UNIONDALE, NY -- Tyler Hall had a busy Saturday ahead of him.
The St. Anthony’s sophomore forward scored four goals in the first two periods as the Friars remained undefeated with a 7-1 win over Iona Prep at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“He’s quite possibly the best sophomore I’ve ever coached. It’s amazing some of the things that he’s capable of,” St. Anthony’s head coach Jeff Stemlok said of Hall. “He’s a very gifted kid and a great kid to coach.”
He was so successful that his coach gave him the third period off to attend another game he was scheduled to play.
Hall, who was unavailable for comment following the game, got things started just 50 seconds in to give St. Anthony’s the first mark on the scoreboard.
With teammate Joseph Slevin battling for the puck deep in the Iona Prep corner, Hall reached in and did the dirty work himself taking the puck out into the slot and firing a wrist shot past Iona goaltender David Commender for the 1-0 lead.
For Coach Stemlok, getting a quick start against an Iona Prep team that was just 14 hours removed from playing another game was crucial to the team's success.
"You always want to play with the lead and you never want to have a situation where you are playing catch-up," Stemlok said. "For us it’s become our MO to try and get out of the gate and get a couple in and then just ride that."
Hall and linemate Mike Marnell then went to work.
Just two and a half minutes after Iona Prep tied things up at one apiece, Marnell crossed the Iona blue line and deked around the defense as he charged towards the net. He dished the puck out to a streaking Hall who one-timed the biscuit past a sprawling Commender to give the Friars the lead once again.
Hall’s teammates are taking notice of the young forward’s work-ethic.
“Tyler is a great kid. He’s a really young player with a bright future with a lot of potential,” senior captain James Mazza said.
Iona Prep had its best scoring chance following the start of the second period. Forward Brian Reilly snuck in behind the St. Anthony’s defense just 40 seconds into the middle frame and got two very good close up chances in front of goaltender Dan Peterson, only to be denied by the Friars pad.
Hall and Marnell connected again in the second period immediately thereafter.
Following an Iona turnover at the blue line, Marnell took a pass from Slevin and had a two-on-one break with Hall. Marnell dished it cross-ice to his sophomore linemate, who deked around the goalie and potted the puck into a wide-open net for the 3-1 St. Anthony’s lead and the hat-trick just two minutes into the middle frame.
Marnell, who played this afternoon with a nagging upper-body injury, has flourished all year with the sophomore star.
“Over the season me and Tyler have been playing pretty well together with Wally (Chris Wallace),” Marnell said after the game. “I’ve been averaging two assists per game with Tyler and he’s been putting the puck in.”
Coach Stemlok was impressed with Marnell’s determination and work-ethic by playing hurt.
“He’s an animal. There are certain kids that would be affected by this and they would be off their games and be at home watching TV,” Stemlok said. “You should keep him in the cage and let him out at game-time. He’s incredible.”
Following Christian Habberstad’s tally to pad the Friars lead to three goals, Hall finished out his afternoon with a pretty deflection at the top of the crease, redirecting a Nick Nici shot from the point for his fourth goal of the game to give St. Anthony’s a 5-1 lead.
Joseph Groneman added the Friars sixth goal of the game a little more than a minute later, while Mazza potted a power play goal in the third period to give St. Anthony’s the 7-1 lead which they would take until the final buzzer.
The Friars improve to 14-0 in the CHSHL, and 16-0 overall; while Iona Prep falls to 7-7-2 in the league, and 10-10-2 overall.