Saints co-op hockey team eyeing state tournament
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Mon., Feb. 28, 2011
After downing the number one team in the state on Feb. 16, Saints ice hockey coach Christopher Discordia is feeling confident that his co-op team has a shot at the state title next week.
“We’ll probably be the number six seed in [Division III],” he said. “We have to beat three good teams to win the state tournament, but I’m sure we can do it.”
Discordia coached hockey at Norwich Free Academy until the start of this season, when NFA’s team merged with St. Bernard and Bacon Academy. Bacon is represented by a sole player, center Zach Turek.
Blending teams of rivals into teammates had its moments, said the coach. “There was a pretty good rivalry [between NFA and St. Bernard] for the last few years,” he said. “But these guys all played youth hockey together when they were kids, so the families all knew each other, and that helped. They’re just happy to be winning.”
And winning they are, with a 12-7 record in regular season play. The 4-3 victory over Division II leader Guilford, during the Whalers Hockey Fest at Rentschler Field in Hartford, gave them forward momentum that has helped propel them through the remaining season, to a 5-4 victory over Lyman Hall, another 5-4 win against Bethel-Brookfield-Danbury, and a 5-1 win against Milford. Their sole disappointment was a 1-8 loss against Northwest Catholic, a team they had previously bested 3-1.
At press time, the Saints were slated to confront Sheehan at Choate Rosemary Hall on Mar. 2. Seedings for the state tournament will be out before it gets underway on Mar. 7, Discordia said.
“There are not very many teams in the tournament this year,” the coach said. “Hockey is such a niche sport.”
If the Saints have their wish, they’ll find themselves in the semifinals starting Mar. 14 at Yale University’s Ingalls Rink. Finals for Division III are Mar. 19.
NFA-St. Bernard-Bacon Academy
Ice Hockey Coach Chris Discordia
First year coaching co-op team
Years coaching NFA Wildcats: 2
Discordia is joined by assistant coach Mike Scanlon, who coached at NFA for five years, the last three with Discordia.
For results and tournament brackets visit:
Sports Spotlight: Players to Watch
Hurley, a junior at St. Bernard, has been playing hockey for 11 years. This is his third year playing hockey for the Saints.
Biancamano, a junior and a hockey player since age 5, is wearing the Saints’ red and grey for his second year.
Stowe, a senior, lead the team in goals scored thus far, said Discordia.