The Amity Spartans Hockey team has had a challenging season, due in part to many of their would-be challengers’ COVID quarantine delays. The Spartans had a full schedule, like all other D2 teams, but could not play for a solid two-week period because of the SCC COVID safety protocols in place.
Games were suddenly canceled because a player on an opposing team tested positive, placing that entire team in quarantine and therefore making it so Amity could not play against them.
With intense practice sessions and encouraging words from their coaches, who never lost faith in the Spartans’ ability to win, the team stayed strong and when they finally did hit the ice again against actual opponents, they were ready.
This week, the boys went up against some of the top division players holding them off until the very end, never losing steam, and showing their skill and determination every time.
Amity vs Lyman Hall
On Monday, March 15, Amity played Lyman Hall at Bennett Rink, West Haven at 8 p.m.
No one wasted any time getting the game going, at 3:54 Amity’s Niko Tournas (26) scored the first goal assisted by Ben Qian (25).
It appeared that the Spartans would hang onto that 1 point lead into the second, but with just 3.2 on the clock Lyman Hall struck back, tying the score at 1-1.
Coach Scooter Richetelli must have given one hell of a talk in the locker room, because Amity came out strong and fierce in the second, and just 15 seconds in, Kyle Hummel (18) broke the tie off an assist from Tommy Schittina (11).
But their mighty opponents didn’t let the jubilation last too long. at 2:22 they broke the tie and at 8:45 Lyman Hall took the lead.
Still focused, Amity struck back 7 seconds later with (11) tying the game, 3-3, assisted by (4).
As I watched from the stands, I marveled at how well the Spartans were playing, believing wholeheartedly that going up against one of the best teams in their division just made them stronger and want a win that much more.
In the third period, Amity broke the tie with Justin Miller (4) scoring on a power play, off an assist from Schittina (11) at 6:35 in.
A feeling of hope filled the stadium and it was looking good for Amity but then, with only 2:34 remaining in regular play, Lyman Hall tied it up at 4-4, forcing the game into overtime.
It was do-or-die with 8 minutes on the clock, both teams pulled out all the moves but a power-play goal by Lyman Hall with just 1:18 remaining sealed the deal.
Final score, Lyman Hall -5, Amity – 4.
SCC 1st Round
Amity vs North Branford
Even with the messed up season they had to endure, the Amity Spartans were good enough to rank 7th in D2. They hosted North Branford at the Bennett Rink in West Haven for the first round of the SCC D2 tourney on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m.
North Branford struck first, wasting no time they scored in the first 24 seconds.
Although it took a while and after 10 more minutes of intense team play, Justin Miller, assisted by Ben Qian, tied the game at 10:49 with just 4:12 left before the buzzer.
First Period Score 1-1
Amity returned to the ice on fire.
At :57 Niko Tournas broke that tie and held onto the lead throughout the entire period.
Second-Period Score 2-1 Amity
Amity retained the lead in the third period and Brendan Smith’s masterful performance in the net prevented North Branford from getting a tie or taking the lead.
Then, just to seal the deal, with 1:11 remaining in the game, Caleb Marcin made an unassisted goal.
Amity Wins and moves on to the Quarterfinals!
Amity will be on the road in Northford to go up against the #2 seed Sheehan on Saturday at 3 p.m.