Congratulations Black Hole - Winter 2018 Over-30 Champions! Pictured: Back row left to right - Steve Iacoviello, Mike Luise, Naz, Matt Farrell, Bob Snyder, Jason Carrien (MVP) and Sergio Costa. Front row left to right - Shawn Wyatt, Rick Cassano, captain Jim Barber, Joe Mancinelli and Jeff Deharo.
Journey into the Black Hole, the only thing returning is the Over-30 championship
This game lived up to all its pre-game hype of the number 1 team playing against the number 2 team to decide the winter 2018 championship! This was without a doubt one of the best and most entertaining finals in Over-30 history. The game was back and forth with both teams generating some prime scoring chances (and missing some scoring opportunities), players stepping up to make plays, goalies making some key timely saves until Black Hole erased two 2-goal deficits, winning in overtime over Mixed Nuts by a 4 – 3 score. With the win, Sergio Costa proved what he knew all along that George Medeiros was the “binky” holding Sergio back, while Rick Cassano came back from IR to play half a season and his team never lost a game when he played, proving that his Pisano Angelo “Kato” Deluca also held him back.
The first period saw Mixed Nuts take control of this game early by scoring that all important first goal and set the tempo right from the start. Captain Matty Iannello was at his best leadership and playmaking style as he waited until Tim Hickey got open down the left wing sending him in as Tim’s first shot was stopped by the goalie but kept going to convert the rebound for a 1 – 0 lead. Only seventeen seconds later, Mixed Nuts went on the power play and got rewarded twenty-six seconds later as Ron Aquino standing in the high slot, tipped Jamie Kehoe’s bomb from the left point, set up on a cross pass from Dave Costa that went past a surprised goalie with the re-direction, giving Mixed Nuts a huge momentum swing. Everything was falling into place for Mixed Nuts at this point of the game. However, what got overlooked was losing Mauro Colucciello after only two shifts into the game to a lower body injury for most of the game. He did play but not having him out on the rink regularly did have an impact. For Black Hole, as he had done multiple times during the regular season for his team, Jason Carrien stepped up with a momentum turning play to get his team back into the game. Two minutes after going down 2 – 0, with the fore checking pressure raised by Black Hole, Jason took a pass from Mike Luise on a defensive turnover, walked in off the blue line and fired a shot that was tipped by Joe Mancinelli. This goal not only swung the momentum waking up Black Hole but saw them start to carry the play. At the end of the first period, Mixed Nuts held a 12 – 9 edge in shots and more importantly a 2 – 1 lead on the scoreboard.
Entering the second period, Mixed Nuts took control of the game back early two minutes into the period as Mark Stickney passed the ball over to Tim Hickey along the left boards and with a defender covering him chipped the ball back to Jamie Kehoe on the left point. Jamie’s bomb beat the goalie cleanly once again giving Mixed Nuts a commanding 2-goal lead. Three minutes later, once again needing a play, Black Hole committed to the fore check as Mike Luise took advantage of a turnover and passed the ball back to Steve Iacoviello on the right point. With the winger slow to run over and cover, Steve’s slap shot beat the goalie clean to the low short side bringing his team back within a goal. With just under five minutes to play in the period, a two play sequence played a major role in the outcome of this game. First, with Mixed Nuts pressing, Matty found Ron down low by himself to the right of the goalie. Taking his time to get the goalie to commit, Ron moved from left to right and with the goalie diving across stretched out, Ron had the ball roll off his stick, missing a partially open net. Second, with just under four minutes to play in the period, Black Hole was moving the ball around and Matt Farrell’s in close attempt in the slot hit the post to the left of the goalie and rolled across behind him which was ruled a goal by the referees (albeit a controversial one) as some said it never crossed over the goal line, while others said it did. Regardless, the game was tied at 3 – 3 and at the end of two periods, Mixed Nuts held a 21 – 19 edge in shots.
The third period saw no goals scored and both teams played the period more conservatively. Players were not making simple plays like holding the ball looking for an advantage. Instead of trying to carry the ball in deep, players were just chipping it in and trying to chase. Matty Iannello and the defense were finding Matt Farrell every opportunity covering him like a blanket. Likewise, the defense of Black Hole was covering Matty Iannello quickly preventing him from being the playmaker. In addition, the wingers from Mixed Nuts were in front of Jason preventing him to jump into the offense, while the wingers of Black Hole were in front of the defense of Mixed Nuts making sure no long shots got through to the net. The best chance for a goal came late in the third period as Gary Goodwin was set up about 25 feet straight out who hammered a slap shot well wide left of the net. With the game still tied at 3 – 3 at the end of the period, Mixed Nuts held a 30 – 28 lead in shots taken.
In overtime, both teams played all out as the game quickly picked up with the pace. When the offense for both teams pressed for shots, the defenses were getting in the way blocking them. Late in the period in one thirty second sequence saw Sergio Costa take four wide open shots in a row from the high slot that all except one got blocked. Dave Costa jumped into the offense circled out to the high slot only to see his prime scoring chance also get blocked. With one and a half minutes to play in overtime, Sergio took a cross rink pass from Steve and hit Matt in full stride right up the middle splitting the defense turning on the speed and beat the goalie low right side for the game winning goal. Black Hole wins the game 4 – 3 while holding a 33 to 32 advantage in shots on net.
On their way to the Finals, Mixed Nuts jumped out to a four goal lead and efficiently took control of their game against the Rhinos, winning by the score of 4 – 1. Tim Hickey was the impact player, using his speed to score 1-goal and add 3-assists as he factored into every goal his team scored. Mauro Colucciello broke this close game open with 2-goals and added an assist. Matty Iannello was the playmaker with 1-goal and 2-assists.
For Black Hole, after a disastrous blowout loss in their last game of the regular season, they regrouped to take over the game against Coach’s Corner winning 4 – 2, as Jason Carrien scored the game’s biggest goal with a rocket from the point that changed the momentum and outcome. Jim Barber used his speed to factor into every goal his team scored with 1-goal and 3-assists; while Matt Farrell iced the game with a late goal and added an assist.
For his overall impact on both his playoff games, playing solid defense and scoring timely goals throughout the entire playoffs and unanimous choice by the voters, Jason Carrien was named Playoff MVP. Along with his Most Valuable Defenseman award Jason capped off one of the most dominant seasons for a defenseman.
Congratulations to Matt Farrell on winning his first-ever championship jacket. Congratulations to Bob Snyder on winning 3 of the last 4 championships. Congratulations to Mike Luise and Jim Barber on moving into 4th place overall in total championships won.
Congratulations to Black Hole for their Winter 2018 championship, whose players include: Captain Jim Barber, Matt Farrell, Joe Mancinelli, Mike Luise, Rick Cassano, Sergio Costa, Shawn Wyatt, Jason Carrien, Steve Iacoviello, Mike Naczas, Bob Snyder and Jeff Deharo.
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