By Sophia Ricco
The Cold Spring Harbor varsity ice hockey team glided into school history in February winning the program’s first ever County Championship.
Coming out of a regular season that had a few bumps along the road, the Seahawks were amped up to show what they were made of during the playoffs. Their first game against Bellmore-Merrick was close, but the boys stuck it out and won 5-4.
The Seahawks were down until the final period in their semi-final game against Syosset, but scored crutial third-period goals to win. Their final challenge was to beat Long Beach in a best two out of three series.
“We knew our backs were against the wall, we were the underdog going in,” head coach Sean Considine said. “But I just kept telling them to stick to our plan, the way we like to play and good things are gonna happen. Once we got that first win in the finals series, the kids had some confidence and knew they could definitely do it.”
Although the Seahawks had lost to each of their playoff opponents in the regular season, they beat each of them when it counted to end the season with a record of 17-4-1.
Considine relied on the junior class many of whom had faced off against Long Beach at the Middle School Championship years before, as his core group.
“They knew they could play with them, but they had to play a certain style and buy into it,” Considine said.
Going into the county championships, the Seahawks planned to keep their front two lines fresh by consistently rotating in players. With a roster of 20 players, Considine felt his team had the depth to keep six strong players on the ice.
“This was to make sure that when it came down to the wire, my top players weren’t exhausted like the other team was,” Considine said.
The boys were able to build up momentum at the end of the season with a six game winning streak that carried them to playoffs. Considine found his team was at their best when they decided to come together and work cohesively to win. They could wear down opposing teams with their size and strength, but closed the deal with plays.
“Our overall knowledge of the game is what helped,” Considine said. “I would get the players together at practice and break down the game, explain what we want to do in certain situations, where we want to be on faceoffs, how we want to play in the defensive zone. This is really how we made our way through playoffs.”
The Seahawks were led by captain and the team’s point leader Colin Bertsch. He earned 38 points with 20 goals and 18 assists. He was aided by assistant captains Max Van Son, Peter Leonard and Harry Carswell.
“We always push for someone to be a presence in the locker room, someone to have a voice,” Considine said. “Colin, our captain, stepped up when he was a freshman and sophomore to push the guys. I choose Harry, because he’s one of those heart and soul players, that plays hard and gives 100 percent. Max is not as vocal, but led the team with 23 goals. Peter is one of our better defensemen, I gave him this position with hopes he will rise to captain one day.”
Goalie Griffin Iglesias anchored a solid defense. Iglesias played 656 minutes this season, allowing only 48 goals and recording a goals against average of 3.29.
This united front allowed Max Van Son, Colin McHale, Owen Kaplan, Rich Straino and Riley Van Son to each score 20 or more points for the team.
“We’re a pretty smart group and we’re able to back off, take away lanes in the middle of the ice and play more of a defensive game, then counteract off the transition,” Considine said. “That’s how we got our goals.”
The Seahawks are unable to attend the State Championship this year, since last year they were invited but could not roster a full team, due to players’ other commitments.
“Unfortunately this season is our one year suspension,” Considine said. “But going into next year, I think these boys will definitely have their eyes on a State title.”
Looking forward to next season, Considine feels the Cold Spring Harbor ice hockey program will continue to thrive at all age levels. The school had one team with 14 players when he first began coaching 10 years ago. Now, the Seahawks have a modified, junior varsity and varsity team that has 60 players.