The Suffolk hockey league will send 20 of its best players to compete in the third annual all-star series against the Hudson Valley league all-stars Monday, but this time, Suffolk will have just one chance at beating its upstate rivals.
Sachem coach Al Posillico, who along with Half Hollow Hills coach Brian Statfeld will lead the Suffolk team, said that because the league's schedule was affected by superstorm Sandy, the Suffolk and Hudson Valley all-stars will play just one game this year in Newburgh instead of participating in a home-and-home series.
Suffolk has a 2-1-1 record against Hudson Valley, after splitting last year's two all-star games.
"We definitely want to win," Posillico said. "Brian and I are taking it a lot more like, we can't spot them a game and come home and tie it. Some of the kids are leaving travel tournaments to make this game, so I'd say they're excited to be there and are happy to represent Suffolk."
The Suffolk team is highlighted by four of the county's top scorers in Smithtown-Hauppauge's Daniel Nelson and Michael Gioia, St. John the Baptist's Matthew O'Shaughnessy and Connetquot-Sayville's Bryan Arroyo. Half Hollow Hills' Eric Tartarian and St. John's Stephen Montgomery are expected to split time at goalie.
"Not having Sorkin definitely hurts us, but I still think we have two dynamite lines and with Sorkin, we would have had three," Posillico said.
Those top lines will be: Nelson, Gioia and Sachem's Alex Posillico on one line -- Arroyo, his Connetquot-Sayville teammate Peter Dimartino with St. John's Josh Weger on another. O'Shaughnessy, a natural forward, will play defense with "a green light" to step in and provide offense from the blue line.
"We expect those two lines to be strong," Posillico said. "And we still have a few other things up our sleeves, as well."