This year has been a great season for the L.I. 495ers Hockey Association. Both the Elite and Minor team won the New England Division and will be traveling to Disney for the Regional and National Championships.
The Elite Team who fired their head coach toward the end of the season finished strongly behind minor coach’s Mike Manara and Mark Ferro. The first playoff round featured the 495ers against the Hartford Fireants. The 495ers swept them back home with 4-0 and 5-0 victories.
The second round featured the typical sports rivalry, NY vs. Boston. After sweeping the Boston Swamp Donkeys in March at their home arena, once again the 495ers put it to them, winning them 4-3 and 9-3 advancing them to the AIHL Championships.
With Coaches Manara and Ferro taking over, the team finished 10-0 with 75 goals for and 11 against. Goal tenders’ Pete Penneke and Craig Brodmerkel have been stone-cold puck stoppers all season. Captain Jim Tamburino, Jim Cody, Joe Pennisi stood strong and played great defense as Assistant Captain and defense men John Mosenson, led the team in points. The dynamic duo of Michael Rotola and team leading goal scorer, Joe Mazzie, led the way for the team on the power play. The strong and energetic line of T.J. D’Agastino, Greg Pantaleo and minor player, Matty Metz was no match for other teams when making sure extra goals were scored to finish off the game. Defense men Matt Miano, who was injured toward the end of the season is back and ready to go to Florida.
The minor teams played out the season like any organization should. The 495ers Blue who seeded first in the division took on the Hollbrook Swamp Donkeys in the first round. The Swamp Donkeys gave them a scare winning the first game and the going up 3-0 in game two but, the 495ers came out hard and took games two and three to move on. The 495ers white team who was pretty much the “B” team all season came through toward the end and took second place. The first round was against heavily favorite Boston Bees but the 495ers swept them sending them home early.
Then the championship was on. The 495ers vs. The 495ers. The white team took game one on a show stopper by goal tender A.J. Fray. But the Blue team came back again in games two and three led by Captain Steve Sharkey and Eric Molhzan and goaltender Nick Gullo for the New England Division Championship.
“It was a great season all together. I am very proud of these fine men. I look forward to continuing the organizations’ success in Disney” General Manager and Coach Mike Manara stated.
-By Mike Manara