High school central

All sports, all schools, one blog.

The forechecking Friars

St. Anthony's Nick Nici, left, and teammate Tyler

St. Anthony's Nick Nici, left, and teammate Tyler Hall react after a goal by Nici extends their team's lead over St. Mary's to 2-0 in the third period at Cantiague Park. (Dec. 1, 2011) (Credit: James Escher)

It may be too soon to tell, but St. Anthony’s looks to be the class of the CHSHL yet again.

Coming off its first  win over perennial powerhouse Portledge in a non-league exhibition on Nov. 21, the defending CHSHL champions beat St. Mary’s, 5-0, on Dec. 1 at Cantiague Park to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“We’re very fortunate to have a very talented team,” coach Jeff Stelmok said. ”There’s no question our kids have a lot of skill.”

The Friars came out sluggish early in last Thursday’s game, leading only 1-0 after two periods. St. Anthony’s switched to a more aggressive forecheck in the third, and quickly scored four more goals to put the game well out of reach.

Stelmok said he was disappointed with the slow start, and that his team’s success down the road will rely on its ability to stay within its game-by-game strategy.

“We’re a very systematic type team,” he said. “We’re big on making sure that our forechecks are in order and that everybody is following through on their assignment at any different time on the ice. They all have responsibilities out there and if we take care of those the wins are really just a byproduct of execution.”

St. Mary’s remained confident even after the loss. The Gaels showed an ability to attack the net at times and drew penalties because of their aggressive play. The team also got solid goaltending from sophomore Vito Anteri, whose 48 saves kept the 5-0 game from becoming more lopsided.

“I don’t want to take anything away from St. Mary’s, they played a good game, but their goaltender was outstanding,” Stelmok said.

“[Anteri] saw the angles, he read every shot and made sure he saw every shot and squared up to the shooter,” St. Mary’s coach Joe Trimarchi added. “We did have some lapses down low when they squeaked a couple in but for the most part the goaltender was excellent.”

Trimarchi ultimately was satisfied with his team’s performance against St. Anthony’s and believes the Gaels will get better as the season progresses.

“They came at us but we’re a young team and I was very proud with the way our players performed. We held our own,” he said. “I tip my head to St. Anthony’s but don’t count us out this season.”

Tags: ice hockey , st. anthony's , st. mary's

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday