2004-01-09 / Sports

Greater New York City Ice Hockey League-New York Stars

Stars Peewee "B" Team
December 28 - 30, 2003
By Sharon Monchinski
Greater New York City Ice Hockey League-New York Stars By Sharon Monchinski

Stars Peewee "B" Team

December 28 - 30, 2003

The Stars finished in third place, as they competed in a tournament at Hershey, PA.  The Stars were the only "B" team in the field of 8.  All the other teams were double or triple "A" organizations.

Playing shorthanded, when several players did not make the trip, hurt the Stars as they wore down due to fatigue.

The Stars won their first two games, beating the Prince William, VA Panthers and the Hershey, PA Bears, both "AA" teams, by scores of 4-0 and 2-0.

The Rappahannock Academy, VA River Rats, a "AAA" organization, defeated the Stars by a 7-3 score.

The same two teams battled in the semi-finals and treated their fans to some great hockey. The River Rats held on for a 2-1 victory.

Head coach Stan Monchinski lauded the play of his Stars and their effort against the high caliber of competition, especially being shorthanded.

Saturday, January 3, 2004

 It was back to Long Island Hockey League action for the Stars as they visited the Suffolk County Blue Knights.  The Stars came back 3 times from 1 goal deficits to tie the Long Island team 3-3.

It took the home team just over 2 minutes into the first period to take a 1-0 lead, when a Stars’ defenseman failed to cover a man in the low slot.

Less than a minute later the Stars tied the game as forward Michael Biagioni found the net, assisted by center Sal Comodo and defenseman Michael Strenk.

Early in the middle period the Blue Knights made the Stars pay for a horrible line change, as they beat the Brooklyn goalie Ryan Forman from in close.

59 seconds later it was a 2-2 game as Stars winger Joey Calabrese fed center Nicky Amendola, who slipped the puck home.

2:37 into the final period the home team stripped a Stars defenseman of the puck after an ill advised rush deep in his zone and beat Forman from the slot.

The Stars tied it again shortly, as forward Chris Hayes blasted the puck home, assisted by Amendola.

The Stars outshot the Blue Knights 25-18, but were guilty of numerous bad passes and poor execution all game long.

Sunday, January 4, 2004

In non-league action, the New Jersey Polar Bears "AA" team visited the Stars and provided some tough competition. But the Stars prevailed by a score of 3-1.

After a scoreless first period, they put a power play goal on the board 5:20 into the middle session.  Winger Michael Biagioni got the goal, assisted by forward T.J. Leonard and defenseman, Danny Kaplan.

With less than 2 minutes to go in the period, the Stars were killing a penalty, when PKs Michael Davie and Nicky Vukan broke on a 2 on 1.  Vukan converted a rebound of a Davie shot, with a great backhander, giving the team a 2-0 lead.

28 seconds into the final period, Davie knocked in a pass from forward Chris Gerardi, giving the Stars a 3-0 advantage.

A breakdown at the offensive blueline by the Stars defense led to a break-a-way and a goal for the Polar Bears. The goal came at 2:38 of the period.

The Bears out worked the Stars for the remainder of the game, but thanks to some fine goaltending by David Benger, the Coney Island boys held on for a victory.       

Stars Bantam "B" Team

Sunday, January 4, 2004

A goal by Dmitry Zagorodynk with seventeen seconds left to play gave the Stars Bantam "B" team a dramatic 1-1 tie with the first place Dix Hills Rebels, before an enthusiastic crowd at the Abe Stark arena.

The Rebels controlled the early play as their tight fore-checking game halted the Stars rushes at center ice. Solid goaltending by the Star’s Justin Perkins kept the Rebels off the scoreboard. Nevertheless, Dix Hills continued to apply the pressure, and with 2:07 left in the period, finally cashed in on an opportunity. With the Stars pinned in their own end, the Rebels moved the puck smartly along the boards, eventually feeding it to the open man at the top of the face off circle. A Rebels player broke to the net and redirected the shot past the outstretched glove of goaltender Perkins, giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead after one.

The Stars began the second period on the power play, and controlled the puck in the Dix Hills end. But the Rebels defense repelled their attempts at working the puck low, and the Stars could not convert the opportunity. Utilizing their speed, and passing game the Stars attempted to neutralize the Rebels tight checking game, and appeared to gain momentum as the period progressed. But they could not slip away from their checks and put themselves into position for the open shot.

Fortunately, the Stars did not allow their inability to score to affect their defensive responsibilities. Although the Rebels maintained an advantage in play, the hard working Stars continued to drop back on defense, limiting Dix Hills to a handful of good scoring opportunities.

The play was much the same in the third period, with the Rebels carrying the play, but unable to shake the tenacious Stars. But with less than a minute to play, Stars coach Matt Davie pulled his goaltender in favor of an extra skater.

Finally, with :17 left on the clock, Dmitry Zagorodnyk, planted firmly on the doorstep to the right of the goaltender, wrestled a loose puck away from the crowd, and lifted it over the prone Rebels goaltender giving the Stars a 1-1 tie; and an important point in the standings.

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