BREWSTER, N.Y. – Lakeland/Panas opened their League 3 campaign in winning fashion on Friday, Dec. 13, when they defeated New Rochelle, 6-2, at the Brewster Ice Arena.
“It’s a good start for our (league) season,” said Lakeland/Panas’ P.J. Kowal, who recorded an assist. “Our team is made up of a bunch of young players, and it shows how good we can work together, to win games.”
The Rebels have been developing a solid rapport with one another and it showed against the Huguenots, according to Lakeland/Panas coach Bart Mucci.
“We are starting to play more in sync, we are starting to jell,” Mucci said. “We have several young players who are adjusting to the varsity game.”
New Rochelle scored first in the opening period, before the Rebels tied the game on a goal by Andrew Dzubak (3G, 2A).
“Joseph Jimenez, AJ Knopf, and I had a very good shift after the first goal, were able to get pressure and keep them in their zone,” said Rebel Jack Tuite, who tallied a goal and an assist. “Then the line after us of Frankie Kowal, Andrew Dzubak and Anthony Colasanti were able to keep that same pressure and then they were able to get one and tie the game up. So, it was both lines just-out working them after the first goal was scored.”
The Rebels then broke the tie with goals by Colasanti (1G, 1A) and Jimenez, ending the first period up 3-1. They didn’t look back.
“It was very important to come back strong after their goal,” P.J. Kowal said. “By scoring the three that we did, it really put us in a good spot for the rest of the game.”
Frankie Kowal (2A) also contributed to a Rebels’ scoring attack that got contributions from numerous players.
“Our top two lines have a bunch of creative and skilled players that can find the open man,” Tuite said of his team’s scoring balance. “We also score very well and plus I think it’s also due to our two lines being able to find open space and just out work the other team.”
Aaron Hathaway (31 saves) and John Corso (6 saves) did the job in goal for Lakeland/Panas.
“Our team played well,” P.J. Kowal said. “We moved the puck well and got many shots on. It is great to see the whole team moving as a unit to win the game. There are still many things we need to work on, but we are performing well for a small group of players.”
Lakeland/Panas (3-2, 1-0) will play another league rival, White Plains, at 5 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 19) at Ebersole Ice Arena.
“The key for us will be, we have to play a full, complete, team game and we have to try to stay out of the box, out work their team in every zone, and also finish the chances we get,” Tuite said.