By Mike Dougherty
WEST NYACK – The early results have been overwhelmingly positive, but Clarkstown has yet to answer one big question.
How good is this group?
“We haven’t faced any big opponents yet,” senior forward Adam Marvin said Monday following a 17-1 win over Nyack/Tappan Zee at the Palisades Center Ice Rink. “This weekend we’re going upstate, and we’re looking forward to playing better competition.”
The merged rivals have breezed past their last three opponents by a 37-3 margin.
“We knew coming into the last couple of games the level of talent wasn’t strong, but anything can happen,” Clarkstown head coach Rich Willows said. “We just go with the same game plan, no matter who we play. It doesn’t matter whether we think they’re good or not, whether they have one good line or two or three. And their first line is good. We just have two or three lines that are able to go past them.”
That was quickly apparent.
Marvin opened the scoring three minutes in. Dean Baumann upped the lead eight seconds later. There was a quick pause, but the intensity picked up again when a Conor Foley snipe got the Ice Hawks within a goal. Nick Sassano, Greg Sanfratello and Matt Preiss all scored for Clarkstown before the horn sounded, making it 5-1.
The avalanche continued into the second period. Marvin finished a goal and five assists.
Clarkstown is unbeaten in five games and is heading to Syracuse this weekend for games against Fayetteville/Manlius and Auburn. The real tests come next week against traditional Section 1 powers Suffern and Mamaroneck.
“No matter what team we play, we always have to come out like we could lose,” senior defenseman Nick Kim said. “I’m pretty excited for the games coming up. I can’t wait to play our big rivals. I can’t wait to see how those games turn out.”
Based on the 40 or 50 schoolmates who come to the mall for games, hockey isn’t a big deal at Clarkstown, North or South. Not yet. The players are working to get two schools that are normally opposites to come together and make some noise.
“This year, we’re really trying to push our friends to come,” Kim said. “It’s only at the mall; you can get food afterward. We’re looking to give them a reason to come. It would be cool to have a huge fan base and hear them scream when we score and after we make big hits. That would be great.”