Varsity Hockey: The Revenge Tour

Abby Thomas '23, Sports Editor

February 26, 2022. It’s the Ice Hockey FAA Finals at Rye Country Day School, and St. Luke’s is headed into overtime after an exhilarating game against King. In a last-minute overtime goal, the King student section erupts in cheers of victory as the Vikings take down the Storm. But this year… the boys are coming back to win.

At the start of the season, Captain Matt Riccardi ‘23 said he hoped the team would “hopefully bring home a championship for the school.” Riccardi added, “We’ve been getting better every day since the start of the season. The boys have been working hard.”

With a league record of 4-3 and a total record of 7-3, the St. Luke’s Varsity Hockey Team is hoping to reach and win the FAA finals this year. 

In their first home game of the season, St. Luke’s came away with a 7-1 win over Wilton, with hat tricks from Enzo Fredericks ’25 and Jack Squitieri ’27, and a solo goal from Captain Eoin Mueller ‘23.

Mueller said, “The beginning of the season was basically right where we left off from the last. All the guys are close with each other, and we stayed in touch through the offseason.” Even though the team suffered injuries early on, they were determined to keep moving. Mueller added, “I think it was important for us to understand we had something to prove, to ourselves and to others. We wanted to be the top contender in the league.”

The team lost to Westminster the following week, before coming back in their next game to defeat Wooster 7-1. They took down Wooster with a hat trick from Fredericks, two goals from Mueller, one goal from Max Budnick ‘23, and one goal from Grady Millones ‘25 – Millones’ first varsity goal!

In the FAA season opener, on December 16, 2022, the Storm fell to Rye Country Day School 4-5.

It’s tough to have losses, but Captain George Foster ‘23 looks on the bright side: “Our team has a saying that we refer to whenever something goes wrong. The saying goes: Something bad happened, good. It’s a simple idea. If something ever goes wrong, we always have a chance to fix it. We invite adversity on the team and are happy to have the challenge. If we get scored on, good. We’re gonna get the next one and come back.”

The team’s saying proves true, as the players came into 2023 ready for a win. They took home the W against Greenwich Country Day School 3-0. Jake Dyer ‘24, Nolan Howe ’26, and Fredericks each came out with one goal, and goalie Aidan Flanagan ‘24 with a shutout.

The team faced off against Rye for a second time, losing in a close match of 3-4. The disappointment didn’t last long, as the boys headed to Kingswood Oxford where they pulled off a 6-4 win over the Wyverns. Mueller and Squitieri scored twice each, Teddy Ansaldi ‘25 and Howe scored one each, and Dylan Marena ‘26 went in as goalie for the first time.

St. Luke’s traveled to Hamden Hall next, where they lost 2-3 before pulling out a win against Kingswood Oxford, 4-1, the following week on Senior Day. The goals were scored by Fredericks, Ansaldi, Brennan Fila ‘25, and Chandan Reejhsinghani ’26. Fila’s goal was his first with the SLS Varsity team!

Reflecting on Senior Day, Foster said, “Senior day was amazing this year, from Mr. Ward and Coach [Walsh’s] speeches before the game to winning the game, it was all perfect. After the game, everyone went upstairs to the restaurant in the rink, and we were able to celebrate with our families and friends, which was the best part. Coach Walsh gave a personal description for each senior on why they are so impactful to the team which was incredible to hear.”

Riccardi also said, “This team has been a real treat to be on for the past four years. To be able to see your teammates not only on the ice but in school really creates a special bond. We are a tight group. I cherish every memory with the boys on and off the ice.”

Just last week, on February 3, the team faced off against King in an FAA Finals rematch. Mueller said, “I think there were a lot of nerves heading into the King game,” but “the thing about this team is that we are always there for each other. In practice, encouraging each other to keep pushing ourselves to be better. The atmosphere in the locker soon became confident and focused. Each individual dialing each other in before the game.”

With goals from Fila, Foster, and Ansaldi, and some amazing saves from goalie Flanagan, SLS triumphed over the Vikings 3-2.

The student section packed the barn and brought the energy. Mueller said, “To beat King, in front of a larger group of fans at home, was just a great feeling to say the least.”

Foster echoed Mueller’s sentiment, saying, “The King game was perfect in every sense of the word. From Brennan Fila scoring his second career goal coming off the game Wednesday… to Flan standing on his head to keep us in front, it was amazing to see everyone play as well as they can!”

Mueller added, “Once we got up a couple goals, we knew our potential, we knew we could be the best. Disregarding the losses we had before, this game was the only thing that mattered to us. Each shift, each play, we were giving it everything we had. Every person on the team showed up to play.”

Later this week, the team is playing Harvey at home on Wednesday at 3:30, and Greenwich Country Day School at home on Thursday at 7:45. Thursday night, St. Luke’s is also having a Teddy Bear Toss to honor the life of Teddy Balkind.

Come to SoNo House with brand new teddy bears to throw on the ice in between periods. All donations will be going to Filling in The Blanks and Inspirica. Come support the team and the amazing life of Teddy Balkind.

Looking forward, Riccardi said, “We have a huge two weeks of FAA games coming up. With a big win against King, we hope we can continue our success and contend for the title.”