By: Isabella Thomson-Fiddes
Over the course three days, playing a total of five games, the Senior Boys' Hockey Team competed in the Brother Arthur Tournament. This tournament is a school tradition which commemorates the late Brother Arthur Brockman who passed away in 1979. The tournament has been played annually since 1980, and this year, the Senior Boys' team was the Champion of the tournament for the first time since 2011.
The team, coached by Mr.Stratton and Mr.Iantosca and managed by Matthew Debono had an 18 player roster, and was able to utilize talent from all high school grades including players Chris Colavecchia (grade 10), Stephen Mishko (grade 10), and Matthew Sardellitti (grade 9). These younger players along with eleven grade 12 veterans and multiple skilled grade 11 players were able to come away with a 4-0-1 record. The team scored 19 goals in total, allowing only 9 goals against. Both of Del's goalies, Tyler Roberts and Giovanni Nardone, were the most valuable goalies of the tournament due to their outstanding save percentages. Exemplary performances from Tristan Roberts including 5 goals and 1 assist in one game against East York on Saturday morning helped to put the team through to the finals against Northern, and boosted Roberts' plus minus average enough for him to earn tournament MVP.
On the most outstanding moment of the tournament, Giovanni Nardone believes that "...one that really sticks out is Julian Ezman's goal in OT to win in front of the school". Julian Ezman's overtime goal was a turing point in the tournament, and crucial to the success of the team in the games to come. Standing witness to the energy inside the arena on Friday morning was enough to realize that this year, the tournament would be something special, not only for the team but for the whole school. From Julian's perspective, "The feeling of scoring in such a big game was literally insane. Having the entire school there cheering for the game and for the goal, it will definitely be a memory I won't forget. Just before the OT had started, the goalie made a great stop on one of my shots and I was frustrated. I stepped on the ice again, looking for a goal. Joe passed me the puck cross-ice and as I made a quick move and stepped in the zone, I shot the puck and got hit. As I was falling all I heard was an uproar of Del students and saw the puck roll around to the opposite post as I was crushed by my teammates. It was the craziest moment I've ever experienced while playing for Del."
Giovanni thinks that "This win obviously means a lot for the school spirit." and that "Since it's the first Brother Arthur win for Del in 6 years it has really motivated the team to continue to do well during the season". Giovanni describes the tournament from a goalie's perspective as "nerve wracking", but also "very exciting because you are able to give your team a chance to win". He believes that as a team "...we were very good defensively and offensively throughout the tournament. However it's important for us to get quicker and stronger start to the game as that's been our weakness". Julian describes the tournament as a "huge victory" and says, "We intend to carry this momentum forward into the season and bring home another championship." Julian insists that "Everyone contributed during the tournament, and that was a large part of the reason why we were successful. We did not depend on one or two players rather, we all worked together as a team."
The green and red De La Salle jersey and the polished Brother Arthur trophy have become unfamiliar over the past few years, but they are strangers no more. In going forward, the Senior Boys' Hockey Team aims to complete the "trifecta" which includes winning the Brother Arthur championship, CISAA championship and OFSAA championship. As long as the boys can "keep getting pucks deep, get pucks to the net, and win some hockey games", this goal is attainable.
For a slideshow of the highlights, see below: