Tag Archives: hockey

Holy Cross hockey cruises past Iona


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Holy Cross forward Steven Cacchioli knew that his team needed to be more aggressive.

Having dropped two consecutive games, the team was desperate to get back on the winning side, and Cacchioli, a captain, blamed the team’s recent losses on a lack of aggression.

So, he stepped up and drilled two goals to lead the Knights to a 3-1 win over Iona Prep on Jan. 11. The Knights (CHSHL 5-4-0) were dominant through the game, resulting in a 33-23 shots-on-goal advantage.

“We wanted to get to a quick start. We didn’t want them getting momentum,” Cacchioli said. “We knew we were the better team and we wanted to take it to them.”

At the end of the first period, the Knights were in a tough position, but Cacchioli’s aggressive shot selection paid off.
Tied at 1-1, the Knights Vincent Cennamo was sent to the penalty box and Iona Prep (CHSHL 1-10-1) was on a 5-on-4 power play.

Despite the disadvantage, Cacchioli was able to steal the puck, stick handle through defenders and net a goal with 59 seconds remaining in the first period, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead.

“He (Cacchioli) played fantastic today,” coach Kevin Leonard said. “He played really well and took some good shots.”

The Knights stayed aggressive and with just 18 seconds into the second period, forward Joe DeMarco scored a goal, expanding the lead to 3-1.

“We wanted to dictate the pace, we did a good job ending the period and starting off strong,” Cacchioli said.

The Knights controlled the puck through the rest of the game and didn’t allow Iona to score again.

 

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Sports Star: Theodore Gallucci, forward, St. Francis Prep, hockey team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Theodore Gallucci
School: St. Francis Preparatory School
Grade: Senior
Sport: Hockey
Position: Forward/ Center

Theodore Gallucci is a senior forward on the St. Francis Preparatory High School hockey team. Gallucci has helped the team to a 3-1 record, as of Jan. 6. He scored a goal in the team’s most recent game against Xaverian, on Dec. 27, helping his team to win, 4-3. While being a productive member of the team, Gallucci maintains a 92 percent academic average and has been an active member of the school’s Model United Nations organization since his sophomore year. The organization holds conferences to talk about real issues with foreign countries and allows students to meet with other schools’ Model UN groups. Gallucci also knows American Sign Language, which he uses to communicate with his grandparents, who are deaf. Gallucci has already been accepted to Iona College, but has not decided where he will enroll.

Why do you play hockey?
“I had been playing roller hockey for about 11 or 12 years. Right before high school my mom encouraged me to play ice hockey. I ended up making the team and I wasn’t that good, but worked hard. I chose hockey over other sports because it appealed to me.”

If you couldn’t play hockey in the future, what would you do?
“If I couldn’t do hockey I would try to be involved in something else, maybe crew (rowing) or anything that involves a team. It gives you a chance to bond with people. It’s fun and it’s good to see your team succeed.”

What is your favorite class?
“I enjoy a lot of things. I like AP European History and CAD (Computer Aided Design) class. It’s a lot of architecture and design. You have a lot of options and you can get creative with it.”

What did you learn from being on the Model UN?
“It brought me out of my shell. I used to be a shy person, and being in the Model UN I am more comfortable speaking around people. I also learned how to research things better.”

Is it hard to balance both Model UN and hockey?
“I play hockey at least twice a week and I have a meeting with model UN once a week. It gets tight sometimes.”

Follow on Twitter @liamlaguerre

 

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St. Francis Prep hockey wins with late rally against Xaverian


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

St. Francis Prep hockey head coach Giancarlo Racinelli didn’t know what else to tell his struggling team in the game against Xaverian High School on Friday.

Trailing the Clippers 3-2 with about five minutes left in the game, Racinelli had exhausted his breath, preaching to his team that they weren’t playing their usually formations correctly and needed to find a way to wake up their offense and stabilize the defense.

But realizing that his team wasn’t listening, he decided to try a new strategy: say nothing at all.

“Things began flying off the hinges a bit and we weren’t playing our systems, so the coaches stepped back,” Racinelli said.

With a quiet coach, the Terriers (CHSAA, 3-1) quickly realized they were in trouble of losing to a team that hasn’t won a game for the season yet. They talked among themselves about their errors, and in the last five minutes of the game they scored two consecutive goals to escape Xaverian (0-4) with a score of 4-3.

“Our coaches didn’t say anything, that got us thinking even more like ‘Oh God,’” said forward Tyler Murphy. “You kind of looking to the guys and are thinking they are going to say something, but when they aren’t saying anything then they must be mad, so now we had to do something to fix it.”

The equalising goal came in at 4:52, when Murphy traveled the length of the ice, beating defenders and faked out the goalkeeper before slapping the puck in.

Murphy had taken many shots throughout the game, but his first goal of the night got the Terriers back into the game.

“They [Xaverian] were on the other bench and they were kind of chirping a little bit,” Murphy said. “That kind of got us a little mad, a little pissed off, and made us really want to win the game.”

Three minutes later sophomore Jack Mastronardi, with 2:02 left in the game, blasted a shot into the goal from a few feet away to give the Terriers the lead. St. Francis held the lead in the final two minutes for the win.

“We came out a little weak, but towards the second and third period we started to pick the game up a little bit; we got more energy,” senior captain Theodore Gallucci said. “If we start doing that in more games we’ll hopefully do better.”

The next game for the Terriers will be on Friday, January 3 versus St. Edmund High School.

 

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Rumored NHL outdoor games snub Citi Field


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

It looks like Citi Field has been “shut out” from an outdoor NHL game next season.

The Sports Network (TSN) reported the league plans five outdoor games on top of the traditional Bridgestone Winter Classic – slated between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day, 2014.

NHL officials first have to ink a deal with the teams before anything is made official.

Yankee Stadium will host two games in New York, TSN reported, with the Rangers facing off against the New Jersey Devils on January 26, and Rangers vs. Islanders on January 29, nearly coinciding with Super Bowl XLVIII, to be played just across the Hudson on February 2.

The Blueshirts played in the 2012 Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park.

Citi Field is slightly smaller than Yankee Stadium, with the latter able to hold nearly 9,000 more spectators. The home of the Amazin’s can hold 41,800; the Bronx Bombers’ stadium can fit 50,287.

But some Queens officials are already calling the NHL off-sides if Citi Field, which opened the same year as the new Yankee Stadium, is iced out of the plan.

Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism at the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), said he was disappointed the league shot for the Bronx, but is still leaving an open net for a future outdoor game.

“So as the biggest Queens fan on this planet,” he said, “I am a bit disappointed that the NHL chose a different, more remote borough for these games, but I still welcome them. Hopefully we’ll see them in Queens soon, as it would be good for the NHL executives, the players, the fans and of course our hospitality sector.”

Queens hotels will already be stacked because of overflow from the Super Bowl, MacKay said, although the game is at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. QEDC is still looking forward to the revenue these additional games could bring to the borough.

There was talk roughly five years ago of the Islanders coming to Willets Point before the team eventually settled on the already-built Barclays Center last year.

Fan group and clothes manufacturer We Bleed Blue – specializing in Rangers gear – is excited just to have outdoor hockey in New York. Founders Brendan Gebert and John Rizzo, while cheering for the same hockey team, vary in their baseball loyalties. Gebert is a Met fan; Rizzo is a Yankee fan.

Regardless, the duo told The Courier any sort of outdoor game within the city will drive more people to hockey and allow for more games of the sort in the area.

“Getting mad at the location would be like getting mad at Jay-Z for having a concert at Yankee Stadium,” Rizzo said.

“Plus we’re willing to bet that if this goes as planned, this won’t be the last time we see something like this in the area. Guess you gotta just ‘save something for tomorrow,’ and the next go around, I’d like to think Citi would get the next one.”

 

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Clothing line lets fans express frustration with NHL lockout


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of We Bleed Blue

The ongoing NHL lockout has many hockey fans angry as talks between the league and the players’ union have ended in a series of contract talks breakdowns.

For We Bleed Blue, an independent apparel line that primarily makes Rangers clothing, this means sending a message to the league via the shirts they make right in Queens.

Weeks after the 2012-13 NHL lockout began on September 15, We Bleed Blue founders Brendan Gebert and John Rizzo designed a T-shirt that called for the ousting of league commissioner Gary Bettman. The message on the blue tee is simple: “Fire Bettman.”

Gebert explained that this is the third lockout since Bettman took over the league in the early 1990s. “We decided it was time to unite the fans and let our voices be heard,” Gebert said in an email. “What better way then to make a ‘Fire Bettman’ shirt. We understand that it is not entirely Gary Bettman’s fault, but at the same time there have been three lockouts during his reign.”

The T-shirt has been a big seller since it was introduced by the online-only clothing line. And while they say sales of league-approved merchandise has gone down as a result of the lockout, We Bleed Blue has gotten the support of Ranger fans, the founders say, because they would prefer to shop with them than the NHL.

The line’s biggest holiday seller was “The King of New York” design to honor Rangers goalie and incumbent Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist. The design features a goalie mask with “King” as the mask’s top, and “New York” as the mask’s bottom.

Defenseman Ryan McDonough and winger Carl Hagelin have also recently been featured in We Bleed Blue apparel. Gebert said the Swedish-born Hagelin tweeted a picture of himself wearing his “Swagelin” sweatshirt while he is back in his homeland.

Support from the players has been one of the proudest facets for the owners. “We go to games, purchase merchandise, and spend a whole lot of time supporting these guys. It’s nice to see them support us and what we are doing here,” Gebert said.

If and when the season begins this year, or next, Gebert and Rizzo said they’ll be at Madison Square Garden for the first puck drop.

“We are all frustrated with the lockout and ongoing negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA (National Hockey League Players’ Association), but we refuse to turn our backs on the league,” Gebert said. “Some fans may say they will not return. We will be at MSG opening night whenever they decide to come to their senses and get a deal done.”

Islanders moving to Brooklyn beginning in 2015


| brennison@queenscourier.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Heather J. Chin

Amid rumors of the New York Islanders fleeing the area, the team announced their moving 20 miles west.

Islanders owner Charles Wang, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the Islanders would be heading to Brooklyn beginning with the 2015-16 season. The lease is for 25 years and the team will remain the New York Islanders.

The Islanders have played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inception in 1972.

“Not long ago I think its fair to say the idea of a big league sports team coming to Brooklyn was considered little more than a pipe dream. Now, not only does Brooklyn have an NBA team, it also is now about to get an NHL team,” said Bloomberg.

The announcement comes just days after the Nets played their first basketball game in the arena.

Wang said his goal was to remain in Nassau, but “unfortunately we were unable to achieve that dream.”

The Town of Hempstead and the Islanders failed last year to reach an agreement on the Lighthouse Project, which would renovate Nassau Coliseum and develop the area around it. Wang told reporters the team would explore looking for a new home when the lease at Nassau expired in 2015.

“We’ve said this for many years, there comes a point where you need to make a decision because there’s not enough time to build a new arena,” Wang said.

The Islanders consecutively captured four Stanley Cups at the Coliseum from the 1979-1980 to 1982-1983 seasons; but fans and NHL critics in the last few years have called for a new home, or updated one.

“Our goal from the outset was to have the Islanders to play in a local world class facility that possessed the amenities our fans deserve,” said Wang.

The Barclays can currently fit about 14,500 fans for a hockey game though officials said they expect another 1,000 to be added to that number before the Islanders move in. The Nassau Coliseum can hold 16,200 fans.

The 2015 season will serve as a reunion for the Nets and Islanders. When the Islanders broke into the NHL in 1972, they shared Nassau Coliseum for a five year period with the Nets before they left for New Jersey.

Willets Point was rumored in 2010 to be a new destination for the team, and the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, were said to be considering buying the team from Wang, who became a part-owner in 2000. Newsday reported amid the rumors that the potential Wilpon purchase was endorsed by Major League.

Wang was also said around 2009 to entertain the idea of moving the team to Kansas City, which hasn’t had a professional hockey team since 1976.

The move comes in the midst of the second player lockout in less than a decade. The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the league failed to come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by September 15, and pre- and regular-season games were subsequently canceled.

NHLPA officials appealed for talks with league execs today, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league would only meet if to work on its proposed 50/50 revenue sharing agreement.

Bayside native has NHL hopes


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Steve McLaughlin/BU Athletics

Ithaca, Buffalo and Rochester are staples where many New York-born hockey players hail from.

With the exception of a few who have made it through different levels of the game, Queens is commonly not on the list.

Enter defenseman Sean Escobedo, a Bayside native, who is going into his fourth and final season with the Boston University Terriers and keeping up hopes of a career in the National Hockey League. Should he make it to the league, he would be one of the few born and raised in the five boroughs to play at hockey’s highest level in North America.

Since first learning to skate when he was five years old, Escobedo has come a long way. In his most recent season at BU he played 38 out of 39 regular season games, in a sport that is tougher and more intense the further it goes.

“I’ve known him since he was six years old,” said Henry Lazar, who coached Escobedo concurrently on two teams: the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s Apple Core and the St. Mary’s High School Gaels. “We knew Sean was going to be good right from the beginning.”

Escobedo’s work ethic and locker room persona, Lazar said, were two of the crucial things that made him a standout player.

“He worked hard to get where he is,” Lazar said. “Providing entertainment for us — which he was good at — besides that, he was a good teammate . . . he deserves to be where he is.”

The defenseman played in the state championship final every year in high school, and took home three trophies. From 2006 to 2008 — his junior and senior years — he captained the Gaels, a team that had a strong hockey history on Long Island.

Recently, Escobedo has traveled back to his roots. In late June, he was invited to the Islanders Prospect Camp at their practice facility at Iceworks in Syosset, the same ice he skated on as captain of the Gaels.

It was a learning experience, Escobedo said, to face off against American Hockey League regulars.

“Just going there, it was an honor in itself,” he said. “[You] kind of see what they go through every day.”

Some have compared Escobedo’s career track to that of Ottawa Senators defenseman Matt Gilroy. Both played for the Apple Core and the Gaels; Gilroy graduated in 2003, Escobedo in 2008. Gilroy also played at BU, winning the NCAA Tournament and the Hobey Baker Award in his 2009 season. Following graduation, he signed as an unrestricted free agent with the New York Rangers.

“Matty’s a great player and someone I look up to,” Escobedo said. “To follow in Matty’s footsteps is unbelievable.”

Escobedo’s own journey to BU began when he was still a senior in high school. He committed to the school before graduation, he said, but the roster was too full for him in the coming season.

There were two options: either play another season at Apple Core, or go play in the United States Hockey League — a league in which current NHLers T.J. Oshie and Thomas Vanek once played.

“They were leaning for me to go to the USHL,” he said, adding that he eventually went out west to play part of a season with Nebraska’s Tri-City Storm, before being traded to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Stampede.

The single-season in the USHL, Escobedo said, was a growing experience and taught him crucial things inside, and outside, of the rink.

“I decided to go that route and I think it paid off tremendously for me,” he said. “It’s definitely a lot more intense. Everyone deserves to be there.”

His success, however, can be attributed to his family, he said. Playing hockey in Long Beach, traveling from Bayside for games, was more strenuous on his parents than it was on him.

His older brother, Brian, played four years of college hockey at Bowling Green University and was a role model as Escobedo skated out his own life in hockey.

“My older brother always set the right path for me [both on and off the ice],” he said. “He was always there to mentor me.”

 

The Lunch Break – 11/21/2011: Mother Of Hamilton Heights Terror Plot Suspect Speaks Out, Offers Apology


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Grahpic by Jay Lane

Mother Of Hamilton Heights Terror Plot Suspect Speaks Out, Offers Apology

The mother of an alleged al-Qaeda sympathizer and Manhattan resident who has been arraigned on charges of plotting to detonate bombs in the city is speaking out. Authorities say Jose Pimentel, 27, was targeting US troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and wanted to blow up post offices and police cars. Pimentel, a US citizen, is a native of the Dominican Republic who lived in Hamilton Heights. His mother, Carmen Sosa, says she’s shocked and saddened by the news. Read More: NY1

 

Police Barricades Protect Mayor Bloomberg From ‘24-Hour’ Drum Circle

The Occupy Wall Street protesters who had planned to throw a 24-hour drum circle party (a violation of several United Nations human rights treaties) outside NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Manhattan manse didn’t quite make it thanks to NYPD officers and barricades. Undaunted, they held their percussive party down the street.  Read More: Gawker

Financial Spat Could Delay Opening Of 9/11 Museum

The long-awaited opening of the National September 11th Museum could be delayed due to a simmering financial dispute between the Port Authority and museum officials. Sources tell NY1 museum construction at the World Trade Center Site has slowed because of hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns. Read More: NY1

 

Outdoor hockey games could come to West Side tennis stadium
Top NHL prospects may skate in outdoor games in Queens if plans go through to transform a tennis stadium that hosted the U.S. Open into an ice skating rink, the Daily News has learned. A hockey executive who runs the sport’s top minor league said he could envision games at West Side Stadium in Forest Hills. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Arrest Doctor Who Reportedly Filled Prescriptions for David Laffer

A pain management doctor who reportedly filled prescriptions for pharmacy killer David Laffer has been arrested. The charges against Stan Li, of Hamilton, N.J., were for a different case. Prosecutors allege he sold prescriptions to a man who later died of an overdose. Michael Cornetta, of Queens, died a year ago. Authorities alleged Li had provided him with dozens of prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone. Read More: NBC News

 

A Thanksgiving to Remember: Four from Queens and Long Island Share $4,000,000 in Lottery Jackpot Prizes

The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega today awarded $4,000,000 in over-sized prize checks to four very thankful jackpot winners from Queens (Jackson Heights and Woodside) and Long Island (Port Jefferson Station and Shirley). The recently opened Times Square Casino at Resorts World Casino New York City in Queens served as the centerpiece for the Lottery’s special pre-Thanksgiving winner celebration. Read More: Read Media

Long Island City on Ice


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Anyone looking to play a little puck in the city should body check on down to City Ice Pavilion on 32nd Place.

Anyone looking to play a little puck in the city should body check on down to City Ice Pavilion on 32nd Place.

Newly appointed Director of Youth Programs at City Ice Pavilion in LIC, Alexis Moed, has big plans for the community hockey center. Moed, a former player herself, hopes to expand the hockey program through skills clinics and specialized classes. She is confident that through dedicated training, the center’s players can grow into tremendous athletes.

Moed played Division 1 hockey for Boston College. She was selected to participate in a scrimmage against the Olympic team in Lake Placid during the 2002 Salt Lake City games. She is also a former member of North Axis College Sports Management, a firm responsible for presenting marketing prospects to NCAA Division 1 schools.

The Long Island native will now oversee the complex’s staff members as well as manage the center’s travel and house leagues.

City Ice Pavilion’s travel team, the Skyliners, is currently in the tier three bracket of the Long Island Hockey League. Moed believes that with practice, they can move up to tier one.

“We definitely have one of the finest facilities and coaching staff in the area,” she said. “We provide quality training; all of our amenities give City Ice clubhouse feel, and its setup is unique compared to other rinks”.

The facility is equipped for success, boasting a 34,000 square foot skating dome and an NHL size rink with one of the most well maintained ice surfaces in the greater New York City area. Off-ice amenities include a 17,000 square foot locker room and a state of the art fitness center. City Ice also hosts a 4,000 square foot synthetic ice surface, just for shooting practice.

World Ice, City Ice’s sister arena, boasts an NHL size rink as well, incase they need some extra space.

“City Ice is an amazing facility,” said Moed. “It’s not often you find a rink as complete as we are. I don’t ever see a reason to go to another rink. Everything you need is right here.”

Participants at City Ice are as young as four years old. Moed believes that hockey promotes positive behavior in children, fortifying skills such as discipline and time management.

But the facility is not just limited to kids, however. The center offers skating and skills classes for adults as well. Moed, who didn’t learn to skate until her teens, thinks it’s never too late for anyone with interest and dedication to get in to hockey.

For more information visit www.nycskyliners.com or call 718-706-6667.