by Alex Morrison
40 games in 3 divisions are in the books out on Long Island. Here’s how everything ended up:
5 teams were competing in this group, which was highlighted by one of the best Bantam teams in North America in Mission Black Ice 95. They made it fairly easily to the Platinum Final, winning each of their round robin games by at least 7 goals. Their opponent in the championship game did not have such an easy road, as they lost their round robin game to Black Ice by 8 goals. The 495ers went into this game hoping to at least keep this one within reach. They did a good job preparing for the game, as they scored first, surprising the confident Black Ice team. The sleeping giant was awoken by that goal, as they piled on 8 goals in the first half, with goals by 4 different skaters, including 13 year old phenom Jordan Mula, who netted 2, and assisted on a third. The rest of the game was the Peter DiMartino and Tyler Kraft show, as they handled the puck with ease. The final: 10-2.
In the gold final, the Z Rink Blaze from Connecticut matched up against the Tour Roadrunners. This game was slow in starting, as each team played tentatively. The Blaze started off the scoring after 4 minutes of play, and then we had a 10 minute lull in the action. With a few minutes to go in the 1st half, Michal Galinski put Z Rink up by 2. The Roadrunners then turned on the jets. Mark Brady and Reed Ginsberg each scored in the last 2 minutes of the half, tying it up. The second half started slowly once again, as it appeared that they were content sitting in a box and waiting for the other to press. 12 minutes went by, until finally, Ginsberg tallied his 2nd of the game, and that proved to be just enough, as the Roadrunners won 3-2.
This group also had 5 teams, with the 2 Black Ice teams standing head and shoulders above the rest. They faced each other in the Platinum final, where Black Ice Blue held their own against Black Ice, especially considering the first matchup was a 7 goal spread. In this game, Tyler Kraft led off the scoring 5 minutes into it. Peter DiMartino followed a few minutes later, and before you knew it, the Blue team had their work cut out for them. Stephen Pu cut the deficit in half with about a minute left in the half, but then the extremely talented John Schiavo netted 2 in the second half, securing the victory for Black Ice 4-1.
The drama surrounding the seeding to the gold final was quite interesting as the unknown Purple Cobras played well during the round robin, and earned a spot in the game against the Long Island 495ers, who made the final thanks to their shootout win an hour earlier. In this one, the Cobras’ James Karp and Bryan Conklin were just too much for the 495ers, as each of them scored a hat trick in the 8-3 win. JJ Suntagata of the 495ers did score 2 nice goals in the game.
This was the largest division of the weekend, as 7 teams played their 4 initial round games before seeds for the finals were awarded. The Platinum Final matchup was no surprise, as the Tour Roadrunners Black and Mission Black Ice 90 were the 2 teams that were dominating during their first 3 games. In their 4th game, they were matched up against each other, and played a great 3-2 game that went in Black Ice’s favor, but could have easily gone the other way. In the rematch, Black Ice seemed to have a handle on things again, as the built a 5-2 lead late in the game, thanks to goals like the one by John McGuinness,. The Roadrunners struck back with a goal, making it a closer game, but the group led by Jason Muro prevailed over his good friend Anthony Violante’s team by the score of 5-3.
The Gold Final featured Mission Black Ice 92, another talented group that had a rough first game before going on to take care of business taking on the surprise #4 seed, the Bronx Bandits, who broke a 4 way tie by having the least goals against after they got their first win in their last game of the event. The final was unfortunately not surprising, as Black Ice 92’s John Schiavo completely dominated the game with 5 goals and an assist, leading his team to winning by a score of 8-0.
That’s a wrap for us here on the Island. See you in San Jose!