20-in-'12: Suffern hockey
Follow Section 1 hockey on Twitter @MSGV_Icass
Coach: Rob Schelling
Last year's record: 21-3-1 (lost to Williamsville North, 3-2, in the NYS D-1 semifinals)
Ian Adler (senior, forward) — Adler has established himself as a front-line offensive weapon in 2011. He is currently second on the team in points with 10 goals and nine assists.
John Redgate (senior, forward) — Returning Division 1 second team all-state selection has six goals and eight assists this year.
Steve Scholer (senior, defenseman) — After missing a handful of early-season games due to an ankle injury, Scholer is healthy and back on the ice. His most valuable quality is an ability to make an impact on both ends of the ice. Scholer has one goal and four assists so far this year.
Tyler Stark (senior, goalie) — Veteran netminder has relinquished just three goals all season and has a miniscule .75 goals against average.
Willie Sanchez (senior, forward) — Sanchez has morphed into Suffern's most dangerous offensive weapon. He has totaled a team-high 22 points (10G, 12A) thus far in 2011.
Names to learn
Justin Tiso (freshman, forward) — Newcomer has registered three goals and plays a crucial role in terms of providing depth.
Nick Jaeger (junior, forward) — As the the younger brother of former all-state star Jake Jaeger, who led the Mounties in scoring last season, Nick entered 2011 with pretty big skates to fill. Thus far, he has lived up to his last name, totaling nine goals and one assist for 10 points.
Nick Modica (sophomore, goalie) — With Tyler Stark set to graduate after this year, Modica appears to be the future in net. He has played well this year in limited action, stopping 45 of the 46 shots for a .31 goals against average.
Jan. 6 vs. Pelham at Sport-O-Rama, 7:15 p.m. — This will be a matchup of defending Section 1 champs. Pelham took home last year's Division 2 title, while the Mounties won it all in Division 1. Suffern is 4-0 against Section 1 teams in 2011, outscoring the opposition a combined 35-0.
Jan. 10 vs. ETB at Sport-O-Rama, 7:20 p.m. — The Eagles probably don't have enough depth to keep pace with Suffern. Still, in a thin Division 1 field this has the potential to be a sneak preview of the Section 1 championship.
Feb. 3 vs. Don Bosco (NJ) at Sport-O-Rama, 7:15 p.m. — Suffern lost the NY-NJ border war in heartbreaking fashion last season. The Ironmen score three unanswered goals inside the final seven minutes of the third period to steal the victory. Think the Mounties will be up for this one?
23 Ian Adler F 2012
31 Matt Bergstol G 2013
28 Mike Boyd G 2014
3 Tom Brennan D 2014
20 Adam Brenner D 2012
14 Bill Bristow F 2012
2 Patrick Callinan D 2014
4 Anthony Carudo D 2013
19 Robert Clark F 2013
11 John Costa F 2013
25 Connor Delaney D 2012
17 Dan Demarco F 2014
6 Greg Dgheim F 2012
5 Ryan Fitzgerald D 2014
22 Kevin Haggerty F 2012
16 Sean Haggerty F 2015
15 Kevin Hill D 2014
21 Nick Jaeger F 2013
9 Shane Kolka F 2012
10 Tom Mahoney D 2014
29 Nick Modica G 2014
27 Billy Osborn D 2013
12 John Redgate F 2012
7 Mike Redgate F 2015
18 Willie Sanchez F 2012
24 Steve Scholer D 2012
1 Tyler Stark G 2012
26 Justin Tiso F 2015
Story of the season
Per usual, Suffern will be gunning for a state title. But the aura surrounding the team will be slightly different in 2011. The Mounties rolled along last year as the prohibitive NYS D-1 favorite, however, it all came to an end in the state semis against Williamsville North.
Suffern — which is gunning for its 20th Section 1 title in the past 24 years — hasn't garnered the same statewide buzz this year. In the most recent NYSSWA D-1 state rankings, the Mounties were slotted at No. 4.
Rest-assured, the Mounties still have their crosshairs on Utica.
“We always have lofty goals, but the main thing is to play game-by-game and be the best we can be by the end of the year,” coach Rob Schelling said. “That's what we play for. We are looking to improve throughout the whole entire season. We play one of the toughest schedules you can possibly have. We look to get better everyday and every week so we are going full throttle at the end of the year.”
On offense, Division 1 second-team all-state selection John Redgate will be the lead horse. He totaled 14 goals and 17 assists as a junior.
“(Redgate) is a do it all kid who is incredible,” Schelling said. “He goes so hard every game and every shift. He's the kind of guy you wished you had 20 of. He's amazing in every way — whether it be practice, the locker room and definitely on the ice.”
Willie Sanchez and Ian Adler are the other two key components to a lethal offense, which has racked up 54 goals en route to a 7-1 start.
Overall, Suffern's biggest asset is its tremendous team speed, which is heightened even more by its three-line depth. As the game wears on, the heavy-lunged opposition struggles to keep pace.
Veterans Steve Scholer and Tyler Stark spearhead the defense. Scholer, who had seven goals and 17 assists in 2010, has game-changing ability on both ends of the ice. Stark, meanwhile, is coming off a year where he had a miniscule 1.47 goals against average and a 91.06 save percentage.
Schelling called Scholer “one of the best defensemen in the state.”
“(Scholer) is a 6-1, 6-2 defenseman who also has a tremendous offensive game,” Schelling said. “He's a key guy on the power play and can rush you and go end-to-end. He's going to bring a lot to the table defensively and offensively.”
If it wasn't already obvious at this point, the Mounties are once again equipped to make a serious run at their first and only state title since 1992.
Follow Isaac Cass on Twitter @MSGV_Icass