MHS Varsity Hockey Hopes Die in Quarterfinal Overtime

by Oliver Paré; photos by FAL photography

(March 5, 2008) The hopes of the Mamaroneck Varsity Hockey team and all of its screaming fans came crashing down abruptly on Saturday, March 1, doing no justice to the tenacity that has characterized the Tigers’ play all year. A minute into the sudden-death overtime period of the state quarterfinals at Hommocks Ice Rink, the Tigers’ season ended on a slap shot off the stick of a Massena High School player that somehow made its way past star goalie Luke Glaser. Because of the nature of sudden-death overtime, the moment Massena scored, the Tigers were finished.

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It took all of a fraction of a second to end what had been a magical run for the Tigers. After going 23-3-1, the Tigers had become Section 1 champions for the first time since 2004. “We were really happy about the victory at sectionals,” said 6-foot 5-inch defensive star Sean Hagan. “As the number two seed going against number one ranked Suffern, we weren’t supposed to win.”

The Tigers did win that game, however, and entered the quarterfinals.

On Saturday, Massena drew first blood, scoring a goal to take the lead. Then, with only four-tenths of a second left in the first period, Christian Glaser, Luke’s twin, scored a goal, tying the game 1-1. The teams scored a goal apiece during the second period.

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As tension built, neither team was able to score in the third and final periods. Then, with time winding down, during a moment of pandemonium around the Massena goal, Mamaroneck’s Rob Fine managed to push the puck past the Massena goalie and into the net, precipitating deafening cheers from the orange and black-clad fans. For one triumphant moment, Mamaroneck took a 3-2 lead.

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Some MHS fans showed their true colors.
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Coach Mike Chiapparelli was resigned to the outcome.

Then, to the surprise of all players and fans, the referees began to discuss the legitimacy of the goal at center ice. As it became clear what was going on, a slow rumble of boos began resonating throughout the rink. One referee broke away and started skating towards the scorer’s booth. The closer he got, the louder the jeers became. By the time he arrived at the booth and signaled the scorekeepers to take away the goal, Hommocks Ice Rink, aptly nicknamed the jungle, was alive with rage. The fury in the rink was palpable, but angry chants did nothing to change the referee’s decision, and no other goals were scored during regulation.

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Apparently, the rule states, “You need to have control of the puck,” said long-time Mamaroneck Hockey coach Mike Chiapparelli. “(The referees) said that we threw the puck in by hand and didn’t have control. As far as I can see, holding the puck in your hand constitutes control.” The legitimacy of the call was certainly debatable, at least to Tiger fans, but the official’s decision was final.

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Because the game ended in a tie, it moved into sudden-death overtime, and after the Massena goal, Mamaroneck’s season was over.

“It’s OK, though,” said Coach Chiapparelli. “We had a great season and won a lot of games. We just didn’t get the break that we needed in the end.”


Oliver Paré is sports editor for the Mamaroneck High School Globe.