Photo Courtesy of Sandra Wong Geroux: the Tigers celebrate a championship win over Suffern.
For Mamaroneck (21-1-1) and Suffern (14-8-1), the setting was familiar: Brewster Ice Arena, on the last Sunday in February, with a Section 1 title at stake. For the person working the scoreboard, though, it was unfamiliar territory. It was over before it even began. At least, that’s what it seemed like.
Less than two minutes into the game, the Tigers had gone ahead, thanks to a Jack Dente ‘17 deflection off of Patrick Lee’s ‘17 shot from the point. Less than 10 minutes into the game, Mamaroneck had cruised to a three-goal lead supplied by top-line forwards Harrison Schreiber ’19 and James Torre ’17. With more than 35 minutes of hockey left to play, there was little doubt regarding which team would be celebrating by afternoon’s end. Coming into the game, the Tigers were 18-0 in games where they scored three or more goals. Now? 19-0.
After a dominant and convincing first period, which ended with Mamaroneck in front, 3-0, the team refused to lift its foot off the gas in the second period. James Torre scored his second goal of the game at the 9:27 mark, extending the Tigers’ lead to four. “[Our line has] really been clicking offensively all season,” Torre said. “We have a lot of chemistry with each other and we know where each other are going to be on the ice. This was a big game for everyone, and our line showed up in a big way; we knew we needed to produce and got it done.” After Torre’s goal, the only thing that remained in question was whether or not Tommy Spero ’17 would tie the New York state record for career shutouts.
The senior netminder turned in one of his better performances of the year, fighting off screens and deflected pucks (and even a few slashes and illegal hits from the Mounties) making 25 saves to pick up his 19th career shutout. “Tying the state record means a lot to me personally,” Spero said, “but, record aside, I’m more focused on winning states again.” When asked if he was surprised by the way Suffern came after him, he replied, “I was very surprised. I thought they would have a little more class than that. It didn’t affect me whatsoever, though; my adrenaline was pumping and I knew that I would have to battle through everything and help my team win.”
Mamaroneck’s next task will be a regional final game against Monroe-Woodbury, whom the Tigers dispatched handily, 9-1, in a December meeting at the Hommocks. The team will travel to Newburgh Ice Time on Saturday, March 4, for a 4:30pm game with a trip to the state final four on the line.
By Stephen Rothman