Chaminade’s loss in the 2013 CHSHL title game last year has been a bit of a festering wound the entire off-season; made worse only by the fact that it was to their arch rival St. Anthony’s. Worse still that the series sweep was determined in overtime after holding the Friars scoreless for the entire match.
Wednesday afternoon in New Hyde Park the Flyers began their trek to get back to the championship series, decidedly knocking off St. Mary’s in the season opener 10-2, with three players – Fred Ondris, Dillon Radin and Michael Landolphi – scoring two goals each.
“We saw how close they came last year and it was bad the way they lost there… it was rough,” junior assistant captain Michael Kosina said. “So it really just motivates us. As a junior, it’s really exciting. The goal’s to win it; we really think we can beat (St.) Anthony’s, we think we can play with everyone, we can beat everyone.”
Kosina, a Port Washington resident, has been playing since he was 7 and joins a large junior class that comprise 14 players of the 2013-14 Chaminade squad, with 9 seniors.
“I was a little surprised we scored 10 goals,” Chaminade head coach Frank Bendl said. “I think once the rout was on, I think we wore them down a little bit, plus we’re a much bigger team then they are,” Bendl said. “At this level these kids don’t stop.”
The roster isn’t the only thing that has rebalanced this year as the entire league has undergone a palpable shift – evident that St. Mary’s of all teams took a 4-4 tie with St. Anthony’s and defeated playoff staple Iona Prep in its first two games this season.
“We don’t look at the scores because Anthony’s could have been missing kids, we really don’t know… some kids may be hurt,” Kosina said.
Bendl sees similarities to before his hiatus between gigs as coach of the Flyers, where teams like Fordham and Monsignor Farrell – whom the Flyers will face on Friday – had their way with the league, and which are considered strong once again.
“Sometimes over the course of the years it’s the changing of the guard,” he said.
Chaminade took its lumps a day prior at Long Beach, losing 4-2 in a scrimmage.
“It was more special teams that lost the game for us,” Bendl said of the scrimmage. “I told these guys the other days that penalties are part of the game but stupid penalties (aren’t). You try and reel them in but it doesn’t always work.”
Chaminade will be looking for Nicholas Leelum, Filip Pomianek and sophomore Landolphi to contribute mightily to the offensive lines this year.
“With (James) Henry’s line last year we could move the puck and it was an advantage for us but with Kosina and Leelum and hopefully Landolphi we should be able to move the puck Friday,” Bendl said.
Landolphi already put two in the net against the Gaels Wednesday.
Kosina admits they part they need to work on most is powerplays.
“I think it’s just because we’re all so new with each other so we really just got to get that down pat,” he said. “Once we get a feel for each other I feel like there’s no limit.”
Adding players that make the team a “little deeper offensively” to an already strong defense and a “solid” senior goalie in veteran Ryan McLoughlin, Bendl is also looking for contributions from third-year varsity player Dillon Radin.
“We expect a lot of production from him,” Bendl said. “We’ve got big, solid defensemen so hopefully Ryan’s not going to see too much action.”