Usually the forward who wears No. 25 for the Chaminade varsity hockey team is a bit more subdued after scoring two netters in a game. For his hat trick, James Henry dropped to one knee and leapt up against the boards and glass at the Flushing Ice Rink to celebrate. Thirteen minutes later he found himself tobogganing across the far side of the rink, his fourth goal of the day against St. Joseph by the Sea safely in net.
Oh, and he also managed to pick up four assists along the way as well.
“It’s probably the rink,” the Flyers senior linemen said, “just coming out here playing, I love playing here.”
“He’s so talented, he’s extremely talented,” Flyers coach Frank Bendl said after the Vikings sustained an 8-3 shellacking Saturday afternoon. “I don’t think people realize how, he’s very quick but he can shoot the puck very hard, he’s got a tremendous slapshot and a great wrist shot, so he’s very, very deceptive so he’s really good at what he does.”
So good was the diminutive forward that he had a hand in every scoring play with either co-captain Michael Minarczyk or Andrew Veglucci at flank.
“They’ve got a lot of opportunities,” Bendl said of the three linemen who combined for seven goals and seven assists. “If I had to pick one of them that’s the catalyst, it would be hard to do because they’re all such catalysts. They move the puck very quickly and they move it on the tee; they’re exceptional passers.”
Henry decidedly served as the catalyst Saturday, opening the scoring in the first on a late break corner shot with 34 seconds left in the period off a feed from co-captain Brian Lynch.
While Minarczyk will stay high for defensemen to pick off, Veglucci and Henry will use their breakaway speed to their advantage.
“Now (Minarczyk) has the puck and they’re flying up ice, so it’s pretty tough for any defensemen to catch them, stay up with them when they’re coming full speed at them,” Bendl said.
With his total goals for the season already in double-digits, Henry and Minarczyk together are the top goal-scorers on the team. Last year, Minarczyk had a late rally to top the leaderboard Henry also opened the season against St. Mary’s with four goals against the Gaels.
“That line is probably averaging – at one point after the first four games – they were averaging about 10 points a game,” Bendl said of his first line. “You’ve got to figure they had probably at least 15 points, I bet at least 15 points between the three of them.”
A good thing since Chaminade only had two full lines in what was a makeup game against St. Joseph from earlier in the season and has been a brutal, almost daily schedule of games this year.
“I get in the locker room, we had two ‘D’, like eight forwards and like we have more goalies than we had defense,” said Henry. “We were a little shaky at first because we didn’t know who was playing what but I guess once we settled into our own everyone really started playing well together, I mean, our line was together so we always play well.”
The line has been together for all four years under the Chaminade roof – two at JV and two years at varsity.
“After playing with someone for four years, you kind of like your instincts tell you where they’re going to be,” Henry said.
It couldn’t have just been the rink.1 2 3 F St. Joseph by the Sea 0 1 2 3 Chaminade 1 2 5 8
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Goals Assts. James Henry 4 4 Andrew Veglucci 2 0 Michael Minarczyk 1 3 Brian Lynch 1 1 Brendan Ekstrom 0 2
Chaminade Goalkeeping Goalie Shots Brandon DeStasio 30