For those who have been part of the T-Birds High School Hockey program for more then 3 or 4 seasons there has been a positive change in the mindset, with an emphasis on fielding a competitive team; particularly as we move into the Varsity team. In past seasons unfortunately our program struggled to make the playoffs, missing for a majority of the of the extra seasons since 2017. Tables began to turn thanks to our graduating classes or 2020, 2021, 2022, & this season 2023 players. These players and their families were dedicated to improving the on ice performance, building pride back into the organization. Players began to consistently make every effort to be in attendance for their games. Players & Coaches became pro-active in getting others in-district players to add High School Hockey to their resume in addition to their Travel schedule. And most importantly they showed leadership in coming together as a team/organization. The outcome has been 3 consecutive playoff season appearances for Varsity and JV squads, with Varsity making the Suffolk County Finals last season and qualifying for States for the first time since 2013.
Our programs moto will remain as followed: Freshman = Development/ Junior Varsity = Compete/ Varsity = Win. With this being said our anticipation is for the program is to stay on track for the near and long term future. We will be graduating 10 players from the Program this season: Matteo Marchese (D), Sean Connolly (F), George Vadyak (D), Jackson Tomforde (F), Noah Tloczkowski (G), Jack Keil (G), Logan Gray (F), Ciaran Lenihan (F/D), Dylan Treco (F) & Daniel Jung (D). Many of these players have been with the T-Birds since their 7th Grade Season’s, and we are very appreciative for all their efforts. Parents enjoy the ride for the last two months; Senior Night is Jan. 18th vs East Islip.
This is also a look at our underclassmen and their efforts now, as well as expectation for the future with the T-Birds. For the first time in a long time our Varsity Team has as many returning players as they do graduating. Junior Goalie Matt Hughes is playing his first season at Varsity and stood up to the task, normally drawing the top teams in the league. Junior forward Ryan Fleischauer is the teams leading goal scorer with 17 points and has been outstanding this season. He is definitely the player other teams have targeted to slow the T-Birds offense. The team’s roster is completed with other Juniors in Brent Brdey (D), Ryan Delucie (D), Jack Mercado (D), Zack Martin (F), & Matt Campagnola (F) – each of which are gaining tremendous experience through this their first seasons with Varsity. The team also fields Sophomore players Logan Keil (F) and Eathen Brdey (F) also in their first season’s with the varsity squad, and making an impact. Freshman forward Luke Savage rounds out the roster. Luke has been a contributor as well with 8 points this season in a handful of games.
A few additional standouts at the the Junior Varsity & Freshmen levels have been Sophomore Chris Esposito (F/D) and 8th Grade Joe Villani (F). Chris has 18 points in 12 games for the JV squad with 16 goals placing him 7th in the division. While Joe Villani has put up 23 Goals in only 10 games for the freshmen squad, and a total of 27 points which places him 4th in the division.
To all our players thank you for your efforts this season and conduct on and off the ice; enjoy the remaining 2 months of the season. And as we move into the second season please be out there continuing to represent the program in a positive light, but also recruiting others in our districts to get involved; incoming 7th and 8th graders to high schoolers. Let’s continue to build the program folks!