Boys hockey starts strong in the first varsity season


Jack Lawrence

Junior Finn Tatti advances the puck in a game against Manhasset on Jan. 15. The Vikings won that game with a score 3-2.

Charlie Mark, Staff Writer

The Port Washington Vikings ice hockey team has embarked on yet another season.  Port Washington used to only have a junior varsity team, but, for the first time ever, the school has added a varsity team.  The team is led by coaches Nick Catrone and Chris Byre.  Last season, the Junior Varsity team made it to the county championship for the first time since 2011.  With an impressive overall record of 12-6, Port faced the undefeated state champion Oceanside at the Nassau County Championships, where they lost 2-1.  

“Moving up to varsity this year is a challenge we are all excited and prepared for,” said head coach Catrone.

The team has faced much tougher competition, but they have not been fazed so far.  The squad has opened the season with an astounding record of 9-3-1.  The group is led by players such as sophomore Jacob Schupak and junior Finn Tatti.

“It’s been a strong start to season.  We’ve all come together as a team.  We’ve figured out what we have to do to be successful.  Our end goal is to make it to states and have the honor to represent Port on home turf at Eisenhower Park,” said Tatti.

Important and hard-fought victories have already come against teams such as Plainview, Levittown, Friends Academy, and Rockville Center, the latter being with a score of 14-1.  Great performances have been produced by Schupak, who, through the first five games, scored six goals.  

The team looks to bounce back from last years tough ending.

“Last year was a big year for us but we didn’t win, so this year we are really hungry to win counties and get to states,” said junior Nate Clateman.

The team plays with immense heart, hustle, and chemistry.  Their relationship out of the rink translates into great play on the ice.  They chase down every puck, and the hustle is undeniable.  They are all very close with each other and have been playing together for years.  Thus, they know each other’s games very well, which helps contribute to victories and on ice communication.

“Playing for the Port Washington Vikings is a very special opportunity,” said senior Aiden Crilley.  “We go out there every game, and we put our heart out on the ice.  Each player gives it they’re all no matter the circumstances, and I am more than proud of this team.  Off the ice, we’re just a group of guys who love to talk hockey and goof around.  We are a close knit group and we take pride in what we do.  Coaches Nick Catrone and Chris Byrne have created an amazing atmosphere for us to grow our hockey skills and to mature as people, and we could not ask for anything more from them.”  

With hard work, dedication, and love for the game, the Vikings can expect to make a deep playoff run in the postseason.  They have started out very nicely, and continue to make impressive strides day in and day out.  The coaches and the players have created a winning culture for Port Hockey for years to come.

The team has gotten off to a remarkable start this year.  If they continue to compete at this rate, they can almost surely expect to achieve all their preseason goals and more.  The Vikings are certainly succeeding in their first year with a varsity team.