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Sachem With another Strong Victory



As Good as Gold

The saying, strike while the iron is hot, doesn’t always hold true for hockey players. 

Having already fired two shot attempts off the pipe late last night, Sachem Captain Thomas Konkowski’s hunt for the hatrick continued until the clock hit zero. With the puck on a string and the Sachem faithful at his back, the captain had the entire crowd wondering will he or won’t he. His answer was a show stopping, buzzer beater breakaway goal. Sachem had secured a 5-1 victory over West Islip. One goal for every win the newly minted first place team has on the season. 

Last night’s hatrick was just the icing on the cake for SCHSHL fans. Sachem came out firing on all cylinders, with a great scoring chance by Colin Calberer being stonewalled by West Islip’s Braiden Buccino just fifteen seconds in. Despite the West Islip Netminders heroics, Sachem power forward Gregory Monthie pounced on the puck as soon as he stepped on the ice. His efforts put pressure on West Islip, leading to a forced turnover inside the Lions zone. When the puck made its way to Monthie in the slot, he fired a quick shot past Sapoff. His then linemates Richard Bovich and Michael Mattera were credited with the primary and secondary assists respectively.  

A few minutes later, West Islip’s William Shields forced a turnover leading to a 2 on 1 opportunity. His shot was blockered aside into the netting by the always alert Michael DiGirolamo. Then Konkowski mesmerized and electrified the crowd with a spin move behind the net. Circling the net, Konkowski connected with a cutting Alp Octu in the slot to make it 2-0 Sachem. Angelo Mascaro was credited with the secondary assist. 

Having fallen down 2-0, William Shields and James Pollard began pushing pace in transition. A scoring chance for Liam Henshaw would be turned aside by the pad of DiGirolamo. Sachem returned fire, but a toe save by Buccino kept the game within two for West Islip. 

Late in the first period, a series of turnovers  forced by Konkowski and Co kept the puck deep in the Lions zone. Both teams battled for possession, but Sachem regained control on the far side half wall. A quick pass to Christopher O’Hea led to a shot from the point, which was turned aside by the pad of Buccino leaving the puck loose in the high slot. The Sachem Captain cut across the slot, collected the rebound, and put his team up 3-0 before the end of the 1st period. Christopher O’Hea was awarded the primary assist with Angelo Mascaro being credited for the secondary assist. 

The game opened up shortly afterwards, with both teams trading scoring chances in transition. Michael Digirolamo made several key stops late in the 1st period. A blocker save on a West Islip two on one, followed by a cross crease pad save shortly thereafter. The puck would be recovered by sachem defense, before finding its way to Colin Kalberer in transition. Cutting to the outside, Kalberer cut beneath the goal line before slipping a pass to Joseph Wandling in the slot. His shot was turned aside by Buccino, as was the rebound attempt by Nicolas Miguire which would all but close out the period. 

Both teams started the second period of playing with pace and creating space. Both teams continued to trade chances, but Sachem struck first once more. Sean Walsh made a beautiful toe drag as he walked the blue line, before releasing a shot from the point. Buccino made the first stop yet again, but high rebound which was batted out of mid air and into the net by Thomas Konkowski. It was the Sachem Star’s second goal of three on the night. 

West Islip created back to back scoring chances shortly thereafter, but they were denied by the dynamic play of Digirolamo. Konkowski attempted to complete the hatrick with a Michigan goal, but Sapoff stood tall to prevent the goal. It was just the latest in a series of clutch saves which proved crucial to West Islip’s continued effort to make a comeback.

Richard Bovich then drew a hooking call against West Islip, the first of two penalties by John Kolich that period, on an odd man rush attempt. Yet it was West Islip that would pickup momentum. Ciaran Pollard would create a short handed breakaway that was stopped by Sachem’s sensational netminder, Michael DiGirolamo.  

Sachem would recover possession, but would soon give up another prime scoring opportunity. Liam Henshaw, a key defenseman for West Islip, stepped up and intercepted a pass while at the Sachem Blue Line. He walked in and fired a shot which was deflected away by DiGirolamo. Another chance on the PK came on a rush by both Henshaw and Pollard. 

West Islip’s John Kolich and Sachem’s Nicolas McGuire would then commit offsetting penalties. West Islip continued to press, but Michael DiGirolamo continued to rise to the occasion. On the other end Bovich cut in and rung a shot off the post. James Barbieri would then get tripped up in transition by Angelo Mascaro. 

That penalty would lead to a West Islip Power Play goal scored by James Barbieri, with just five seconds remaining in the 2nd period. DiGirolamo made several difficult saves look routine in his own. Konkowski led a short handed two on one followed by a breakaway attempt where he put the puck off the pipe and the crossbar. Back in the Sachem defensive zone, Liam Henshaw made a cross ice pass to Charles Brandenstein. The first shot was turned aside by the pad of DiGirolamo, but the rebound was buried by James Barbieri. 

At the start of the third, Charles Brandenstein’s penalty led to a Sachem power play. Another Michigan attempt by Thomas Konkowski, this time on the power play, would be turned aside by Braiden Buccino. After the Jackson Allen tripping penalty was successfully killed by Buccino and Co, a five minute major was assessed to Nyckie Ress for boarding. 

Sachem’s Nyckie Ress would then go on to take a boarding penalty, leaving his teammates to kill a five minute major penalty while he served a ten minute misconduct in the dressing room. The dramatic efforts of Michael DiGirolamo helped kill off the first minute and twelve seconds of the major. 

Then West Islip goal scorer James Barbieri committed a two minute boarding minor while also being assessed an additional ten minute misconduct. Both teams traded chances for the next two minutes, before DiGirolamo and Co killed off the remainder of the five minute major. By the time Sachem killed off the penalty, the clock was beginning to near zero. Which brings us back to our buzzer beater goal by Thomas Konkowski, assisted by Colin Kalberer and Angelo Mascaro. 

Just a few short weeks ago, Sachem was down three to one against their most bitter rivals, the Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls. Despite this deficit, second year forwards Thomas Konkowski and Colin Kalberer clawed their way back into the game. That night on September 27th, Konkowski scored thrice, Colin Kalberer scored twice, but it was young Cameron Kalberer who secured the comeback with a Game Winning Goal in overtime. 

Now Sachem is King of the Hill, with several exciting games on the docket.  On October 25th, Sachem will take on the defending champion St. Anthony’s Friars. This game will be followed by a November 5th matchup against a strong Ward Melville Patriots program, with Sachem right back at the Rinx on November 8th for a game against the Kings Park Commack Knights. The Knights have won four of their first five games, with a tie against East Islip leaving them one point back of Sachem. 

West Islip on the other hand, falls to two and three on the year. Not a bad spot to be in for any team, much less one coming off a taxing opening schedule. After their 9-1 loss to cross town rival East Islip in the season opener, the Lions roared back in hard fought victories over the Connetquot Sayville BBP T-Birds and the Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls. Now after back to back losses against the Northport Huntington Tigers and Sachem, look for West Islip to try and right the ship. With back to back games on October 29th and October 30th against Longwood and St. Anthony’s respectively. Following this double header, the Lions will take on the Ward Melville Patriots on November 6th. Fans can expect West Islip to battle hard to win two out of their next three, and get back to .500 on the year.

Stars of the Game 

The third star of the game goes to Gregory Monthie, who opened up the scoring for Sachem while showcasing his sandpaper and skill throughout the game. The second star of the game goes to Angelo Mascaro, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and Mascaro racked up three last night. Our first star of the game goes to the show stopping Sachem Captain Thomas Konkowski, who netted a Hat Trick and added an assist for good measure.

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