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SCHSHL Semifinals Preview



Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. It’s easy to forget that after punching your ticket to Saugerties for the NYSAHA State Tournament, but the two teams that remember that lesson are the ones that will advance to the SCHSHL Finals. 

Can Bobby Trites lead the Bulls Junior heavy roster past an East Islip Chiefs squad led by Ryan Anatra, Thomas Ivers and Anthony Pepe? Do Jesse Lemza and the Kings Park Commack Knights have what it takes to defeat Brady Monteleone’s Friars? I sat down with Mike Brown as we made our picks ahead of tonight’s semifinals double-header at the Rinx.

The Matchups

The #4 Seed Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls V The #1 Seed East Islip Chiefs at 7:50 PM 


The East Islip Chiefs have lost just two games this season and they both came against the defending champion St. Anthony’s Friars. The Chiefs led the league with 24 power play goals and 131 goals scored. EI committed the second fewest penalty minutes in the league, gave up just nine power play goals against, and scored eight shorthanded goals. The Friars are the lone SCHSHL team to hand the Chiefs a loss this season and they did it twice. The main takeaway from both contests is that in order to beat EI you have to beat them on special teams, which is far easier said than done. Jack Dolson has been thriving as the Chiefs second line center after lining up at all five spots throughout the season. Evan LaFata remains a name to watch as the EI center looks the part of a future top of the lineup player, but hasn’t gotten as many bounces as he maybe should have this season.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls. After a 3-3-1-1 start to the season, the Bulls brought in bench boss Mark Dubeau who has led Smithtown Hauppauge to a 9-1-2 record to close the season. The Bulls had lost four one goal games when Dubeau took over, but since then they have lost just one game. More specifically the Bulls lost to the Chiefs by a final score of 5-3. Smithtown Hauppauge was second in goals for and power play goals for this season while also being tied for second in shorthanded goals scored with EI. The Bulls were tied with the Chiefs for the lead league in goal differential. They just haven’t proven that they can win the special teams battle so far this season. The good news is that Michael Arnoni and Andre McGraime will be drawing back into the lineup for the Bulls. Jackson Cantalupo has been a dynamic play-driver for the Bulls and made his presence felt against Sachem. Meanwhile former JV Captain Brendan Landrigan, who led the team in points, seems to be getting better and better every time he plays.

Players To Watch

East Islip Chiefs: Bryan Slattery   

They say defense wins championships, and it will fall on the shoulders of a defensive core led by assistant captain Bryan Slattery to ensure that the Chiefs keep the high octane Bulls offense from creating Grade A scoring chances.  

Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls: Victor D’Errico  

You can’t get the full picture from looking at the box score, and Victor D’Errico is the type of glue guy whose contributions often slip through the cracks. The Bulls Senior knows how to use his size and speed to play a strong two-hundred foot game. D’Errico wins board battles, creates zone exits and does all the little things Smithtown Hauppauge will need to do in order to advance to the SCHSHL Finals.

Our Picks 

“Danny Barbarito’s boys are one of the top HS teams on Long Island, but Mark Dubeau has the Bulls playing like a well oiled machine. Smithtown needs to be better than they were against Sachem to beat EI, but I think they’ll win in a close one… This one has all the makings of a classic.” — Mike Brown

“The East Islip Chiefs big three of Ryan Anatra, Thomas Ivers and Anthony Pepe have unfinished business to attend to before completing their final season. This is a Senior heavy squad that knows this is their last shot before a changing of the guard at the start of next year. The Smithtown Hauppauge Bulls have the talent to pull off an upset, but I believe the more experienced East Islip Chiefs will walk away with the Win.” 

— Jack Ziskin

The #3 Seed Kings Park Commack Knights V The #2 Seed St. Anthony’s Friars at 9:20 PM 


Kings Park Commack came roaring out of the gates with a 8-0-1-1 start to the season. KPC won 4-2 in their season-opener against St. Anthony’s before the Knights won 4-2 over the Friars on November 27th. KPC just couldn’t stick the landing as they tied West Islip before dropping two straight against St. Anthony’s and Ward Melville to finish the second half of the season 4-3-2-1. The good news for the Knights is that Sophomore Ryan Walsh scored the golden goal in overtime to lift KPC over a Connetquot Sayville BBP T-Birds squad that upset the Knights in the 2022-2023 Quarterfinals. 

The St. Anthony’s Friars dropped their first two games of the season, which included that season-opening loss to the KPC Knights. The biggest difference maker in th second half has been the return of All-Star defenseman Jack Mancini, who made his season debut after a return from injury in the Friars November 27th 4-2 loss to the Knights. Following that loss, the Friars have been on fire with a 9-0-1 record in the second half before blanking the Northport Huntington Tigers 5-0 in the Quarterfinals. The only dampener on the Friars outlook is that Gerard Nealon is sidelined with an upper body injury.

Players To Watch

Kings Park Commack Knights: Ronald Kemly

Ronald Kemly has lined up at all three forward spots as well as taken shifts at defense when called upon to do so for KPC. Expect Kemly to line up on the top line again in the semifinals where the Knights junior will look to push the pace for a team that has been held to two goals or fewer in four of their last five games. 

St. Anthony’s Friars: Brady Monteleone 

The Friars haven’t needed to rely on a number one option for the majority of this season, however in a game where the stakes are this high the Captain will be put to the test. When the Friars need a big goal expect Brady Monteleone to be the one who answers the bell. 

Our Picks

“KPC has been one of the league’s best teams all season, and they’ve proven that they have the talent to beat St Anthony’s (twice).  However, this looks like a different Friars team in the second half. If the Friars can maintain the team discipline and structure they’ve shown in the past few games, they’ll be back in the finals.” – Mike Brown 

“The Friars smooth skating defense, high end goaltending, and three scoring lines that were rolling in Monday night’s win over the Tigers. Jayson Krauthamer has the ability to steal this game for KPC, but my pick to win it is T.J. Ulmschneider and the Friars.” — Jack Ziskin

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