BREWSTER, N.Y. – It was a successful season for No. 6 Lakeland/Panas, which garnered sole possession of the League 3 championship in addition to earning a home game in the opening round of the Section 1 Division 1 tournament.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, their season came to an end in that contest, when they fell to ETBE (Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Edgemont), 7-3, at the Brewster Ice Arena, on Saturday, Feb. 22.
No. 11 ETBE jumped out quickly to a 4-0 first-period lead, with the last of those goals coming with just 59 seconds remaining in the period.
On the other end of the ice, ETBE goalie JP Rosabella saved all six shots he faced in the period, and 25 total, for the game.
“Their goalie played very good and they capitalized on our mistakes,” said Lakeland/Panas coach Bart Mucci. “I feel like it was nothing in particular, we just never got into a rhythm.”
Lakeland/Panas (11-8-2) did double their shot total in the second period, getting 12 shots on Rosabella, but he saved all of them.
ETBE added three more goals in the second period to go up 7-0, but the Rebels continued to play hard, scoring three goals in the final stanza.
Frankie Kowal got the Rebels on the scoreboard with 11:24 left in the playoff contest, courtesy of an assist from his brother, P.J. Kowal.
With 4:02 remaining in the third period, Jack Tuite scored, with P.J. Kowal registering the assist.
P.J. Kowal scored the final goal of the Rebels’ season, with 2:03 to go in the game, unassisted.
Mucci was pleased to see his team play the way it did in the third stanza.
“You never want to get shutout, so it was big for us to keep playing hard,” Mucci said. “We only have four seniors, so the hope with a young team is we never give up.”
In light of that, the Rebels have a lot to look forward to next season.
“I am so proud of this group. In reality we are a young team,” Mucci said. “We have to look for the good. We were unbeaten (4-0-1) in our league play and league champs.”
In goal, Aaron Hathaway recorded 17 saves and Nick Mele registered 10 saves for the Rebels.
Lakeland/Panas ended their regular season on Feb. 18 with a 3-3 tie against New Rochelle at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.
The Rebels were led down county by Jimenez (2G), Colin Vaughn (2A), Frankie Kowal (1G), Brendan Morea (1A), Andrew Dzubak (1A), P.J. Kowal (1A) and Hathaway (33 saves).
Lakeland/Panas consisted of players from Lakeland, Walter Panas, Hendrick Hudson, Putnam Valley and Haldane.
Tuite, Mele, P.J. Kowal, Frankie Kowal, Joseph Jimenez, A.J. Knopf, John Corso, Anthony Colasanti and Billy Goss were the Rebel student-athletes who come from Lakeland.