Boys Hockey: The Comeback Kids, A Surprising Twist at The Spartans Senior Night Game

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Feb 232015

IMG_4774The Amity Spartans Senior Night game against Trinity Catholic took place at the Bennett Rink in West Haven at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Among the surprises was the starting lineup, which included fan favorite Senior Christian Mortali, who entered the ice to cheers from the stands and wide smiles from his teammates.

The event started off as many Spartans games have this season, with the other team making the first point.

The first period was a bit of a sleeper, with slow motion moves until Trinity junior Dan Bernard (#20) scored a goal off an assist from Jordan Skiba (#7) at 6:59.

In the second period both teams came alive, Trinity quickly scored with Griffin Northrop (#10) getting one past Amity goalie Tyler Johnston on an assist from Zach Lockwood (#25) at 2:53.

Northrop made an unassisted goal at 6:13 bringing the score to 3-0.

Amity’s captains came together to get the Spartans onto the scoreboard at 7:17, Zach Shelnitz (#8) scored off an assist from Kevin Ryan (#9) and Dalton Luciani (#28).

Trinity fought back, scoring again at 9:10 with Joey Nelson (#14) firing one in on an assist from Connor Scanlon (#3).

But Amity wasn’t done yet, Zach White (#13) got a goal assisted by Ryan and Luciani at 10:21.

With just 22 seconds remaining in the middle period Trinity’s Northrop got a Hat Trick on an assist from Bernard, bringing the score to 5-2.

The final period began with another quick move from the boys from Stamford, Nelson made an unassisted goal at 2:43, peaking Trinity’s score at 6.

Then, 14 seconds later, Anthony Uscilla (#16) flew across the ice and slapped one into the net for Amity.

At 4:07 Shelnitz scored off a Ryan assist. At 5:22 Charlie Csejka got a goal on an assist from Luciani, and at 6:34 Nick DeGennaro (#5) made an unassisted goal and tied the game at 6-6.

As the game drew to an end Ryan scored off an assist from Mac Deane (#22) at 11:35 and with only 49 seconds remaining, Uscilla made the final, game winning goal off an assist from Luciani.

Final score 8-6.

The Spartans are traveling to play Watertown-Pomperaug on Saturday at 7:30 p.m

Boys Hockey: Spartans Battle Westies in West Haven

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Feb 142015

IMG_4315On Feb. 11, the Amity Spartans Hockey team went up against the West Haven High School at the Edward Bennett Rink — home ice for both teams.

With 6:53 remaining in the first period, West Haven’s Peter Richetelli (Amity Asst Coach Mike “Scooter” Richetelli’s son), scored on assists from Jake Lynch and Alex Lynch.

The Westies came out strong in the second period solidifying their lead with Tyler Paine scoring off a pass from Donny Froehlich 7:32 in.  Then, three minutes later Kevin Coyle slapped an unassisted goal past Amity’s Tyler Johnston.

The Spartans played hard, and all their work paid off when Zach Shelnitz passed the puck to Kevin Ryan for Amity’s first and only goal of the game with just 3:10 remaining in the period.

The second period score was 3-1 West Haven.

In the final period, the Westies showed no mercy, firing on Johnston and West Haven’s goalie Mike Savino denied Amity any additional points.

Six minutes in, Coyle scored his second goal, this time, assisted by Froehlich and Jeremy Borelli.

This game was a clear victory for the Westies, 4-1

Boys Hockey: Amity vs Cheshire Game at Wesleyan

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Feb 042015

IMG_7129Amity’s Sophomore Goalie Tyler Johnston had his work cut out for him as the Spartans went up against the Cheshire Rams at the Wesleyan Rink in Middletown on Tuesday.

Although the “young” Amity team has been showing improvement with every game, they knew going onto the ice that this was not going to be a cake walk.

The first period was scoreless, so going into the middle period, it was anyone’s game.

Cheshire’s Anthony Vitale scored on an assist from Frank Linicki at 10:54, then with just 1:02 left in the period, Matt Jordan, assisted by Tom Sokoloff brought the score to 2-0 for the Rams.

In the third period, Amity’s Liam Caraciolo put the Spartans on the scoreboard at 7:49 on an assist from Kevin Ryan.

Less than 2 minutes later Linicki made an unassisted goal for the Rams, sealing Cheshire’s SCC-SWC Division II win at 3-1.

Cheshire outshot Amity 27-17.

Johnston had 24 saves for the Spartans and Jake Verneris made 16 saves for the Rams.

Records: Amity 3-10-1; Cheshire 7-6-1.

Next Up: Amity vs New Milford at Canterbury School on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 12:45 p.m.

Note: File photos from previous Amity/Cheshire matchup.

Jan 312015



The Amity Boys Hockey Team showed us last week (Jan. 23) that they really knew how to play the game. They came alive in the third period and gave fans hope for the season.

On Saturday, Jan. 31 they started strong against Guilford and kept it going until the final second.

In this matchup, Amity was first to post in the first period at 2:44 with Zach Shelnitz (#8) scoring on an assist from Liam Caraciolo (#17).

First period score: 1-0 Amity

4:33 into the second period, Guilford’s Ryan Brand (#17) tied things up with an unassisted goal.

But the Spartans would have none of that, and at 7:00 Shelnitz and Caraciolo repeated the first period play, pulling Amity to a 2-1 lead.

Nearly two and a half minutes later at 9:27 Guilford’s Rick Sardella (#9) tied the game at 2-2 on an assist from Matt Clifford (#12).

Amity’s Kevin Ryan (#9) made the tie-breaking and game-winning goal at 12:38.

Neither team scored in the third period, but the puck was passed and smacked and skates were flying across the ice as shots were made, making it an exciting 15 minutes for spectators.

This may be the first game that Amity outshot its opponent, with 26 to 20.

Goalies (both #30) Tyler Cole for Amity and Kyle Dwyer for Guilford worked hard in this game, and deserve a lot of credit.

Asst. Coach Mike Richetelli and the other coaches were smiling as they came off the ice after the game.

“We played a solid game today, and the boys needed that,” Richetelli said. “We still have an outside shot at making the tournament and that’s what our goal is, that’s our focus.”

“We came out and had a very good first period. Guilford is very strong, they played two lines, so we wanted to try and wear them out,” he said. “In the second period Guilford had a little bit of an edge. The third period we battled and (Goalie) Tyler Cole (a Freshman) had the first win of his High School career today, which is a big moment for him.”

Richetelli said the boys will continue to practice hard and play to win.

“Collectively as a group that’s how we’re going to do things. We had a good solid effort today,” he said. “We’re not quitting. Every team has an identity and this team’s is a ‘stick-to-itiveness’. They don’t quit, they practice and they play hard at every game. So if we can string a couple more together, which we have a shot to do, the opportunity is there.”

The Spartans next three games will be against tough opponents.

• On Tuesday, Feb. 3, they play Cheshire at Wesleyan University at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 7, New Milford at Canterbury School at 12:45 p.m.

• Then Wednesday, Feb. 11, against West Haven at 6:30 p.m.

Girls Hockey: Blades Slash Raiders 9-1

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Jan 302015

Oh, Yes She Did!

Oh, Yes She Did!

The Amity Girls are part of a co op hockey team known as the Blades. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, they went up against the Notre Dame Raiders in Shelton.

The Blades came out strong in the first period scoring their first goal within the first 2 minutes.

At 11:44 they scored again; and less than a minute later at 10:46, they struck again; at 9:30 the fourth goal came in; with just 2:11 left in the period number 5.

End of period score 5-0 Blades.

The second period started strong too, in the first 56 seconds the Blades scored but it wasn’t until there were only 16.3 seconds remaining that they scored again — leaving the Raiders scoreless.

End of period score 7-0 Blades.

In the third period the Blades again was first to score. At 11:11 they logged the 8th point of the game.

In the last 4:30 Notre Dame finally got on the scoreboard, followed by a final goal by the Blades.

Final Score Blades 9 – Notre Dame 1.

(My apologies for the lack of information on this game. I don’t know the players and, as I have said before, I am not a sports writer.)

Boys Hockey: Zack Shelnitz Gets A Hat Trick As Amity Battles Tough Undefeated Scarsdale

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Jan 242015


Graham Hughes #18, fires one in during a tough game against Scarsdale.

Even before skating onto the Edward Bennett Rink on Friday evening, the Amity Spartans knew that they had a battle ahead of them going up against an undefeated division 1 team from Scarsdale New York. 

The first period was a heartbreaker for Amity. The Raiders wasted no time posting on the scoreboard with Captain James Nicholas (#16) making his first of four goals at :33 on an assist from Devon Schell (#15). 

The Raiders showed Amity why they are undefeated, firing on Spartan goalie Tyler Cole (#30). Then, at 5:07 Stephen Nicholas (#17) scored, assisted by Sam Stemerman (#3). 

Less than 2 minutes later Stephen Nicholas added another point on an assist from Michael Roberts (#2); and a minute after that James Nicholas and Schell repeated their moves from the game’s initial point; just two minutes later James Nicholas got his hat trick on an assist from Dunkan Hindmarch (#5). Ending the first period at 5-0. 

Scarsdale Freshman Sam Seltzer (#1) made 5 saves; Cole made 12 saves. 

The second period action was fast and furious with Cole deflecting the puck on every shot until the duo of Nicholas and Schell got one past him at 9:15.

Four minutes later, Hindmarch scored for the Raiders on assists from Jonathan Schwartz (#29) and Blake Ruggert (#24), broadening their lead to 7-0. 

Finally, :48 later with only :32.1 remaining in the middle period, Amity Senior Zach Shelnitz (#8) snapped one in past a stunned Raiders goal keeper Gabriel Harousseau (#30). Amity fans saw it go into the net, Shelnitz saw it get by the goalie, but the two referees stopped to discuss it before making their call, which seemed to take forever. (See video on the Orange Live Facebook page). 

Spartans fans roared when the decision went their way. 

Second period score 7-1. 

Harousseau made 7 saves; Cole made 11. 

Unless you were in the locker room, you don’t know what the Spartans coaches said after they left the ice, but when the boys came back in the third period, they were on fire, playing a lot like the 2013-14 team. 

Skating fast and furious, passing, intercepting and shooting like they never have this season. 

Just 4:19 into the period, Nick DeGennaro (#5), scored for the Spartans, assisted by Dalton Luciani (#28).

To everyone’s amazement, Amity scored on a pass from Mac Deane (#22) to Shelnitz. 

A little more than 5 minutes later at 12:06 Scarsdale got its 8th and final goal, with Jake Zurkow (#11) scoring off an assist from Stephen Nicholas. 

With 2:14 remaining in the game, Shelnitz got a hat trick, assisted by Jeremy Cable (#14) and Kevin Ryan (#9). 

Scarsdale outshot Amity 40-22. 

With this 8-4 victory, they remain undefeated. 

Amity’s record is 2-1-9.

The Spartans play Guilford (3-5) in West Haven on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 1 p.m.  (In December, Amity defeated Guilford 7-2)

NOTE: Although I took all of this information directly off the official score sheet, a parent later informed me that Graham Hughes #18, got the middle goal that was credited in the article to Schelnitz…. With the assists going to #10 Tim Johnson and #22 Mac Deane. (I don’t know how the scorekeeper could get that wrong).

Jan 222015

Graphic1As many residents know, Amity girls are part of a co-op Hockey team called the Blades, composed of players from Amity, North Haven and Cheshire.

Their home ice is The Rinks at Shelton. They play hard, but you’ve never seen a story or photos of them on Orange Live. Why Not?

Actually, it’s quite simple, the schedule keeps changing. Sometimes games are canceled within hours of game time.

I’ve driven up to Shelton three times in the past 2 months. Once, I left a holiday party so I could shoot a 6 p.m. Blades game. When I arrived I learned that the game was scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Evidently the time had been changed since I originally plugged it into my calendar and 2.5 hours was a long time to wait around when I had so many other things that I could be doing.

The second time I arrived and there was no game, even though it was still on the CIAC website schedule.

This week I went up there for an 8:30 p.m. game, checked the board in the lobby and was happy to see it was still up. I watched the Zamboni make its runs around the ice and waited, and waited… After I got back home I noticed that the Athletic Director had Tweeted out its cancellation earlier in the day.

On Wednesday, I planned on attending the 8 p.m. game, but the Boys Hockey in West Haven went into Overtime and by the time I finished talking to the coach, it was around 8:30 p.m. It didn’t make sense to try and make it over to Shelton for 15 minutes of play time.

Since I don’t get paid to cover anything on Orange Live I don’t make it a practice to travel to away games. But Next Wednesday, the 28th, the girls are supposed to play at 6 p.m. — if the schedule doesn’t change, I will be there.

The 2014-15 Blades Team

The 2014-15 Blades Team

Boys Hockey: Spartans Go Into Overtime With the YellowJackets

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Jan 222015

IMG_1670The Amity Spartans Hockey Team (2-1-8) faced off against the East Haven YellowJackets (1-8) at the Bennett Rink in West Haven Wednesday night.

The game had a rough start for the Spartans, as have many match-ups this season, with East Haven’s Tyler Moss scoring a goal in the first 15 seconds on an assist from Joe Lorello. Then, 9:21 into the first period, the Easties hit again, this time with Zach Paquin scoring off assists from Nick Latella and Joe D’Albero.

Yellowjacket Goalie Devin Avena made 4 saves, while the Spartans Tyler Johnston made 14 saves.

In the second period the defensive players and goal tenders kept their opponents from scoring and the score remained 2-0 East Haven.

Avena made 8 saves and Johnston deflected 14 additional shots.

Amity came alive in the third period at 6:13 Nick DeGennaro scored the first Spartan goal off an assist from Liam Caraciolo.

With only 5:37 remaining in the third period, East Haven’s Mike Montesanto received a 5 minute penalty for boarding an Amity player.

(Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player pushes, trips or checks an opposing player violently into the boards of the hockey rink. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded.)

With just two minutes left in the period Mac Deane passed the puck to Kevin Ryan, who tied things up at 2-2 and the game went into overtime.

In the third period both goalies made 8 saves each.

In overtime, it was do or die and both teams really needed a win to redeem themselves. After some fierce back and forth Amity’s Charlie Csejka passed the puck to Graham Hughes who made the winning goal at 1:02 to a thunderous roar from the Amity fans.

Head Coach Gary Lindgren stepped off the ice and said, “I’m smiling” before heading into the locker room where the Spartans were celebrating their sweet victory.

Asst. Coach Mike Richetelli said, “It wasn’t our best first period, but the message was pretty clear, shut it down, keep working, and play our best.  In the second period we played the most intensely that we’ve played all season. Even though we were down by 2 we had a nice edge and we had good momentum to go into the third.”

Of the final minutes, he said, “For us to get two goals after being down by two, showed a lot. And then for Graham get in there, it was a great hustle and a great effort in overtime and we were fortunate to have him be the first guy to make that play.”

“It’s a great feel good win for us. These kids work hard and they deserved this tonight,” Richetelli said. “We are very proud of what they did.”

Amity plays Scarsdale (NY) this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bennett Rink.

After that they have 8 more games, some of them against very tough opponents, until the end of the regular season on March 4. 

Boys Hockey: Amity vs Glastonbury …. and the winner is …

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Jan 192015

IMG_1267The Amity Spartans went up against the Glastonbury Tomahawks Monday afternoon at the Edward Bennett Rink in West Haven.

Glastonbury quickly got on the board within the first 2 minutes with Matt Holdaway scoring on an assist from Tyler Maclean.

Less than 6 minutes later Holdaway slammed an unassisted goal by Amity goal tender Tyler Cole, giving Glastonbury a 2-0 lead going into the second period.

The Tomahawks wasted no time in the second period firing relentlessly on Cole. Shane Mack scored just 1:44 into the period, on an assist from Trevor Suydam. 38 seconds later, Maclean fired one in on an assist from Adam Yaeger.

The two teams battled it out passing, intercepting, shooting and finally, at 9:22 Amity’s Captain Kevin Ryan scored an unassisted goal, putting Amity on the board, bringing the score to 4-1 (Glastonbury).

In the third period Amity proved it had the stamina to keep up with Glastonbury, and the first 2/3 of play time, the goalkeepers on both teams did phenomenal jobs keeping their opponents from adding to their scores.

But Glastonbury could not be kept down. At 9:21 Zach McGrail scored on an assist from Suydam. Less than a minute later at 10:15 Yaeger also scored, assisted by Maclean and Holdaway.

Final Score 7-1 Glastonbury.

With 1:33 left in the game Jared Roy, assisted by Justin Catinazzo and Logan Underwood brought in the winning goal.

Amity Coach Gary Lindgren said he was sad, but not disappointed in the boys.

“We have a young team and they have a tough schedule,” he said. “They played hard and put a lot into it today. We have two more games this week.”

Of his team, win or lose, Lindgren said, “They’re working hard.”



Boys Hockey: Amity Vs Wilton — Game Goes Into Overtime… and …

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Jan 162015

IMG_9204The Amity Spartans 1-1-5 faced off against Wilton 2-5 Friday night at Bennett Rink in West Haven.

This time around Amity’s Charlie Csejka was first to score with 9:25 left in the first period, and Wilton was scoreless.

It took quite a while, but finally with just 3:34 left in 2nd, Wilton’s Jameson Hill tied the game at 1-1.

Wilton came out like gangbusters in the third and David Craven scored in the first 13 seconds. One-upping Amity 2-1.

The Spartans  really needed this win, and Kevin Ryan came in and got one past wilton’s goalkeeper with 4:29 remaining, tying the game.

Now, with the score at 2-2 both teams were determined to win in overtime.

And … Kyle Jonas from Wilton slams one in to win the game 3-2.

Wilton outshot Amity 36-24.


The Spartans Play in Danbury Saturday, Jan. 17 at 4:10 p.m.