When you get Chaminade and St. Anthony’s to actually agree on something, it can be just as shocking as the subject matter.
“Something like that is one thing if they come down three on one or something like that, maybe the kids will feel worse, I don’t know,” Chaminade hockey head coach Frank Bendl said. “No way is a good way to lose.”
“We really don’t want to win that way and I certainly don’t want to see a team lose that way,” St. Anthony’s coach Jeff Stelmok said.
What isn’t shocking is what happened in game two of the 2013 varsity ice hockey championship – which St. Anthony’s won Saturday night 3-2 in overtime to complete a two game sweep – nabbing their fourth straight championship and 11th in the past 12 years.
“It’s huge,” Stelmok said. “It’s just amazing how the kids come to the school year after year after year and we’re fortunate enough to have a very talented program. It was a little tough tonight, but I’m not surprised to see the train still rolling.”
What is shocking is exactly how it happened.
Riding back on the Belt Parkway leaves ample time to endlessly replay the overtime seconds like a bad episode of Sportscenter.
Tied 2-2 the puck had bounced off of one of the pads of goalie Brandon DeStasio.
The black circle spins just at the edge of the goal keeper’s zone.
You just react in situations like this. There’s no real thought involved, just muscle memory, instinct.
A gentle touch from the backside of the glove. The intent to just pass it back to the goalie so he can cover it and get the stop, keeping it safe from any potential harm.
Maybe there was too much backspin on the puck. A bit too much power on the flick of the wrist. In either case the pads hadn’t come down quick enough. The puck floated through DeStasio’s legs, gliding past the crease.
“Several times I thought they had us,” Stelmok said. “They were playing for their lives tonight, they knew it and we knew it. That’s why they play with every scrap of energy they have.”
Chaminade’s only two losses in the regular season had been to St. Anthony’s, including a 2-2 tie.
“I hate to see the kids because I know we were right there with them,” Bendl said. “I wanted them to get a win under their belt against this team so they felt like they can beat them and we didn’t get it; that’s very tough.”
The Flyers never would have had any overtime opportunities had it not been for Joseph Anile, who was able to put the puck in on the right hand side after St. Anthony’s goalie Dan Peterson was drawn out of the net.
“There was a scrum in front of the net and he popped it in,” Bendl said.
“It’s subject to interpretation,” Stelmok added later. “There was a little bit of a scrum in front and there was contact but the question is, did he deliberately hit the goaltender or did he not? Doesn’t really matter, the call was made and the goal stood and sometimes that happens.”
Joey Loaicano was the last St. Anthony’s player to touch the puck in overtime, getting credit for the winning goal – reflecting league rules on the scorekeeper’s sheet – but only Liam Fitzgerald truly knows how long he will turn the scene over in his mind, eventually making the decision to either continually pour salt on it, letting it fester for an unspecified period of time or to simply let it go, embracing a bit of pain before release.
“They’re better off than we are,” Bendl said of the players as opposed to the coaching staff. “They’re in there like they hit lotto; they don’t really care; they’re a good team.”
Decidedly.123OTF St. Anthony’s1 0 1 13Chaminade1 0 1 02
Chaminade Scoring StatisticsPlayerGoalsAssts. James Henry 1 1 Joseph Anile 1 0 Bryan Lynch 0 1
Chaminade GoalkeepingGoalieShots Brandon DeStasio 25
St. Anthony’s Scoring StatisticsPlayerGoalsAssts. Joseph Slevin 1 1 Joey Loaicano 1 0 Baylee Modungo 1 0 Michael Blando 0 1
St. Anthony’s GoalkeepingGoalieShots Daniel Peterson 16