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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hockey With a Purpose: Suffolk Firefighters, MTA PD, and LI Warriors Were on Display Sunday

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The LI Warriors Veterans Hockey Club gives military veterans a chance to go out and play the sport they love in a competitive setting. On Sunday, August 21, they hosted the LI Summer Shootout at Northwell Health Ice Center. 

In Game One of Championship Sunday, the Suffolk Firefighters squared off with the LI Warriors Blue team. The Firefighters struck first in just 30 seconds when Johnathan French was able to push a puck through Warrior goaltender Austin Basile. 

The Firefighters would go on to win 7-1 in the second annual LI Summer Shootout, saluting service members and the people who make such great sacrifices for us every day. 

Roethel of the Firefighters highlighted the win with a hat trick, 2 of the goals coming during a 4 goal second period. 

The Warriors goal was netted by Todd Pero on a wrist shot from the point, which was followed up by a nice celebration of him riding his stick around the ice. 

The players definitely did not lack fun or skill in what is a terrific event for everyone involved. 

The second championship game saw the MTA Police Department square off against the LI Warriors White team. The Warriors said this was their ‘A’ team, and it definitely showed. 

A close game right down to the wire both teams showed exceptional speed and skill in their play styles. 

With a nice crowd on-hand, MTA and the Warriors were going back and forth up and down the ice. Mike Consorte flashed the leather multiple times throughout the game keeping it close. 

After 5 minutes had elapsed in the second period, captain Robert Rossi took advantage of a turnover and surprised the MTA goaltender with a shot from the blue line to break a scoreless tie on the power play. 

Later in the second, MTA would respond with a power play goal of their own. Sergio Melendez deked around the defense, drove to the net, and finally was able to beat Consorte in net. 

The MTA added another goal in the second period when Tyler Gordon slipped behind the defense and ripped a one-time shot into the net to take a 2-1 lead. A nice slip pass by Bobby Edwards set up that crucial goal late in the second. 

The third period held a little bit of controversy. On an odd man rush, MTA set up a one-time shot for one of their players. The shot appeared to be saved by Consorte as he spun around in the crease, but the referee called a goal immediately saying the puck crossed the goal line. 

This would prove important, because after a second Rossi goal cut the lead to 3-2, the Warriors would not score again. They had a flurry of chances in the dying seconds of the game, but the MTA defense stood tall and shut the door. 

The game would dramatically end 3-2 and the MTA PD captured the second championship of the day. 

Both games ended with great shows of sportsmanship as the teams shook hands at center ice with smiles on everyone’s faces after the event. It can be rewatched on YouTube on the LI Sports Network channel. 

“We are incredibly happy with how the weekend turned out. With the help of the NY islanders and Northwell Health arena we were able to put together a real special weekend of hockey for all the veterans and first responders. The hockey was super competitive and the last game on Sunday was a nail biter to the the very end. Congrats to the winners Suffolk County Firefighters and the MTAPD hockey teams. Thanks to everyone who supported and donated… LI Sports network, Green Turtle restaurant, pure hockey, monkey sports, operation hat trick, and all the LI Warriors who volunteered their time. Ultimately we were able to raise some money for a cause our organization is passionate about… the T2T gold star program, which meant a lot to us. We are already looking forward to putting on another event next year!” – Robert Rossi, Event Organizer and LI Warriors President/Coach