The Amity Spartans Boys Ice Hockey Team has, as I have said since the beginning of the season, a lot of potential. A young team, they haven’t had a stellar season (4-10-2), but it isn’t the worst in school history either.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, the boys hosted the Cheshire Rams in West Haven. The Amity Army student fan base was at full capacity, and ready to support their Spartans no matter what the outcome.
I don’t know what was in the water head coach Mike Richetelli gave them in the locker room, but the Spartans came onto the ice with a spark we haven’t seen in quite a while. They played fast and hard with so much skill and enthusiasm for all three periods that everyone was at the edge of their seats for the entire game.
The first period went scoreless, but not for lack of trying on either side, and the second period had some exciting moments. Amity fans near the Cheshire net saw the puck go in and shoot out again like a rocket not once but twice, but neither “goal” was recognized by the refs. Still, life went on, and the Spartans continued to play just as hard until the buzzer.
Score at the end of two periods still 0-0.
Amity often loses steam in the third period, but that was simply not the case here. Everyone came out with renewed energy, a fighting spirit and their eyes on a victory.
The Spartans were relentless in their plan to keep the puck away from their end of the rink. Cheshire would get possession, then Amity would intercept it and pass it along to the opposite end of the ice.
Then it happened, Connor Bath (14) passed the puck to Dylan Gherlone (15), who passed it to Caleb Marcin (6) and GOAL at 6:35 in the third.
Now, all Amity had to do was hang onto this lead for 8:25 minutes. Could they do it?
Freshman goalie Brendan Smith (30) had some pretty sweet moves, keeping his eyes open and getting quite a workout, squatting, kneeling, diving and blocking whatever the Rams shot at him, no matter the angle.
The elation felt throughout the arena was palpable when the final buzzer sounded and the Spartans skated over to their adoring fans to celebrate the 1-0 shut-out victory against the glass.
Coach Richetelli left the locker room after the game with a smile on his face. “This is the team, I know they can be,” he said. “They played hard for 45 minutes [all 3 periods] and never let up. The third line came out and did a great job, making way for the first line to rest and come out and finish it off. It was a great game.”
Amity MUST WIN three (3) of the remaining regular season games. Can they make that happen? If they continue to play the way they did on Saturday, they can.
Join the Amity Army in cheering on the Spartans this month on Monday, Feb. 17 vs Tri-Town at HOME at 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 19 vs Glastonbury at HOME at 7:15 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 22 vs Watertown-Pomperaug at HOME at 1 p.m.; and finally, Wednesday, Feb. 26 vs Newtown AWAY at the Danbury Ice Arena at 5:30 p.m.