“One team, one goal, 5-29-11” That was the closing statement from General Manager Mike Manara back in September at the Long Island 495ers first organizational meeting.
“That was our organizational goal. To have both the minors and the elites return back to the National Championship. We practice as one team, we share the same locker room, we travelled together and the coaching staff interchanged back and forth.”
Well this past month, the minor 495ers swept the Suffolk Sharks in two low scoring games winning 5-2 and 3-2. It was a sloppy series for the 495ers who routed the Sharks during the season winning all six matchups and scoring 41 goals while giving up only 3. Head coach Mike Manara was not on hand due to a suspension that was handed to him during an Elite playoff game two weeks prior.
“Playoffs are different. Teams battle harder. It doesn’t matter who plays who or what seed you are, your team is supposed to come out and play. The Sharks played well against us but at the end we won and that’s what counts,” Captain Steve Sharkey stated.
Now the 495ers play against third seeded Beantown Bees who upset the Mulissha in Rhode Island earlier that day. The Minor New England Division Championship will be held on Saturday April 30th, 10:00 a.m. at Skate Safe America.
Earlier in April the 495ers Elite Team swept the Boston Athletics. Last Sunday was the making for a true back yard brawl for the New England Division Championship. This time it was for bragging rights and the next big step, PITTSBURGH.
Up late in the second period of game 1 leading 3-1, the 495ers had a four minute power play. The Sharks battled back and scored a quick short handed goal. Then the 495ers got hit with a late penalty and the Sharks buried the puck to tie the game. But in overtime veteran forward T.J. D’agostino got a pass in the middle from Mosenson and took it to the net pulling a great move on the Sharks goalie for the win.
After serving his suspension, Head Coach Mike Manara was back on the bench for game 2. He made some adjustments and the 495ers came out playing hard winning big in Game 2 over the Sharks 7-2. bRookie Frankie Florio got his first career hat trick that game.
“That was the most intensity I have seen from these guys all season. This is a different team from last year. We got rid of some average players and added all stars. Frankie Florio got a hat trick in game 2 along with Mike Bochicio who was second on the team in scoring. We got back Rowan Porter who didn’t get to qualify last year and has been the best hustler on our team. New additions to our defense are Anthony Landro and Sean Kearney. Add these guys with veterans Tamburino, Mosenson, and Cody on defense, D’Agostino, Rotola and Mazzie up front and our guys between the posts, Pete pennecke and Craig Bordmerkel and you have a team that means business,“ Mike Manara said.