Ice Hockey League Update
Stars battle Applecore to 5-5 tie…
With 13.6 seconds left on the clock, captain Nick Mason scored to give the New York Stars Pee Wee II team a 5-5 tie against Applecore, in a well played bruising battle, Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Long Beach Arena.
Co-captain Bryant Elfant, of Rockaway, scored a hat trick and forward Jesse Byam-Katzman provided the other Stars goal as the borough boys stunned the same Long Beach squad that throttled them, 11-2, earlier in the Long Island Hockey League season.
Most important was to play tough defense against this team. And we did. I’m proud of these boys, said Stars coach Jamie Grieco, following the match.
The Stars defensive parings of Mason, co-captain Chris Massi; Joe Sadowsky and Lenny DiMauro, frustrated their opponents from the first draw. They kept the puck in the zone and allowed Applecore few offensive chances. Meanwhile, the Stars aggressive forward lines made up of Elfant, Igor Valovoy, Joe DeLosa, Paul Strenk, Michael Long and Ray Ebro pressured the Applecore defense.
The Stars scored first on a power play with 49 seconds left in the first period. Elfant won a face-off in the Applecore zone and drew the puck toward Mason at the point who fired his patented rocket slap shot. As the Stars crashed the net, Elfant scooped up the rebound and stuffed it home.
At 13:26 of the second stanza, Elfant capitalized on breakaway opportunity. He skated toward the Applecore goalie that left net hoping to cut the angle. But the pesky center decked to his left and switching to his backhand put the puck past the netminder. At 10:24 Elfant got his hat trick assisted by Massi and Mason.
The Stars went ahead 4-0 at 9:35 after Sadowsky intercepted an Applecore pass at the red line. With Byam-Katzman flying on his left wing., Sadowsky broke down ice. He shoveled a pretty backhand pass that Byam-Katzman popped over the netminders right shoulder for a goal. Stars goalie Jerry Conte turned away all Applecore shots-on-goal until 9:21 of the second period.
But in the final period the hockey gods smiled on Applecore. At 10:24 of the period, the Long Beach team was given a goal after the puck went off Sadowsky’s skate and under Stars goalie Shawn Rock.
At 8:14 Applecore scored again following a scrum in front of the net. Rock was able to halt four Applecore blasts but failed to deflect a puck that sailed over his right shoulder. At 6:33 Applecore tied the match on a questionable goal that slipped under Rock’s pads and slid across the goal line as he stood up after the whistle. As the seconds wound down, physical play increased. With 26 seconds left, Applecore put the puck over Rock for the go-ahead goal. But the Stars would not be denied. They stormed back into the Applecore zone with six attackers. Elfant carried the puck and riffled a shot on net. Creating heavy traffic in the goalmouth, the Stars battled for the rebound. In heroic fashion, with 13.6 remaining, Mason rammed the puck past the stunned goalie for the 5-5 tie.
Sharks nip Stars, 4-1…
The New York Stars Pee Wee II team was unable to overcome a 4-1 deficit in a match-up with the league leading Staten Island Sharks, Saturday afternoon, January 15, at the Abe Stark Arena, Coney Island, Brooklyn.
The Sharks, who have only one loss in Long Island Hockey League action this season, outshot the Stars 12 to 1 and put three goals on the score board in the first period.
The Stars, who battled the Sharks to a 6-0 loss last month, dominated the second period that they began shorthanded. Strong defense from co-captain Chris Massi and his partner captain Nick Mason; and Lenny DiMauro and his partner Joey Sadowsky kept the puck away from goaltender Sean Rock. Forwards Michael Long and Joe DeLosa stepped into a defensive role as well.
For most of the period, the Stars were in control and outshot the Sharks. But with 3:55 remaining in the period, the Sharks found their way to Rock and put one past him, increasing the lead to 4. The Sharks were able to attack several more times in the period, but Rock stopped everything.
The third period belonged totally to the Stars. Not only did the defense remain strong, but the offense began to hammer away at the Sharks goalie. A powerplay at 12:12 did the trick for the Stars. Working off this newfound momentum, forward Igor Valovoy, on a pass from Mason, found
the right space in the net and put the Stars on the board at 10:58.
The Stars were allowed four more power plays, but the Sharks goalie remained strong. The Sharks could only muster one shot on net for the entire period but their previous attacks were enough to seal their victory.
Stars mauled by Bruins, 8-1…
The New York Stars Pee Wee II team found themselves on the short end of an 8-1 final against the Great Neck Bruins, Saturday, January 15, at the Parkhurst Arena, Great Neck.
The Bruins wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, slipping the puck past Stars goaltender Gerry Conte only 29 seconds into the match. The Stars, who lost three players to illness, looked flat as they vainly tried to keep themselves in the non-league game.
Great Neck managed to put three more on the board while the Stars lost the power play advantage at 5:18 after forward Igor Valovoy was hit with a high stick minor and a ten minute misconduct, further shortening the Stars bench.
Co- captain Bryan Elfant, of Rockaway, scored the only Stars goal of the match midway in the first period. But despite other scoring chances by Elfant, who hit the post, and forward Jesse Byam-Katzman, who beat the Great Neck goalie on a breakaway but couldn't get enough wood on the puck, the Stars could not manage another goal.
The Star also found themselves in penalty trouble throughout the match giving the Bruins power play opportunities.
The second period began with Great Neck scoring at the 54 second mark and Stars forward Paul Strenk landing in the box on a roughing rap. A second penalty by defenseman Lenny DiMauro gave Great Neck four minutes of power play time. But the Stars' penalty killing units held strong.
The defensive pairings of Nick Mason, Chris Massi and Joey Sadowsky, DiMauro, as well as strong play by the forwards, Elfant, Michael Long, Ray Ebro, Joe DeLosa and Valovoy tamed the Bruins for the remainder of the period.
Strong goaltending by Conte and outstanding defense by the entire squad carried over into the third period. The Bruins began making mistakes but the Stars were unable to capitalize. Conte, who had some brilliant saves, allowed two additional goals in the third period. The Stars were given two additional power play chances in the third but were unable to convert.
Nassau nips Stars, 5-3…
The New York Stars Pee Wee II team dropped a 5-3 loss to the Nassau, New Jersey Tigers, Monday, January 17, at the Abe Stark Arena, Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Both teams hit the ice cautiously, feeling each other out, and skating flat until midway into the first period of the non-league match. The tempo picked up and the Stars got on the board first. With his linemates Joe DeLosa and Igor Valovoy crashing the Nassau net, co-captain Bryan Elfant of Rockaway, rammed the puck home with 2:54 remaining.
But at 12:06 of the second stanza the Nassau team tied on a blast that sailed over the right shoulder of Stars goalie Shawn Rock. Then at 5:54 the Tigers got their second goal on a power play after Elfant was hit with a 2 and 10 checking from behind penalty. The boys from Princeton, New Jersey scored again at 2:39 to end the second period.
Co-captain Chris Massi put the Stars within one at 14:42 of the third. Massi caught a pass from forward Paul Strenk and fired a wicked wrister from the top of the right circle that slid through the Nassau goalie’s five hole.
Then the Nassau team got a break after a puck caromed off a Tiger skate and found its way past Rock at 13:05. Again, the Stars got within one when Mason, hoping to repeat Sunday’s heroics, grabbed a pass from Joe Sadowsky and popped the puck through the goalie’s pads with 1:50 remaining.
But the Tigers got their fifth of the game after the Stars pulled Rock for an extra attacker. Nassau broke through the Stars defense and fired on the empty net. Racing back, DeLosa slid across the goalmouth stopping the shot. A trailing Tiger scooped up the rebound and slapped the puck in goal with 13 seconds on the clock.