After losing his junior season to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellenberg’s Griffin Chernoff couldn’t wait to get back on the field.
Unfortunately for Chernoff a broken foot in the first quarter of the first game this season took him off the field a little longer.
"It was tough to not be out there with the guys," Chernoff said. "But I just tried to be the best teammate I could be and support them and I was hoping I could come back."
Chernoff was able to make his return to the field last Saturday and quickly showed he hadn’t missed a beat, helping the Firebirds win all three games last week, culminating in Tuesday’s 15-4 win over St. John the Baptist in the Long Island CHSAA AA championship.
"Defensively we were able to shut them down by playing well as a team," Kellenberg coach Shaun Moran said. "When we had the ball we were patient and found good shots."
It clearly helped to have Chernoff, who has 11 goals and six assists in three games, back in the mix.
"We play faster and he elevates everybody's game," Moran said. "We’re able to play a different way with him in there."
Kellenberg will play Iona Prep, the winner of the Westchester AA league, in the final game of the season. Because of the pandemic there won’t be a true state championship against the teams from the Buffalo area.
"We’re a much better team than when we played them earlier," Moran said. Kellenberg dropped both regular season meetings but didn’t have Chernoff and only had limited minutes from one of their other big offensive weapons Brian Russell in one of them.
"We’ve added more threats to our offense than what we had earlier," Chernoff said. "We’re peaking at the right time and playing our best ball and looking forward to making a run at the championship."
Spallina surpasses 300
The fantastic season of Joey Spallina hit another milestone Tuesday.
The Mt. Sinai junior had a goal and five assists in the Mustangs 15-1 win over Eastport-South Manor. The goal, assisted by his brother Jake, was the 300th point of Spallina’s varsity career.
On May 18 Spallina set the Suffolk record with 13 assists in a win over Hauppauge.
Spallina now has 311 points in his career as of June 3rd, including 35 goals and 63 assists this season.
Games of the week
A pair of one goal games between teams looking for top seeds in both Nassau and Suffolk Class A were the most notable of the week.
Farmingdale moved to 9-1 after defeating Syosset, 6-5. Colton Becker scored the winner off an assist from Tom Decker with 6:36 left in the game. Decker finished with three goals and two assists and the Dalers defense held Syosset to just one goal in the second half.
Bay Shore picked up another big win in Suffolk I, defeating Smithtown East, 10-9, to move to 10-2 on the year. Will Danowski scored with 2:54 remaining to break the tie. Max Crane added three goals for Bay Shore.