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Smithtown-Hauppauge takes over first
And just like that, the Bulls rushed to the top.
Smithtown-Hauppauge hockey, which is near the end of a grueling stretch of six games in 11 days to open the second half of the season, jumped from fourth place to first in Suffolk by winning the first five of those games—including four victories over the three teams that were ahead of them in the standings.
The Bulls (28 points) beat then first-place Half Hollow Hills (26 points) twice in this stretch, including a 4-3 win Monday led by Jonathan Gianchetta's two goals. On Sunday, the Bulls topped St. John the Baptist (22 points), 1-0, behind goalie Thomas DeRosa and a third-period goal by Daniel Nelson, and on Jan. 9 beat Connetquot-Sayville (25 points), 5-2.
“Those were all the top teams and we beat them in this two-week stretch,” Smithtown-Hauppauge coach Vincent Granice said. “We’ve had a real good two weeks. It’s pretty amazing.”
Smithtown-Hauppauge wraps up this six-game sprint against St. Anthony’s Club on Wednesday, and then has 12 days off before closing the season against East Islip, Northport-Huntington and Connetquot-Sayville with a chance to clinch the top seed heading into the playoffs.
“What this does for us now is gives us an opportunity to finish in the top two positions in the league,” Granice said. “This was a long tough stretch for my team but they came prepared to play and the whole entire team contributed to us being successful.”