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    Hoffman carries Braves over Long Beach

    by Tom Liodice on
    Tue, Dec 6, 2011 12:53 AM

    Updated Fri, Dec 9, 2011 11:27 AM
    Hoffman carries Braves over Long Beach
    Photo by Tom Liodice

    You can’t stop Corey Hoffman, you can only hope to contain him.

    Seriously, you can’t stop him.

    Syosset’s sophomore sensation Hoffman continued his torrent tear across Nassau County, notching a hat trick and adding two assists as the Braves topped the defending NYS amateur hockey club champion, Long Beach, 6-4 at the Long Beach Ice Arena.

    Hoffman now has amassed 19 goals and 20 assists for the season -- in just six games.

    You read that right. Six games.

    “It’s definitely great, I’ve been able to do it all season long,” Hoffman said of his scoring pace. “It’s definitely tough, but my teammates have been giving me the puck and I’ve just been able to put it in the back of the net.”

    His teammates have been giving him the puck all year, and his line didn’t waste any time. The Braves dented the scoreboard first just 1:35 into the game when right winger Jonathan Lazarus broke down the left side and fed a centering pass right at the feet of a pressuring Hoffman, who tipped it in for the early marker.

    The early strike was just what the Braves were looking for.

    “Our goal was to dump the puck, forecheck them and make their defenseman go 200 feet,” Syosset head coach Richard Goldstein said. “That’s what we wanted to do, and that what we did.”

    Less than four minutes later Hoffman got his second of the game. The shifty center cut down the left side of the net below the goal line, drew Long Beach goaltender Harris Pittinsky out of position, dipsy-doodled the puck around the post and slid it past the unsuspecting netminder to give his Braves a two-goal lead.

    That type of play is no surprise to Coach Goldstein.

    “I can’t say enough about him,” Goldstein said. “I’ve been coaching him since he was five. There’s not enough adjectives that can describe him.”

    Hoffman took a break from his goal-scoring and opted to dish the pick eight and a half minutes later. The sophomore carried the puck behind the Long Beach cage and fed a centering pass to linemate Sam Sternshine for the three-goal lead.

    All-in-all, the top line totaled nine points on the night (4G, 5A).

    “You have to have a solid line. The guys just have to make plays and we worked together.”

    Hoffman wasn’t the only guy on the ice turning heads. Syosset goaltender Dan DaSilva stood on his head and made 27 saves on the night, with five of them coming in an early Long Beach power play opportunity.

    “He was insane,” Hoffman said of his netminder. “He was stopping everything left and right, and without him we probably would’ve given up a couple of more goals.”

    Syosset took a 5-1 lead into the third period, but Long Beach didn’t go down easily and showed why the Marine are the defending state champions. A pair of goals in two minutes by junior JT Forkin helped cut the deficit, but the play by DaSilva in net and Hoffman’s earlier offensive outburst was too much for the boys from Long Beach.

    The Braves improved to 6-0 with 12 points on the season to move into a tie for first place in the Michelino Division. Long Beach falls to 6-2.

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