Greater New York Ice Hockey League
Greater New York Ice
By Sharon Monchinski
On Saturday, December 22, 2001, in thrilling hockey action, the Stars and the Rebels of Dix Hills, New York skated to a 1-1 tie.
This was an evenly played game as both teams had 16 shots on goal. It featured some outstanding goal keeping as the opposing goalies made several big saves.
The Rebels beat Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano, midway through the middle
period, as the backchecking forwards were tardy getting to the defensive zone. The Stars tied it up with 1:31 to play in the same period and was the result of a tremendous individual effort by winger Charlie Gotard. The power forward took a pass from defenseman Joey Forcina, burst into the attacking zone and rocketed a blast through the Rebel goalie.
Gotard and forward Patrick Gillespie were cited by the Stars coaching staff for having a fine all around game and giving a 100% effort in all three zones. A hot rumor circulating at Starsland has a big name power/skating instructor about to join the Stars family on a full time basis.
On Sunday, December 23, 2001, the Stars avenged one of their two losses of the season, with a tremendous 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Colonials. The Colonials, an "AA" team, coached by ex New York Ranger Brian Mullen, are an excellent hockey team, who play hard and intelligently. They seem to bring out the best in the Stars, who take pride in their total team effort.
Both teams skated hard, back and forth, changing on the fly and played very well positionally. So good was the forechecking and backchecking that the game was scoreless until 3:32 remained in the final period.
It was then that Stars forward Alex Shtarr took a pass from defenseman Paddy Mead, broke around and through the Colonials rear guard with some great dekes and wristed the puck home.
With 25 seconds to play the Stars nailed an empty net goal to give them
their final margin of victory. The goal was put home from center ice by winger Charlie Gotard, assisted by linemates Nicky Vukan and Kenny Fiorentino.
Stars goalie Ricky Cibrano was outstanding between the pipes, as he made several great skate and glove hand saves, stopping all 11 shots fired at him. The shutout was Cibrano's 8th of the season.
Although all the Stars were at the top of their game, the coaches were especially pleased with the fine defensive work of blue liner Joey Forcina and the outstanding backchecking work of captain Patrick Brown. The victory gave the Stars an overall record of 22-2-3.