2001-12-01 / Sports

Greater New York Ice Hockey League Squirt "B" Team

Greater New York Ice Hockey
League Squirt "B" Team

On Friday, November 23, 2001, the Stars traveled to Scranton, PA to participate in a Thanksgiving holiday tournament. Besides the Stars, top rated teams from upstate New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania comprised the field of this prestigious event.

The Stars drew the hard-hitting Reston Raiders of Virginia in their first game, which featured a lot of hard skating, shooting and physical play. When the horn sounded to end the contest the Stars had a 4-1 victory.

Standout defenseman Paddy Mead of the Stars opened the scoring at 2:09 of the initial period, taking sharp passes from center Kenny Fiorentino and winger, Jesse Wynn and then ripping the puck past the Virginia goalie. 2:30 into the middle period the Stars went ahead 2-0, as once again it was Mead delighting the supporters of the Stars, with a tremendous rush and shot. The goal was unassisted.

The score went to 3-0 2:17 into the final period and was the result of some great work by Stars defenseman Joey Forcina.  The blue liner, held in a Raider clearing attempt at his right point position, skated to the right circle and let fly a low bullet, which could not be handled cleanly by the goalie, allowing center Patrick Brown to put in a chippie of a goal. 30 seconds later, it is 4-0 as winger Charlie Gotard put in a rebound of his own shot from the low slot. The Raiders beat Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano from in close with 3:10 to play to make it a 4-1 game. Cibrano was sharp in net for the Stars stopping 18 of 19 shots, while his teammates scored on 4 of 12 shots.

The Stars got great checking from forwards Nicky Amendola, Patrick Gillespie and Nicky Vukan.  In addition, defenseman Michael Strenk was outstanding in the defensive zone.

In Game 1, on Saturday, November 24, 2001, the Stars took to the ice against the Binghamton, New York Ice Men in their second game tournament. The upstate boys proved to be in over their heads as the Stars dominated the game from the opening face off and skated to an 8-0 victory.

Defensively, the Stars held the game upstaters to but 7 shots on goal, earning Ricky Cibrano the shut out. Center Patrick Brown started the Stars onslaught 1:07 into the game, as he put in a rebound of defenseman Michael Davie's shot. 3:46 into the period found the Stars with a 2-0 lead as winger Charlie Gotard found the net, assisted by Brown and forward Jesse Wynn.

18 seconds later it was 3-0 as defenseman Paddy Mead took winger Nicky Vukan's pass and scored from long range. Center Kenny Fiorentino, who had a tremendous two way game, made it 4-0 at 3:12 of the second period, by converting a great feed from his left wing Nicky Amendola. Just 12 seconds later the crowd was treated to a great skating, passing and scoring play by the Stars.  Mead skated through the right side of the Ice Men's defense and passed to the left slot, where Brown pivoted and one-timed the puck home.

With 6:08 to play, the score went to 6-0 as defenseman Joey Forcina’s long shot from the right point found the net. Winger Patrick Gillespie set up the goal with a nice pass to the point. Less than two minutes later it was 7-0 as defenseman Michael Strenk broke up a neutral zone pass and sped down the left side before releasing a rising blast over the goalies left shoulder. Fiorentino closed out the scoring with 2:01 to play as he wristed home the puck, assisted by Davie and Strenk. The Stars blue liners had a fine offensive game as they accounted for 7 points.

In Game 2, the Stars beat the Elmira, New York team by a score of 6-2. Winger Charlie Gotard picked up the first goal of the game for the Stars 8:36 into the opening period, converting passes from linemates Nicky Vukan and Kenny Fiorentino.

Fifty-two seconds later, it was 2-0 as the Stars made good a power play opportunity. Winger Jesse Wynn scored the goal and assisted by center Patrick Brown and defenseman Joey Forcina. Brown scored early in second period, off a tremendous pass from defenseman Paddy Mead, to make it a 3-0 game. 3 minutes later Mead snapped home a low wrist shot, assisted by Brown and Forcina.

Late in the period the Stars went up 5-0 with the goal scored by Winger Patrick Gillespie and set up by Forcina and Fiorentino. Early in the 3rd period Fiorentino put the puck in the net after taking another super pass from Mead. The Elmira boys answered back late in the game picking up 2 goals (one on a power play) against Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano, to bring the score to 6-2.

In the playoff game on Sunday, the Stars hit the ice at full speed as they squared off against a fine Brewster, New York team, the Blackhawks. It was end to end wide open hockey, with each team having many scoring

chances.  When it was over the Stars prevailed by a 10-4 score. The Stars were led by their fine rushing defenseman Paddy Mead's hat trick.

The Blackhawks had the only goal of the first period, picking it up with 9 seconds to go in the period, beating Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano. The Stars answered back by getting 6 straight goals in the second period, before the Blackhawks again scored very late in the period, this time twice within 27 seconds to make it a 6-3 game.

The Brewster boys then scored early in the final period making a 6-4 game. The Stars then put in the next 4 goals to make it a 10-4 game. Besides Mead's hat trick and an assist, the Stars got goals from Nicky Amendola, Nicky Vukan (2), Alex Shtarr, Patrick Gillespie, Kenny Fiorentino (2), with assists going to Patrick Brown, Charlie Gotard (2), Amendola, Vukan, Fiorentino, Joey Forcina and Michael Strenk.

The Stars out shot the Blackhawks 36-20, moving to the Championship game against the host team the Pocono Pirates, a very talented, undefeated team.


The Stars culminated a great weekend of hockey with a thrilling 4-2 victory over the Pocono Pirates to claim the championship trophy for the Greater New York City Ice Hockey League.

In the most exciting game of the tournament the Stars not only overcame a very talented opponent, but also a hostile home crowd, a balky time keeper and some highly questionable officiating, to walk away as champions.

The Stars opened the scoring at 6:29 of the first period when winger Nicky Amendola's shot from the slot found the net.  Forward Charlie Gotard assisted Amendola’s goal.

The Pirates made it a 1-1 game at 6:20 of the middle period as they poked a rebound past Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano. 2 minutes later the Stars took the lead back on a fine solo effort from Gotard. The Pirates bounced right back, as they once again scored from in close on a rebound.

Then 2 minutes into the final period, the Stars took but 9 seconds into a power play to get the game winner.  Winger Jesse Wynn getting the biggest goal of his career, assisted by Amendola.

With just under 6 minutes to play, winger Alex Shtarr hit linemate Gotard with a pass and sending the power forward in on a breakaway. Gotard finished the play with a beautiful deke and backhander to ice the game for the Stars.

In the final minutes, the Stars were forced to play one and two men short as they were sent to the penalty box by the refs.  The Stars penalty killers, Amendola, Fiorentino, Wynn, Michael Davie, Joey Forcina, Paddy Mead and Michael Strenk all came up "big time" as they calmly turned away each rush by the Pirates. The Stars were out shot by the Pirates 17-13, but during the complete tournament the Stars out shot their rivals 127 to 72, and out scored them 32-9.

Throughout the tournament the Stars played brilliant defensive hockey, which led to many offensive chances and resulted in every player getting thoroughly involved in every aspect of the game.  The result was a total team effort and victory.

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