. Joseph by the Sea. Unfortunately for archrival Monsignor Farrell, two of those games have come against them.
The star forward scored four goals to help lift the Vikings to a 5-2 win against the Lions in front of a packed house at the Staten Island Pavilion Thursday night.
“The rivalry is always there, but I don’t do anything different,” Bronzo said. “I just come out and play my game.”
You don’t need to be a mathematician to realize Bronzo’s impact on the Vikings. Without him in the lineup, Sea is 0-3-2 with just six goals scored. In his three games on the ice, the Vikings are 2-1-0 with 12 goals scored.
“He’s a tremendous talent,” Sea coach Anthony Larca said. “I’ve been saying that for two years now. Besides his goal-scoring ability and his play, the rest of the team feeds off that.”
Bronzo’s first game back from a shoulder injury was the Dec. 22 against Farrell. He scored a hat trick in the 5-3 victory, Sea’s first of the year.
“Not playing absolutely sucks,” Bronzo said. “I do nothing but go to school, which is awful. I wasn’t going to let the boys down. They look up to me so I had to get back for the Farrell game, most importantly.”
On Thursday, it was actually Luigi Tirro who put St. Joseph by the Sea (2-4-2) in front, tapping in the rebound of Ryan Griffo’s saved shot with 5:33 left in the second period.
“Tirro started us off right,” Bronzo said. “He gave us the momentum and we just built off it from there. You can never look back once you’re going.”
That’s just what the Vikings did. Tirro turned playmaker less than two minutes later, setting up Bronzo’s first goal with 4:17 left in the second. Bronzo then picked up the puck at the blue line and exploded toward the net, scoring high glove side to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead with 4:17 left in the second.
“I didn’t do it by myself,” Bronzo said. “We all made different plays.”
Things got ugly two minutes later as a melee broke out after Sea’s Matt Ruocco was hammered from behind into the boards. Two players from each team received fighting majors and game misconducts in the fracas.
Bronzo made it 4-0 with a power play goal 2:26 into the third period. John Pallis and Jamie Skovronck scored third-period goals for Farrell (4-3-1) to avoid the shutout.
As emotionally lifting a win against Monsignor Farrell is for St. Joseph by the Sea, the Vikings are still three points behind the Lions for the fourth and final playoff spot in CHSHL Class A at the midway point of the season.
There’s one more meeting between the Staten Island foes – Feb. 1 at the Pavilion – but the Vikings know they need to bring the same intensity for the other remaining games.
“The next seven games are going to be that way for us,” Larca said. “We’re going to try to come out with the same intensity.”
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