[attach]3195[/attach]It was a tough return to senior boys hockey for Neil McNeil Maroons Dec. 7, as the Beach school lost 3-0 to Father Redmond Redhawks.
After a 15-year hiatus from the rink, a growing all-boys school – now over 800 students – has contributed to a larger hockey draw at Neil McNeil.
A few years of putting together tournament teams once or twice a year has now turned into TDCAA league play, Maroons coach Tony Fiorino said.
“As our school grows we can now have sort of a base that we can work with,” he said. “You need a number of players in order to run a decent team.
“It’s probably between AA or AAA hockey calibre.”
Still, being shut out was not what Fiorino had envisioned.
“Nothing really worked well today,” he said. “There were some good individual battles.
“But overall as a team we were flat,” he added. “We’ve played better.”
Notching the three goals for Father Redmond were Louis Lisozzi and Blake Caklos via Marcus Rose, who contributed an empty netter as well.
Redhawks assistant coach Deryck Fox attributed the victory to controlling the flow of the game and discipline.
“Moving the puck, being smart, controlling the puck right from the beginning of the game, that’s what worked,” he said. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes up till now in the last three games.”
Outside of the three markers, Fox gave credit to the silent star between the pipes, Alejandro Sobrino, who kept the Maroons scoreless.
Though nobody stood out for Neil McNeil in their first game, Fiorino said goaltender Mike Ambrozewicz kept the game close, only allowing two markers.
“Our goalie Ambrozewicz played really well,” Fiorino said. “He kept us in the game in the first period.”
Also making key plays were Mike D’Agostini and Max Naus.
After an opening loss Fiorino said he hoped his charges get back on track at the Dec. 9 game against St. Basil-the-Great College.
“There’s no way we should have lost,” he said. “At least not 3-0.”
Results of the Dec. 9 game were not known at press time.