STN 2012-2013 Recap
Greetings St. Nicks alumni! We would like to take the time to reach out and update you all on this past season. The2012-2013 version of the St Nicks featured a bevy of Division I, Division III and minor pro talent. This year’s Nicks campaign was a particularly successful one, as we took part in memorable trips to Jackson Hole, WY and Sun Valley,ID in addition to playing several sets of games against traditional rivals Wissahickon Skating Club and Beacon Hill Club.
The first major campaign of 2013 for the St. Nicks crew was out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A balanced blend of new young talent, experienced “middle-buds” and grizzled veterans made the trek for an exciting weekend. In game one, the host Jackson Hole Moose (with an impressive and boisterous crowd of over 2,000 filling the stands) came out hard and fast, surprising our team as they jumped out to an early lead. After weathering the storm and battling through some bad puck-luck, the Nicks found themselves down by a goal with seconds left to play. After a timeout, a won faceoff and quick point shot resulted in a deft tip from Matt Cook to knot the game at five and send the game to overtime - or so we thought. Suspiciously, the hosts declined to play an overtime period and instead opted to go directly to a shootout . Their cowardly tactics paid off, despite some tremendous saves from goaltender Peter Cohen, as the Moose squeaked out with a 6-5 shootout “victory”.
In Game 2, the Nicks did not let an opportunity at redemption slip away. The squad was able to find their skating legs, adjusting to the altitude and hostile crowd while imposing their will in the offensive zone. A “Goal of the Year” candidate effort from Princeton’s Kevin Kaiser got the ball rolling, and a hat-trick from Alex Meintel drove home the dagger. In the end, the boys in baby-blue sweaters took home a decisive 7-3 triumph, and 3 of 4 points on the road. Nobody ever likes to lose a hockey game, but victory sure tastes sweeter in the face of adversity!
The second marquee trip of the season was a President’s Day trek to do battle with the Sun Valley Suns. The Nicks invaded the Idaho ski town with a sparse line-up of only 9 skaters and a goalie (or as Nicks alum Dr. Steve Cook would say, “The perfect travel squad”). Travel planning was tight due to grueling work schedules and impending baby deliveries, resulting in most of the Nicks squad having to travel by plane on the day of the first game. The boys rolled off the plane and onto the ice for Game 1, and thanks to some inspiring words and heavy pre-game rock music in the lockerroom, jumped out to a 5-0 lead against the Suns after the first period. However, the day’s expedition began to catch up to the team in the second half of the game as the host Suns started to chip away at the lead. Despite more time in the defensive zone than one would enjoy, the boys held on for a thrilling 7-5 victory, sealed by a short-handed empty-net tally by Captain Brendan Byrne. Not only were we able to outlast the Suns on the ice, but even after all the events of the day, the Nicks were also the last to leave the bar that night.
Saturday morning (afternoon), the Nicks woke up with a purpose. Knowing this was the last game of the year, as well as key defenseman Dallas Bossort’s last game before moving to London, there was a buzz around the team that this performance was going to be special. The host Suns, confidence high after their near comeback from the night before, had no idea what was in store for them. A blitz of baby-blue jerseys peppered the Suns net from the drop of the puck to the final buzzer. Not even the emergency call-ups of former NHL defenseman Jeff Norton, former Idaho Steelheads captain Marty Flichel, or a mid-game goalie change could save the Suns from the STN onslaught. When the final buzzer sounded, it was a 12-3 thrashing in favor of the Sons of Hobey. Highlights of the game included a bar-down “snipe” from David Watters, a beautiful 5-pass tic-tac-toe play for a goal by the “Young Gunz” line of PO Michaud, Kevin Kaiser and Matt Cook, a gutsy, shutdown effort from the three-man defensive core of Brendan Reich, Brendan Byrne and Dallas Bossort (each of whom logged minutes that would make Chris Pronger or Jim Morrissey blush) as well as a between periods visit from St. Nick’s alumnus Freddy Filoon. A heroic effort all weekend by goaltender Mark Sibbald was also a key to victory, as backchecking was often considered optional considering the 9-man roster.
Sun Valley Times write-ups of the weekend’s games can be viewed here: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005146144#.USTmBR2ccQo
The Nicks also valiantly defended their home turf during this past year. A 9-7 win against Trinity College during the 2011-2012 season (and Trinity’s subsequent 3-game losing streak to start their season thereafter) scared many college teams away from playing the Nicks, despite countless requests to college coaches for a friendly game. In the face of these troubles, we were able to organize several games against willing participants closer to New York. The team decidedly swept a home-and-home series with Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Skating Club, a series featuring a rare home game for the Nicks at Chelsea Piers. A trip to Beacon Hill for a game on their famed outdoor rink was also a season highlight, although the team was forced to impose a “no-shooting” rule in the third period after the scoreboard read 9-2 in favor of the good guys.
In closing, we write the esteemed St. Nicks alumni to assure you that the team and the tradition of St Nicks hockey is alive and well. Although it is hard for the team to find competitive games in the area given the high talent level the St Nicks’ logo attracts, we play weekly inter-squad games that feature hotly contested Friday night drafts and a series of first-to-5 games usually with plenty of coin or libations riding on the outcome. We have already been invited back to play in Jackson Hole and Sun Valley in 2014 and another trip to Park City, Utah is in the works as well. Key veteran team members such as Jim Morrissey, Steve Sherriffs, Eric Schram, Brent Ozarowski, Robert Kellogg, Keith Boyer, and Michael Morgan do a first class job of organizing the team skate, road games and events, as well as perpetuating the message of what the St Nicks family is all about. The St Nicks alumni dinner last fall was a tremendous event and incredibly inspiring for the younger members to see how much the organization means to everyone who has donned the STN jersey and taken part in this great tradition. We are, in all respects of the word, a great team, and that team continues to grow as we usher in new players every year. We thank each and every one of you out there for everything you do for the program and always enjoy hearing from and seeing you whenever the schedule allows.
All the best,
St. Nick’s 2012-2013 Hockey Team