By Mitch Silver
Head Coach Brett Farson sent his Wildcats out on home ice November 28 to meet non-league foe Iona Prep in a pre-season tussle. There were referees on hand to regulate play, but no goals were recorded on the scoreboard and no statistics were kept by either side. An observer gave a 6-5 edge to the visiting Gaels.
With eight seniors having graduated from Rye Country Day in June, Coach Farson said, “We have some regulars returning and many players stepping into full-time roles, which is exciting to see. It was a solid effort for starters in the scrimmage. We need to improve our team play which is natural at this point in the season.”
The home team started a different goaltender in each of the three periods, and play was ragged on both sides. Sophomore Ari Israel started the game. He made a big stop on a breakaway at the 5:15 mark, but yielded two goals before giving way to senior Quinn Sullivan. The Wildcats netted two goals of their own to take the lead in the second period before senior Kevin Francella executed a headlong dive into the crease to stop an Iona Prep rush, only to have the puck bounce off his prostrate body and into the net to tie the score. Then, with fifteen seconds left in the period, two Gaels combined to steal the puck at the Wildcats’ blue line while short-handed and walk in on Sullivan for the score.
The third period saw senior Sean Bremer in the crease for the home team. The Wildcats evened things with a goal at the 13:11 of the final, only to yield one on a breakaway 90 seconds later. More back-and-forth play led to another home team score two minutes later. The Gaels survived a four-minute penalty and scored the game’s final tally with only 10 seconds left in the scrimmage.
Afterwards, Coach Farson explained, “We have five varsity goalies: Sean Bremer grade 12, Dmitri Goneos grade 9, Ari Israel grade 10, Peter Miller grade 10, and Quinn Sullivan grade 12. All are competing hard in practice and working with Coach Anthony Felice, our goalie coach, to hone their skills in the crease.”
The Wildcats open their season by hosting Fordham Prep Tuesday, December 6, at 5 p.m.