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First-Year Friars Lead St. Anthony’s To Semis



Brady Monteleone knows what it takes to win in this league, but this will be his one shot to win the SCHSHL and NY State Championships as the St. Anthony’s Friars captain. His only remaining teammate from that first run is fellow senior, Gerard Nealon, who did not draw into the lineup due to an upper body injury. Monteleone was a force to be reckoned with in Monday night’s win, however you wouldn’t be able to tell that just by looking at the scoresheet. 

Monteleone is one of a handful of players in the SCHSHL who commands the respect of his opponents to such a degree that he can impact a team’s entire game plan. That certainly seemed to be the case on Monday night as the Tigers worked to lock down Monteleone as their first-year Friars found the back of the net. 

Sophomore Tommy Azzariti, the sole member of last season’s freshman squad to make the jump to the varsity level, scored the eventual game winner in the 1st period. Junior Ryan Leon was the lone Friar to score twice. Senior T.J. Ulmschneider, who led the league in shutouts in the regular season, wasted no time picking up his first shutout of the post-season. In many ways Ulmschneider has more in common with this season’s rookies than he does with members of last year’s championship squad. After all this was just Ulmschneider’s second career post-season start. 

On the other side of the ice, Senior Connor King got the nod in net for the Northport Huntington Tigers. King was excellent, but the netminder could only fend off the Friars flurry of scoring chances before the Tigers inability to crack Ulmschneider proved to be his clubs undoing. That’s playoff hockey and in this league most players are in the post-season for a good time, not a long time.  

Tommy Azzariti scored his first career SCHSHL Varsity playoff goal to give the Friars a 1-0 lead with 7:34 left in the opening frame. A shot by Sophomore Zack Sirel was redirected before it reached the net and Senior Devin Curry made a backhand feed across the crease for Azzariti to fire it home. The Tigers trailed the Friars 1-0 at the end of the 1st period thanks to the heroics of King. 

Senior Jack Mancini extended the Friars lead to two with 12:23 remaining. The Friars second line of Azzariti, Curry and Sirel got to work on the forecheck, the puck came to Junior Brody O’Doherty who made a behind the back D to D pass to Jack Mancini who sniped top shelf. Ryan Leon scored his first career Varsity Playoff goal with 6:10 left in the second stanza to put the Friars up 3-0. Junior James Aspromonti prevented a zone exit by the Tigers as Junior James Schendorf forced a turnover before coming in 2 on 1 and making a cross crease pass to Leon for the tap in. 

The Friars jumped out to a 4-0 lead after Ryan Leon scored a power play with 7:44 remaining in the 3rd period. Brody O’Doherty fired a shot that caromed off the wall to Leon who put the biscuit in the basket. Zack Sirel scored his first career Varsity playoff goal with 5:54 left in the final frame. Devin Curry dumped it into the Tigers zone, Tommy Azzariti forced an errant pass beneath the goal line which Sirrl intercepted before curling to the net and scoring five-hole. 

The Northport Huntington Tigers pushed the pace early in the game, however the Friars got strong two-hundred foot performances from all three forward lines as well as their always reliable defensive core. Ryan Collins was the driving force behind the Northport Huntington Tigers attack for the majority of the game in an impressive performance for the Sophomore defenseman. Senior Michael Agafonov and Sophomore J.T. Caruso were able to create multiple scoring chances but the Tigers were unable capitalize.  The Tigers will head into the off-season with a strong returning core led by Collins and Caruso as well as Sophmore goaltender Boden Rudloff. They will likely be joined by Tigers JV star Justin Cahn, who had a strong Varsity debut as a call-up against the Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls. The St. Anthony’s Friars are now set to take on the Kings Park Commack Knights in the SCHSHL Semifinals at the Rinx on Wednesday February 14th with puck drop set for 9:20 PM.  

Scoring Summary

PeriodTimeGoal ScorerAssistsTeamGoal Type
1st07:34Thomas AzzaritiZackary Sirel, Devin CurrySt. Anthony’s FriarsGame-Winning Goal
2nd12:23Jack ManciniBrody O’DohertySt. Anthony’s Friars
2nd06:10Ryan LeonJames SchendorfSt. Anthony’s Friars
3rd07:44Ryan LeonJack ManciniSt. Anthony’s FriarsPower Play
3rd05:54Zackary SirelSt. Anthony’s Friars

Three Stars of the Game

StarPlayer NameTeamStat LinePerformance Summary
1stRyan LeonSt. Anthony’s Friars2 Goals, Power Play GoalLeon showcased skill, sandpaper and speed in a strong two-way performance as the Junior winger scored at even strength and on the man advantage
2ndZack SirelSt. Anthony’s Friars1 Goal, 1 AssistSirel centered a line that tilted the ice in the Friars favor as the Sophomore scored a goal and an assist in his first career Varsity playoff game
3rdTommy AzzaritiSt. Anthony’s FriarsGame Winning GoalAzzariti is a big game player and it was only fitting that the sophomore forward scored the game winner in the type of excellent two-way performance we have come to expect from him

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