This is the easy part. An 11-0 win over St. Mary’s to open up the 2012-13 season for the Chaminade varsity hockey squad November 29 at Cantiague Park in Hicksville. Easy is forward James Henry getting a career-high four goals to lead the Flyers with Michael Minaczyk right behind, netting two of his own and getting credited with assists on two of Henry’s scores.
“He’s always on our top line, he’s a great forward, he moves quick, he’s on to the set up, he’s on the hit,” Chaminade head coach Frank Bendl said of his starting forward. “You can always depend on him getting something.”
Something included a hat-trick, getting the first two nets within a minute of each other on his way to the eventual four and contributed a pair of assists on goals from Andrew Veglucci and Minarczyk.
“Everyone was pretty pumped up for it. We’ve played together for a couple of years now so definitely got some chemistry, all really skilled players, just fit, we just had it working today,” Henry said, noting that a few JV players have joined the squad since last season. “We just have a really great team this year.”
Again, easy when you open up your schedule against a perennial bottom-feeder such as St. Mary’s, sad as the case may be, but those are the breaks when a hurricane messes with your schedule.
The harder part comes Thursday night. The harder part will come against St. Anthony’s, as it always seems to do, that perennial juggernaut and still-defending champion, ready to continue rattling off a hailstorm of shots at the Chaminade nets.
In other words, the equivalent of going from the lowest valley to the peak of the mountain in the span of a week in the sports world and trying to avoid a case of the bends along the way.
“We’re pretty good from the goal out,” Bendl said. “Our defense, I think, could be one of the best in the league if we match up well against a couple of teams.”
While the Gaels right now are decidedly not one of those good matchups, the Friars are entirely different, holding Chaminade to one goal the entire 2011-12 season.
Not that Flyer goalies Ryan McLoughlin, Brandon DeStasio and Francesco Rojas won’t attempt to pursue perfection themselves.
“That’s probably the key to our game,” Henry said. “We’re going to go pretty far this year, I don’t want to say anything yet, this is our first game but I think we’ll be pretty good.”
With DeStasio injured and not expected to return until the third game of the year, Rojas, who missed all of the 2011 season, made 22 stops against the Gaels in his 2012 debut.
“The bottom line is when you’ve got a good goaltender, you’ve got good defense,” Bendl said. “It all starts from there out so you’ve got some solid lines, so that makes all the difference in the world.”
Even lacking some depth at the forward position, the only question is how that defense will stack up against the onslaught sure to come.
“Haven’t really won much so far, but hopefully this’ll be the year,” Minarczyk said of the endgame.
That will be the hardest part.1 2 3 F Chaminade 5 4 2 11 St. Mary’s 0 0 0 0
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Goals Assts. James Henry 4 2 Andrew Veglicci 2 3 Michael Minarczyk 2 2 Alex Balbo 1 1 Vincent Connors 1 1 Dillon Radin 1 0 Robert Chory 0 1 John Oddo 0 1 Fred Ondris 0 1
Chaminade Goalkeeping Goalie Shots Francesco Rojas 22
St. Mary’s Goalkeeping Goalie Shots M. Conquero 56