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St. Anthony's meets St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute for state hockey title
When the Friars had their backs against the wall, that was when they were at their best.
Down a game in the postseason, just bounce back and win the next two.
That’s how the St. Anthony’s hockey team captured its fifth consecutive CHSAA championship when it beat Monsignor Farrell, 4-1, in Game 3 of its best-of-three series.
“We put ourselves in a situation where we had no choice but to play desperation hockey,” Friars coach Anthony Auciello said. “Minimize your mistakes, maximize your opportunities.”
St. Anthony’s will face St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in the state championship game at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.
“It’s going to be a close game that can go either way,” Auciello said. “They’re an intense team. We’re going to review the mistakes we’ve made.”
The Friars had their moments when things didn’t go their way this postseason, yet came right out of the gate after a loss and responded the way Auciello expected. Having defenseman Matt Martino and winger Alec Manfre carrying out the initiative made things easier.
Martino is the team’s captain and Manfre is the assistant captain.
“They’re a huge part of this team,” Auciello said. “Martino’s a guy who has been there, who helped win that state championship in 2012. There’s no better feeling than winning it.”
The Friars (11-6-5) are getting an opportunity to do just that because it handed Chaminade its first loss on the season in their 6-2 semifinal win in Game 2 of their Best-of-Three Series. The Friars dropped Game 1 by the score of 4-2 and later won 4-3 in OT in Game 3.
St. Anthony’s winger Joey Slevin, who was also part of the 2012 state title team, and center Brian Whalen each had a hat trick as linemates.
“The story of the season is we’ve had our backs against the wall the entire season,” Auciello said. “We kind of have a legacy going. The kids know what it means to wear the championship crown.”