JULY 4TH, 2011

Happy 4th of July to everyone.  Have fun and stay safe.

Below is a list of all of Burtsville's Shutterfly Websites.  These contains thousands of pictures of Hamden Sports, Civic Events from the area, Wallingford Country Club Golf Pictures, and more.  Pictures can be found on the Home Page of these various Sites and on the Picture and/re Video Pages of these sites, and on the Collage Pages.

If you want to download or print a particular picture, simply open an individual picture from the site and you can print or download it at no cost.  Also, anyone wishing to upload pictures can do so on many of these sites.

If you have any problems doing so, kindly email us at ned@burtlaw.us.  If anyone wants a particular picture removed, kindlly email us and let us know which album the picture is in and the picture number, and we will remove it from the site.




                                                                                                     June 27, 2011


The Class of 2011 graduated under sunny skies on Monday, June 27, 2011.  Burtsville congratulates all the graduates and their families.  Burtsville took over 1,500 pictures the evening of the graduation at the high school.  They are posted at a free shutterfly site listed below.  Those of you who took pictures at the high schoo, the Fountain or elsewhere are more than welcome to add them to this site.

It is www.burtsvillehamdencivicevents.shutterfly.com.  Prom Pictures and Rotary Award Pictures may also be seen at this site.  If you want to print or download a picture, simply individually open the picture and then you can print or download it.

Burtsville will soon post all of its' shutterfly sites so that anyone looking for a picture that may have been taken will have access to same.  Any questions regarding the pictures, kindly email us at ned@burtlaw.us.

 Thank you.

                                                                                         June 27, 2011


Morgan Amarone, a Quinnipiac University Graduate Student, was crowned Miss Connecticut Saturday Evening in New London.  Morgan is the daughter of Andy & Regina Amarone, and the sister of Hamden Hockey Star, Paul Amarone.  She will now compete for the Miss America Title in Las Vegas in January 2012.  Go Morgan!!!!

Congratulations to Morgan and to the entire Amarone family!!

                                                                                                  June 19, 2011


         Burtsville wishes all you dads and granddads a Happy Father's Day.  We hope you have a special day and dnjoy each moment of it.  Burtsville was blest with a wonderful "Pa" and thinks of him often and misses him to this day.  We only hope that all of you were as lucky and we were.

                  So to all you wonderful dads and granddads---Poppi's, Pa's, Pops, and all---Thank You for everything.  We love you.

                                                                                         June 19, 2011


          Wallingford Country Club held its' annual Spring Member-Guest Tournament this weekend in rain, fog, and sunshine.  Many players from around the State and beyond got to experience the finest Greens in Connecticut.  The weather on Friday wasn't helpful but Saturday and Sunday's Sunshine helped ease the pain of Friday's Thunder Storms.

     Al  D. Smacks Front Lawn BBQ 3 Wood

Green Bay Champs Visit WCC--Practice Squad Players

         Father's Day Special--Warren & Warren

 Jim A. gives chipping lesson in stylish shorts

               It can be such a cruel game

                 Short Game Maestro--Ben S. chips it close      

                 Here are some of the pictures Burstville took of the action on Saturday.  Burtsville is in the process of uploading over 1,600 pictures taken to www.burtsvillewccgolfpixs.shutterfly.com.  All of the pictures taken should be up on this site by the end of the week.  There are literally thousands of other pictures from WCC Events located on this site.

                                             EVERYONE LIKES A NICE DRIVE--BE IT IN CART, OVER WATER, OR ON THE TRACTOR

                         Dave likes his Cart

              Don G. lets go with a beauty on Six

             Wallie F.--a Golf Cart just won't do

                Anyone wishing to learn more about Wallingford Country Club and its' various Membership Categories is encouraged to contact the Club's General Manager, David Timek, at 203-269-9320.  The Club Website is www.wallingfordcc.com.

                 Beautiful even in the Fog

            Wallingford has various levels of Memberships which accommodate everyone--from Juniors to Women to Weekday or Weekend Players in addition to Corporate and/or Individual Plans.  No doubt the best Greens in the State for years running.  A  Hidden Treasure centrally located which is getting a lot more attention from golfers around the State.  Luncheon, Dinner, Banquet, Weddings, and Special Functions all available at this convenient location off I-91 and the Merritt Parkway.

                Enjoy the pictures and come join the fun at Wallingford Country Club!!!  

Scott P. & Guest--do we really need clubs?

                  Ben D. gives Thumbs Up!

   John & Mike--Who cares 'bout them Bogeys!

           Gary R. lets it Rip!!!

        Wallie, Fergie, & Geoff flanked by Guests

    Mark F. wonders how did this tree get here?

                                                                                      June 13, 2011

                                                    Pat Lynch and RJ Ugolik Win Best Ball Title
                                   Lynch misses D-1 Title By One Stroke

Hamden High School's RJ Ugolik and Patrick Lynch hooked up to win the State Best Ball Title recently at Smith-Richardson Golf Course in Fairfield.  The tandem shot a combined 6 under par to best the field.  Ugolik is on his way to Trinity College in Hartford and Lynch will be attending Fairfield University in Fairfield in the fall.

Lynch followed the Best Ball Title up with an outstanding performance in the D-1 Finals held at Timberlin Golf Course in Berlin.  His Final Round 73 left him one shy of winning the Division One State Title.

Congratulations to these two outstanding duffers and all around athletes.

                                                                                    June 13, 2011


Burtsville is happy to announce that it is now linked with the Ct. Post Chronicle.  Please take a look for yourself at ctpostchronicle.com/sports.  Burtsville is looking forward to this affiliation.

                                                                                  June 13, 2011

                                        PROM NITE PIXS AT BUTTERWORTH FARM

      Butterworth Beauty and Style

Anyone reading Burtsville who has children in Youth Sports or Grammar School or even still in the crib----Believe what everyone tells you---IT GOES BY WAY TOO FAST!!!!  One day you are changing diapers and the next you are praying that eveyone gets back from the Rhode Island Post Prom Weekend in one piece.  It is a great ride, a wonderful journey, but man oh man, where did the time go?  Boys and Girls turn into young men and women before your very eyes--and yet--you don't see it.  Next thing you know, graduation is upon you and your child is done with High School.  Or, as the case may be, your children are done with HHS>

Personally, this June's graduation will end a twelve year run for our family having at least one child at Hamden High School.  It has been a tremendous experience for us and our children.  We will always cherish those years and memories.  We will always Thank God for the teachers, coaches, and administrators who taught our three children more than you can write on a chalkboard, direct in a Play, or coach on a field, a sheet of ice, a floor, or in a pool.  The Life Lessons our children learned from so many while at Hamden High School have and will serve them well as they go on with their lives.  Burtsville hopes that your experience at Hamden or elsewhere was the same.

So, here are  some pixs of our young men and women the night of their Prom.  Enjoy!

                    Beauty on Beauty

     Someone has to be King of the Pre-Prom Pixs

Two of the State's Best Golfers & Hockey Players

                          Ms. B & Mr. B

Hockey, Lacrosse, Golf, Tennis, Baseball--Covered!

                         The Glen Rocks

                   Ally & Jenny--Golden Beauties

                              Alex, Sarah, & Zach

                                     Alex & Becca

                                                                                      June 13, 2011

                             RJ UGOLIK & JIM BURT VOTED FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE

Divison One Coaches All-State Team

                           RJ Ugolik & Jim Burt

 Two fo the best players in the State were recognized for their efforts by being voted by the Division One Coaches to the Coaches First Team All-State Team.  RJ Ugolik, who has a plus rating of 28 this season while logging an incredible amount of ice time, was selected to the team as a defenseman while teammate and friend Jim Burt was selcted as a forward.

Both players played tremendous roles in Hamden's Back2Back Championships and were true teammates doing whatever they could for the team.  Ugolik, one of the best golfers in the state, also wrote an epic blog this season caputuring the essence of high school hockey in Connecticut.  Furthermore, the Trinity College bound, soon to be high school graduate, brought the sports world to tears with his fond remembrance of his dearly beloved grandfather, "Poppy" Ugolik, known and loved by every Hamden Hockey Fan, in a column written shortly after Poppy's passing.

Burt, headed to Trinity Pawling for a PG year, along with teammate and friend Paul Amarone, was also voted the State's MVP by the D-1 coaches.  (story below).  He was also selected for the second time to the New Haven Register's First Team All-ARea and All-State teams.  Ugolik was selected to the Register's Second Team All-State team and CJ Carignan was named to the Register's Honorable Mention All State Team.

The Ugolik Family has a special table set up at the Acqua Turf, as their daughter Rachel was selected First Team All-State in soccer.  Rachel is only completing her sophomore year so Burtsville Believes that the Ugolik family will have a few more trips to the Acqua Turf before this young lady is done with her high school career.

                                                                                     June 13, 2011

     Division One MVP
                       Jim Burt   

Hamden's Jim Burt was recently honored along with other First Team All-State Selections and Division Two and Three MVP's at the Coaches' All-State Banquest held at Aqua Turf.  More than 200 players, coaches, parents and friends attended the event.  Burt, this year's Captain, and a Two Time All State First Team Selection, ended his career at Hamden High School with 93 points scoring 42 goals and amassing 51 assists.  He had a career +53 rating while accumulating only two minor penalties.

Burt was joined on the Coaches' All-State First Team with his teammate RJ Ugolik who topped off a brilliant career as one of the best defensemen in the history of Hamden High School Hockey.  Burt was actually named to Hamden's All-Time Team by area columnist and former Mayor, John Carusone.  Carusone, a well know politician and sportsman in the New Haven area, named Todd Hall, Ted Shea, Howard "Butch" Ives, Bob McVey, George Heg, Dick Gagliardi, Lou Astorino, and Burt to his All-Time Hamden Team.

                                                                                    June 13, 2011

                                                   POST SEASON BANQUET BRINGS AWARDS TO PLAYERS

         Donahue Award                                            Best Defensive Forward                       Sportmanship & Rotary Award

                   Patrick Lynch

                      Patrick Lynch

                            Jum Burt

The core of Hamden's Back2Back Title Winners celebrated their final Post Season Banquet at the Laurel View Country Club in April.  It was a much more subdued evening than the two previous years and understandably so.  The team was not only coming off two consecutive State Division One Title's but also was about to graduate many of the key players on those Championship Teams.

            Sniper Award                                                     Chief Leddy Award                                               Sullivan Award

         Pat Lynch, Jim Burt, Nick Amarone

                              RJ Ugolik

                     Justin MacGregor

It is always nice to be individually recognized for your accomplishments.  Team Sports are made up of individuals.  The key to a team is just how well those individuals blend their talents for the best of the team.  Hamden has always found a way to do that and certainly this group put TEAM ahead of any individual accomplishments and awards.  Yet, on any team, certain individuals get recognized for their talents and effort.  This team is no different.

This year award winners included Pat Lynch, RJ Ugolik, Justin MacGregor, and Jim Burt.  Brandon Dadio was elected as next year's Captain leaving the team in the strong defenseman's capable hands.  What appears to be a rebuilding year may surprise some teams with a continued fine off season training regimen with the magic man, trainer Mike Ranfone, and the coaching of Billy Verneris, Todd Hall, and George Jerolman which to Burtsville is second to none.

       Boys' & Girls' Captains 2011-2012

      Brandon Dadio & Savannah Reilly

The Green Dragons may have lost a lot of talent the last three years but Burtsville Believes the Green Dragons will come back strong and compete again next year for the crown.

To those leaving--graduating seniors and stalwart forward Paul Amarone--Burtsville wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors.  And, Burtsville Thanks You for all the thrills you gave to all of us over the past four years.  It was a special ride and one that will never be forgotten.

                                              SCORING STATISTICS

Name                                         Assists                                Goals                                         Points

Jim Burt                                          18                                           13                                               31
Pat Lynch                                       11                                           13                                               24
CJ Carignan                                  16                                             7                                               23
Paul Amarone                                 8                                             8                                               16
Tim Lee                                                                                           2                                                 2
Mike Lee                                         4                                              4                                                 8
Nick Amarone                                7                                             13                                              20
J. MacGregor                                11                                              2                                              13
Ted Kennedy                                  2                                                                                                 2
RJ Ugolik                                       11                                              2                                              13
Brandon Dadio                              3                                               2                                                 5
Steve Ruocco
Connor Walsh                               3                                               1                                                 4
A. Rascati                                      1                                                                                                  1
Joe Quick
Z. Masotta
Billy Reilly                                      1                                              4                                                  5                                               
Vito Puopolo                                1                                                                                                   1
Jim Wilson                                   1                                                                                                   1
Harley Pretty                                3                                                                                                   3
Sean O'Keefe                              1                                                                                                   1
Conor Callahan                            1                                                                                                   1
J. Wetmore (g)
Andy Varga(g)
Matt Hoff     (g)

                                                                                                   March 27, 2011

                                 PAUL AMARONE VOTED MVP OF JR. ALL-STAR GAME

                                                     Paul Amarone--MVP

Congratulations to Paul Amarone who was voted the MVP of the Junior All-Star game played last evening in Milford.  Paul scored a goal and has two assists in the game.  He has  been chosen by the All-Star coaches to play in a game v. a Massachusetts All-Star Team later this spring.  Paul's teammate and friend Jim Burt was suppose to play in the Senior All-Star game but was felled by illness.

Burtsville apologizes for not knowing the name of the other fine player chosen as MVP along with Paul for the opponent.

Way to go Paulie A.!!!!!!!!

                                                                                              March 26, 2011


It's been a ton of fun being associated with the Hamden High School Hockey Team the past four years.  Obviously, winning Back2Back Division One Championships has made it all the more so.  It's been an incredible run and there are many people responsible for all the success the Program has had--especially the players and the coaches.

But as with sports in general, there seems to be superstitions, rituals, and habits that players and people go through and are afraid to change if successful.  Whether you play baseball and are up by 10 runs with two outs in the last inning and the coach still doesn't want you to pack the equipment bag, or you tape your stick the same way each game, or if you wear the same clothes on a winning streak.  It just seems that athletes have certain--shall we say--rituals that help them prepare mentally for the challenge of a game.

So, let us delve into a few of these that Burtsville has been aware of for the last several years but didn't want to jinx anything by writing about them.  Now that the bubble has been burst, it may be somewhat entertaining or interesting for some to learn of these rituals.  Burtsville is sure these are not the only ones but these are the ones that Burtsville is aware of from his own experience.

These are in no particular order.  Don Boyle of Sportingnewsct.com was curious last year as to why the Hamden fans were dressed in black shirts for the Championship Game.  The Prep fans typically wear their white shirts.  If you recall there was terrible storm last year during the state tournament and much of Fairfield County was blacked out.  The Powers that Be at Hamden High School thought it was a good idea to announce at school for the Hamden Fans to "Black Out" Prep and so urged all the Hamden fans to wear black.  Hey, it worked.

                 Don "Peabody" Boyle

Personally, I have attended a number of practices over the years.  I generally just sit and watch in the corner near the top left door of the rink. I have found it both very relaxing and a lot of fun.  I have also observed just  how much coaching that Billy, Todd and George do with the players.  It is no wonder this team year after year does so well.  These gentlemen know what they are doing and know how to get it across to the kids.

                         HHS Coaches

 Ron Cosenza--joined sometimes by one brother or another--and either dropped off and/or taken home by one of them and/or his lovely wife Virginia--will be sitting in the top row of seats at the end.  Ron is Paul Amarone's proud grandfather and nothing has kept him from games or practices during Paul's outstanding career at Hamden.

                                  Ron Cosenza

                                      Ron's View

               Ron & Virginia Cosenza at practice

I am sitting somewhere below him to his right.  The Ragucci boys are down center ice with dad up at the top and son Frank down lower oftentimes next to our trainer, "Jersey".  Joey Santilli will be standing along the glass sometimes alone, sometimes with Jim Wilson and sometimes with Sean Donahue.  Todd Carroll too. And Anthony Carangelo.

                        Frank Ragucci, Jr.

                                 CHAMPIONSHIP BANNER

                                    "Jersey" & Frank

Two years ago I changed my "uniform" during the state tournament.  I don't know why but I put on my Irish Sweater--soon to be known as my lucky Irish Sweater--and changed my seat location to a lower spot closer to the ice.  At the end of practice, Jersey would come strolling by me and with a nod, a smile and a hello we would exchange simple greetings.  This went on win after win  during our first title run.  I made sure I made every practice during our first title run.  Same Irish Sweater.  Same seat. Same greeting.

                   Ned "Pops" Burt at practice

The hours before our first playoff game two years ago I was so nervous I stopped by The Spring Glen Hardware Store.  I just needed to kill some time before I headed to the rink for our game against New Canaan.  Owned and run by the Landino Family, The Spring Glen Hardware Store is a landmark in New Haven County and a shrine in Hamden.  I was so nervous I couldn't even utter a word but as I opened the door Frank Landino--whose son Frankie was a standout player for NDWH--was just inside it.  He wished me Good Luck.  All I could do was reach out and touch him on the arm.  No words. I just reached out with my right hand--actually, wtih the ends of my right index and middle finger, and touched his ar.  Then, I just turned and left.

Two doors down from the hardware store I stopped and bought a small cup of coffee at The Emerald Bakery and then off to the rink I went. The magic that followed this routine started that night.  It is a night I will never forget. No one who was in the Lou Astorino Ice Arena will ever forget that night or that game.  New Canaan--this year's undefeated Number One Team in the state entering the state tournament--had just won the play-in game with a thrilling OT victory over East Haven at East Haven.  

  Hamden was the Number One Team in the State and New Canaan was ranked number 16.

Well, what followed was a heavy weight fight fought by two teams filled with talent, character and class.  New Canaan did itself proud that evening and the BEST game ever played in the hallowed Hamden Rink ended in Double Overtime on a Scott Walsh goal sending Hamden to a 1-0 win and starting a championship run.  There was no way after that game that I was going to change my routine!!!  And despite winning Two Championship Games--including the thrilling 6-5 win over Prep--this New Canaan Game may very well have been the most dramatic game Burtsville witnessed at the high school level.

 I followed that routine for nine state tournament games including two State Championship Games.  This last year--before what turned out to be our last game--a former Hamden Standout and long time Youth Hockey Coach--Bill O'Connor was in the hardware store when I came by.  I said Hello to him as Frank put out his arm to meet my touch.  Billy looked at us strangely.  I didn't blame him.

All I did was look at Billy and said to him that that touch was 9-0 and I wasn't about to stop doing it.  Well, that routine ended up 9-1 over two years.  Not a bad percentage.  I would have loved for it  to have been 12-0 but 9-1 is a pretty good batting average.

The kids had their routines as well.  Jimmy, RJ, Patch, and Paul would regularly make a trip to The Sandwich Board for breakfast on weekend tournament games.  Many of the kids on the team would also receive a blessing from teacher,Al Oneto.  And most, if not all, would take a pilgrimage to Cliff Carignan's house before every tournament game to get a pep talk from Cliff who coached almost every single one of these kids in youth hockey.  Cliff and Al also ended up 9-1. Pretty darn good, boys.

I didn't experience first hand Al's blessings or Cliff's talks.  I would have liked to but felt it was not my place.  Just like watching the kids gather at center ice after practice and raise their sticks on high as some kids gave some kind of talk to the group.  It was always fun to simply watch the kids at practice.  Skate, shoot, and do all the drills that have made them so successful.  And the shootouts at the end with cheers and catcalls being made for, to, and at each other.

And still more, some of the kids  would climb a "mountain" up on or near Hill Street they called the "Top of the World".  This ritual too was 9-1.  A simple routine that became something they would not miss to do.  It's what I felt of our Vineyard Trip and Cannon Ball Park and the Edgartown Lighthouse and Jim Lynch buying us all dinner at The Atlantic and Steve Walsh and his talk with Coach V at The Wharf that many of us feel started this whole darn run of joy to begin with for goodness sake.

To this day no one knows what Walshie and Coach V talked about that evening.  We just know that Steve had Coach bottled up in one corner of The Wharf and spoke to him for close to an hour.  The Vineyard--a mystical, magical place indeed.  Dadio's Cannon Ball Park Express--Take a Right.  Well, here is the secret untold for those not in the know.

Cannon Ball Park is a small block in Edgartown, Mass.  It is the only Civil War Memorial Park in the world that honors soldiers from both the North and the South.  It is a park by name but it is just a simple, small square block surrounded by Stop Signs.  Our first trip to the Vinyeard found 14 guys in a van made for eight.  Jim Dadio at the wheel with Bob Ugolik the friendly and lovable dictorial direction giver in the front.  Everything had to go through Ugi per his orders.  No speaking directly to the driver!

Well, someone decided to have fun with the Direction Dictator and the Driver.  So, the simple command to Take a Right was given four times in search of Cannon Ball Park.  Unknown by all but one, the search for Cannon Ball Park and Take a Right resulted in Brother Dadio and his van circling our cherished CBP.  We then paid it homage by getting out and climbing on the cannons and taking pictures of each other.  Hence, the Dadio Cannon Ball Park Express--Take a Right.  The Mystical Magical Power of this little park and the Vineyard Trip also ended up 9-1 in the state tournaments--and that ain't bad.

Jim Dadio's Cannon Ball Park Express--Take a Right!!

And poor, generous Jim Lynch.  Two years ago the father of Pat Lynch treated all of us dads and coaches to dinner at The Atlantic.  No one knew it until the bill came.  The bill was several hundreds of dollars.  So, what do we all do?  Well, besides Thank Him we all join in with if we win this again guess who is paying for dinner at The Atlantic again?  Well, a 6-5 thrilling game later in March led us all to a healthy and hearty appetite at The Atlantic again this year and there he was again treating us to a King's Meal.  Maybe we should reimburse him!!!!

There are also funny little things that players do to help themselves.  I know that Jimmy has big fans in his brother and sister, Eddie and Rachel.  Rachel would come to as many games as she could and cheer Jim and his teammates on with a voice she inherited from her father.  Eddie is teaching in Krakow, Poland and his voice is not as loud as his sister's but year's ago he bought one of those huge sombrero hats.  Don't ask me how it started but anytime Jimmy hit a little scoring drought he'd bring his sticks home and plant the "Scoring Sombrero" over them for the night.  I swear to you it never failed.  The very next game he would score. 

And finally, something I never knew until  after last year's remarkable final victory in what I have been told was the most thrilling Championship Game ever in CIAC history.  It was Hamden's 6-5 victory over Fairfield Prep giving Hamden Back2Back State Championships.  It was the first time in 34 years that Hamden had won consecutive championships.

Again, Don Boyle of Sportingnewsct.com's excellent call of the game and taping is one for the ages.  Rachel was watcing the DVD one day a few weeks after the game.  She noticed at the end of the game--during Hamden's second victory celebration--and those of you who were at the game know what I mean by that--well Rachel noticed that RJ Ugolik pulled Jimmy Burt from Hamden's celebration pile and at the same time the boys pulled up their sleeves.  They looked at their forearms and then lept with joy into each other's arms.

Rachel asked  Jimmy if he and RJ had written something on their forearms.  Herein is the confession.  RJ and Jimmy had written on their forearms the year Hamden beat Glastonbury in the finals the actual last year (1989) that Hamden had won the title.  Then last year in their victory over Prep the two of them had written on their forearms the last year that Hamden had won consecutive championships. 

Just a positive thought process by two great players and kids that added something special to the memories they will have for the rest of their lives.

What the Mind of Man Can Conceive and Believe the Mind of Man Can Achieve Through a Positive Mental Attitude.  Somebody smart said and wrote that once.  The Power of Positive Thinking is an amazing force.  It certainly worked miracles for the Hamden Green Dragons and you boys should be rightly proud of what you have achieved.

I hope to write about some of the more thrilling games over the past four years.  Please keep your eyes open for those articles.

And remember, all the pictures Burtsville has taken this year will be posted at www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com.  Many pictures are already posted on the site but several games are still being posted.  Every game picture should be up on the site by sometime in June.  If you have any trouble finding any of the pictures, please feel free to contact me at ned@burtlaw.us.

March 25, 2011


What a ride it was, our boys they gave to us,
What a ride it's been, for the Guys That Follow The Bus.

Two Championships we have, Back2Back is sweet and nice,
Some players don't get any, you boys got to experience it twice.

Thank you my fine young men, for memories galore,
What you have given to us, we couldn't ask for more.

We'll never, ever forget, the Vineyard Trips and Cannon Ball Park,
It's been a wonderful journey, it's been fun, oh what a lark.

So, my dear young men, it's on to bigger and greater heights,
You all are oh so great, You'll leave here with plenty of might.

Thank you for all the Memories, a lifetime worth by thee,
Thank you for my young Green Dragons, for what you've given to us and me.

Burtsville Believes in each and everyone of you, has since you started this run,
Dadio's Cannon Ball Park Express, Take a Right,
This trip's been nothing but FUN!

Two Wonderful Championships, for the coaches and so much more,
You kids are the BEST, we've all had fun galore.

So as you grow older, and think about your fetes,
think of all the good times, for they cannot be beat.

Memories to Last a Lifetime is what you brought to us,
And Memories to Last a Lifetime for the Guys That Follow the Bus.

Thank You all from Burtsville, the ride has been a blast,
And we hope you all have Locked It In,
Just wish it all could last.

And yet me boys, this high, will live again and again and again,
For every time you think of it, think of your Two Championship Wins.

Good Luck to my young Green Dragons, those who leave and those who stay,
because each and every one of you, have had some special days.

And to our coahes and fans, who we believe are second to none,
Thanks for all the memories, the teaching, support and all the fun.

To the families, the opponents, the administration and so much more,
it has been such a blast, thanks for making it exciting and never a chore.

And to all the media, from Dan, Don, Peter, Fred, Matt, Glenn, Vinny, Mike,The Coach and all the rest,
Thanks for all the coverage you give our kids, you guys are simply the best.

So my young Green Dragons, Burtsville's Poems now rest with a smile so sweet,
Writing about you these past few years, has really been a treat.

I hope you have enjoyed this, my little venture that has been loads of fun,
I have loved to do it, writing about you and about my son.

Tis with a touch of sadness that I end this poem today,
Burtsville Thanks all of You, and that's all I have to say.

Burtsville Believes!  Oh, Burtsville Believes!!

                                                                                                  March 24, 2011

                                       POST SEASON ALL STAR GAMES

RJ Ugolik was selected along with Jim Burt and Pat Lynch to the All SCC Teams for the Hamden Green Dragons recently.  Paul Amarone was picked by Coach Bill Verneris to play in the Statewide Junior All-Star Game as was Burt for the Senior All-Star game.

Congratulations to all of the above players on such nice recognition and to all the other area and state players who received same.  Burtsville will report on any other post season recognition received by any of the Green Dragon Players at the appropriate time in the future.

                                                                                           March 22, 2011

                                               FRANK AND FRANK RAGUCCI

                                                                                     The Big Ragu painted on Driver's Side Door

Every Hamden player knows who they are.  Every fan has seen them.  They are Frank and Frank.  The Ragucci's.  And they have been Hamden fans for the past twenty-five years.  Loyal Hamden Fans.  Father and Son.  They Guys That Follow the Bus.

They attend almost every practice.  Ron Cosenza is also there for almost every practice.  Joe Santilli is another practice groupie along with Burtsville.  But this is about the Ragucci's.  Big Red Car.  Big Boy Frank.  And dad, Frank, Jr.

They are as loyal as they come.  They are interested.  They are passionate.  Hamden is lucky to have them.  And this year, they will be guests at the Annual Banquet courtesy of The Penalty Box Club.  "We feel honored to be guests, " said young Frank at a recent practice.  It is very nice of The Penalty Box Club to invite us along with my mom.  We love Billy V. and the entire team.  We love to watch practice and have loved following the team for all these years."

Recently, young Frank put together a list of his All-Time favorite Hamden Players.  He apologized up front saying he wasn't great at remembering all the names and didn't want to slight anyone.  He told Burtsville that he is sure he has left off some fine players that he simply couldn't remember at the time he put the list together.

Both Ragucci's were interviewed by Quinnipiac University students before this year's state tournament.  True to form both were passionate in their belief that Hamden would win it all again.  Alas, it was not meant to be this season.  But as Frank, Jr. said to Burtsville, "You know, the kids on this team the past two years have given us all something special.  Very, very special.  We will never  forget the last two seasons.  There is no way to describe what those kids did for us, for them, the school, and the town.  We will never, ever forget it."

So, let's get to Frank, Jr.'s All Time Hamden players in no particular order:  Justin Wetmore, Ryan Amarone, Steve Sorrentino, Eric Sullivan, Dan Cusano, Brandon Dadio, John Teulings, Dan Wheeler, Jack Vets, Matt Hoff, Mike Morgillo, Michael Pierne, Dave Findley, Dan Roche, Adam Devine, Matt Hickman, Connor Walsh, Scotty Walsh, RJ Ugolik, Michale Lee, Anthony Avitable, Mike Cavallaro, Scotty Jason, Erick Hickman, PJ Vakos, Jim Burt, Pat Lynch, CJ Carignan, Paul Amarone, Nick Amarone, Tim Lee, Harley Pretty, Zak Masotta, Conor Callahan, and Teddy Kennedy.

And to Frank and Frank Burtsville Thanks You for all your loyal support and wishes you and Mrs. Ragucci nothing but the best in years to come.  We will be sure to come back and visit you at Hamden games in the future.

                                                                                                            This Car Follows The Bus

                                                                                          March 12, 2011

                                                                                Hamden 2   Fairfield Prep 4

                                                                         Jim Burt/Mike Lee Score Goals for Hamden
                                                                        Pat Lynch/Connor Walsh/Nick Amarone get helpers
                                                                       Puffer Boys/AJ Unker and more score for Prep
                                                                       John Galiani outstanding in net for Fairfield

                                                                   Captain Jim Burt waives goodbye to the Hamden Fans                                        
Hamden fell to Fairfield Prep 5-2 including two empty net goals in the final thrity seconds to end the Green Dragons season and their quest for a third consecutive State Championship.  Prep took the lead in the first on a goal by Craig Puffer assisted by Even Antisdale.  Hamden answered right back seventeen seconds later on a Jim Burt goal.  It was assisted by Pat Lynch.

Hamden went up  in the second period 2-1 on a Michael Lee goal. It was assisted by Nick Amarone and Connor Walsh.  Twelve minutes later the period ended with Hamden still up 2-1.  Prep scored two goals early in the third to go up 3-2 and ended the game with the two empty netters.  Prep then beat South Windsor and St. Joseph's to take the State Title.

                  Michael Lee Fires it Home

                             Jim Burt Knots it Up

                Craig Puffer Back Handed Goal

                                                                                                 March 10, 2011

Memories to Last a Lifetime

Three crowns are before you,
that is what you have in store,
but before you win three crowns,
you must open three more doors.

The door that stands before you,
is one trimmed in red and white,
you must play your best,
to open this door on Saturday night.

This team has a destiny,
on a road travelled by few,
This destiny before you,
does not end with only two.

So play the way you know you can,
the way you have this year thus far,
go out and play the game me boys,
to Burtsville you all are stars.

Three Crowns is what awaits you,
but first you all must seek,
to open Door #2,
against a foe that is talented and sleek.

Be quick my young Green Dragons,
to the puck and to the net,
Make every shot count,
shots, your foe do not let.

And in the end you will be standing,
half way again to the top,
Just remember you are the Back2Back Champions,
And Champions never stop.

So have a ball each and everyone of you,
Burtsville Believes you'll get it done,
And please make sure you do one more thing,
have loads and tons of fun.

The Dadio Cannon Ball Park Express is magical,
it has brought you to wonderful sights,
and trust that magic within you,
And Take a Right on Saturday Night.

The Whale is what awaits you,
Lock In each and every sight,
And Believe in each other,
Believe in Saturday Night.

This Burtsville Believes,
so deeply so we can see it true,
Burtsville Believes in your TEAM,
and in each and every one of you.

So be bold my Champion Green Dragons,
Be confident and Believe it's true,
And you will shortly see it,
Each and every one of you.

Have fun and play hard,
you'll need your A game that's for sure,
but you have what it takes inside you,
Your games are wonderful and pure.

So my Champion Green Dragons,
Back2Back is twice as nice,
but Three Crowns is what you play for,
and that will be add some spice.

Oh a great game awaits you,
an opponent worthy as all,
so go out and play your best,
Go out and have a ball.

Memories to Last a Lifetime,
is what you have in store,
go out and play your best,
and open that second door.

The Bennett Rink is where you're headed,
you play great games in it,
It is a place you excel in,
it is a perfect fit.

So, have a ball my young men,
each and every one,
and Lock It All In Kids,
have a ball and tons of fun.

Saturday's Game is at West Haven at 5:00 P.M.  Tickets are on sale at Hamden High School Auditorium Friday from 12:00 noon until 3:00 PM or while tickets last.

                                                                                            March 10, 2011   
                                                                          HAMDEN 5  WEST HAVEN 3 
                                                                    Nick Amarone Hat Trick Leads Green Dragons    
                                                                    Justin MacGregor & Paul Amarone Two Assists
                                                                         Brandon Dadio/Jim Burt knock in Goals 
                                                                                    Matt Hoff plays solid in net
                                                                        JP Withington stars in net for Blue Devils
                                                                        Austin Hansen/Brandon Cangiano/Mike Troiano Score

Hamden High advanced in the State Tournament with a hard fought victory over a galant West Haven squad at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden Wednesday evening.  The joint was jumping with glass breaking celebrations and outstanding goal tending again by one of the best goaltenders in the state in JP Withington of West Haven.

"My God, the kid made 50+ saves the last time he was here and what does he do but make another 43 tonight," gushed Paul Avitable after the game.  "He's got to have black rubber spots all over his body!  He was simply awesome!"

The game started with Nicky Amarone showing the hands that got him the moniker "Magic Hands" with a roof top goal 1:30 into the first period.  Amarone got a nice feed in the slot on nice plays by linemates Justin MacGregor and Paul Amarone.  Both of those Towering Infernos got assists on the goal.

              Nicky Amarone Score

Hamden was flying and looking strong when Austin Hansen gathered in a rebound and slammed one home at the 3:29 mark to tie the game.  Adam Mink and Alex Scranton had assists on the goal.  It had the West Haven fans rocking and you could sense the momentum immediately shift in the building.  And then, at the 11:31 mark it crashed.  The enthusiastic reaction to Hansen's goal was not only felt on the ice but off it as well as the glass behind the Blue Devils Bench came crashing down on players and coaches as some fans apparently banged on the glass in celebration.

             Matt Hoff gets ready to make the save

                      Squirt A State Champs--Go Allie!!!!!

                    Corridan Girls Enjoy the Game

The teams went to their respective locker rooms while the crack team of Dan Bush, Sean Donahue and others dealt with just another in a series of "The Money Pit" which rink management has brought them this year with the twists and turns of running the aging facility.  The boys reacted well to it and before long the whole was plugged with wood, etc., inspected by Professor John Ascenzia and the boys came back out onto the ice to start the game anew.

                                      JP stops Patch

                                         Family Stops JP!!!

                                   JP stops CJ

At the 9:02 mark Brandon Cangiano picked a great time to score his first goal of the year to make it a 2-1 Westie lead heading into the second period.  Mike Troiano had an assist on this goal.  Withington was stopping everyone including Hamden Captain Jim Burt on a short handed break away near the end of the period.  This was Withington's payback to Burt who scored three shorthanded goals against the Blue Devil team last year in his home rink.

                 Jim Burt fires on JP Withington

Hamden came out flying to start the second period and didn't stop.  Brandon Dadio scored off a rebound of a Nick Amarone shot at the 1:28 mark.  Amarone and Mike Lee had assists on the goal.  Then Nicky got his second of the night on a nice feed from cousin Paul Amarone at the 2:36 mark.  And Burt capped off the Green Dragon three goal second period at 7:40 on a fine feed after an incredible rush by Justin MacGregor.  Burt's goal was also assisted by RJ Ugolik.

                  Brandon Dadio celebrates beauty

               Nicky Amarone bends stick and lofts puck into net

       Jim Burt slams one home on fine feed from Justin M.

"Let me tell you something, when Justin MacGregor and Nick Amarone play the way they played tonight Hamden is unstoppable," said Terry Loukidies well known youth coaching legend in Hamden.  "MacGregor had his best game of the year last night and I bet you he gets better over the next few games.  Amarone?  He simply has the best hands of anyone in the state and when the kid comes to play it is a thing of beauty.  Keep pouring them in Nicky Boy."

                      "I lift things up and put them down"

Well, the one thing you know about a Joe Morrell coached team.  They don't quit.  And with players the caliber of Josh Robichaud, Kyle Leyerzapf, Ryan Hansen, and a host of talented underclassmen you know they weren't gonna give up.  And they didn't.  And at the 14:01 mark Mike Troiano made the type of rush that helped make he, Adam Mink and Hansen one of the most dangerous lines in the state this year in scoring to make it a 4-3 game.


    Mike Troiano finishes brilliant rush and moves

                      Coach Joe Morrell battles until the end

                Mike Troiano & Mates celebrate goal

Mike Troiano shouldn't be the only Blue Devil celebrating reading this article.  Let's face it, the West Haven High School Hockey Team graduated a boat load of talent from last year's championship caliber team.  And to top that off, they lost one of the state's best players--an all-state selection as a junior, Tim Baylis--to prep school.  So what do they do?  They take a crack coaching staff, a stud goalie and turn a talented team with great senior leadership into one of the best teams in the state two years in a row. Congratulations to them all.  Well done.

You want to know two of the best head coaches in the state?  Just stop in West Haven and Amity.  The jobs that Joe Morrell and Gary Lindgren and their staffs did with their teams this year was phenomenal.  Lindgren takes a D-II Team, plays one of the toughest D-I schedules in the state and has his team primed to make a run for a D-1 title after winning the D-II title last year; and, but for a crippling injury to all stater Joe Bianchi near the end of the season, you just may well have seen Coach Lindgren's team making it back to Yale for a shot at the title.  And just look at the above for what Burtsville thinks of Coach Morrell and his staff and team.  Just a great job gentlemen.  You, your staff, your schools and teams should be very proud of what you accomplished this year.

And to my Green Dragons.  Back2Back Champions.  Burtsville was very proud of the way you all perfomed last evening.  Thank you for making the last competitive game played by the seniors at the Hamden Rink a victory against a quality opponent.  You kids have what it takes to do it again.  You are primed.  You are peaking again at the right time of the year.  This was Door Number One.  There are Three more Doors to open.  Yet, you don't get there without opening Door Number Two.  And it is guarded by a giant in red and white.  You couldn't ask for more.

So, think deep and believe.  Remember, you have the mystical, magical power of the Dadio Cannon Ball Express--Take a Right--working for you.  You are the Champions.  You have what it takes.  You are going to be playing in a rink where Hamden won its' 1973 State Championship with Peter Reynolds pitching a shut out in net.  The place will be jammed.  It will be rocking.  Have a ball.  Lock it all in--everything.  And play the way you know you can play.  Good things will happen.  Great things await.  It is your destiny.  You are HAMDEN HOCKEY!!!!

Burtsville Believes!  Oh Burstville Believes!!!

Playoffs begin Wednesday at Home v. West Haven at 6:00 P.M.          
                                                   March 5, 2011 

                                                           MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME 

Team at Edgartown LightHouse December 2010

So here we are again, another season has flown by fast,
For most of us in Hamden, we wish it all could last.
Three years now we have ventured, to an Island oh so dear,
The Vineyard is far away, and yet it is so near.

'Tis hard to think that Decembers, fly so fast to the March skies,
'Tis hard to think that Cannon Ball Park, soon will say goodbye.
And yet  there is a magic, to that trip and more, Yes there is a magic,
That makes the Green Dragons soar.

So let's look back with a smile, and let's let out a roar,
for a trip that's been so special, and promises so much more.
Again, the Lighthouse picture, along with the Island lore,
brings us to Cannon Ball Park, Take a Right--and oh oh--so much more.

To our young Anthony, who made the varsity in his first year,
you will be a special player, in a fast and all out gear.
You came oh so close in Martha's House, on your dad's birthday what a present be,
And don't you worry my son, your time will come, oh wait and see.

Anthony Rascati reacts on the Vineyard to miraculous save

And what can we say about Justin Wetmore, a man who waited long,
And then started in net on Senior Night, he sang a beautiful song.
Memories of your shutout will last you all your years,
You are a wonderful teammate, loved and admired by all your peers.

                Justin Wetmore in net

Joey Quick you are a marvel, big and strong and fast,
You work hard all the time, from the first whistle to the last.
Your ice time has been precious, and you've made it all worthwhile,
Never lose your energy and never lose that smile.

                          Joey Quick

Another of our warriors, a teammate through and through,
Conor Callahan it's been a pleasure, to have you oh its true.
You added much to the year for all the kids on the team, 
And your picture with the Needham Girls' Team,
must still seem like a dream.

           Conor Callahan heads up ice

How about a Shout Out to everyone's favorite guy,
Jimmy Wilson, what a sight--to see you hit the ice and fly.
A season you will remember, forever and a day,
it's been a real great ride and you certainly had your say.
From forward to goalie and back again, in youth hockey and now with us,
You always do what is needed, I'm sure, if needed,
 you could also drive the bus.

      Jimmy Wilson all out forecheck at QU

Sean you are a fine player, that is certainly so,
Keep on playing hard me boy, and help us back  to the Show.
You are an important piece, to a title oh so dear,
Stay focused and keep doing your best,
You will hear the cheers.

         Sean O'Keefe heads up ice

You have a special talent and now is the time,
Believe in yourself me boy, and trust me your play will shine.

And Steve you did it yes you did and now a senior be,
Keep playing hard me boy, on the ice this year for thee.
To go out on top is the only way to go,
bring it hard each shift and bring us to The Show.

              Steve Ruocco shoots

Zach what a season it has been from hands and shoulders and more,
Look what you have done, you've opened every door.
And now comes the time of the season, when all the stars shine bright,
Keep on playing hard me boy, each and every night.

                  Zach Masotta lets one rip

Vito what energy you bring to each and every stride,
You play the game the way you should and fill us all with pride.
A special trip-I just feel it--is waiting all for you,
So you go out a winner, and bring us all along too.

                     Vito Puopolo

I just have a feeling, that it all comes together for you,
And what a treat that would be, for you and all of us too.
So, dream that special dream, be the hero each and every night,
And feel that special feeling, that makes your star shine bright.

Matt Hoff and Andy Varga, have done it all year long,
You've made a great little tandem,
Just keep on singing that same old song.

                           Andy Varga makes save

                           Matt Hoff makes save

You both should be proud of what you've done,
And happy with your shows,
Taking it to a new level, take us all in tow.

We don't need you to be special, though if you'd like to be,
that's fine, just keep on doing what you do, make the saves and we'll all shine.
Be ready when you're called to the ice, because you never know what may be in store,
and make those saves you need to make to get us through each and every door.

And to my Billy Reilly, you've settled in and look what you've done,
You bring us hustle and scoring, you bring us a ton of fun.
So keep it up my young William, you are a key to the team,
keep on playing the way you have, and keep on living this wonderful dream.

                 Billy Reilly Goal

No pressure is upon you, you have what it takes,
keep on playing hard and smart, instinctive--the heck with any mistakes.
You have a special gift, we've seen you grow this year, And to you my young man,
Burtsville sends out a cheer.  But beware my young Billy, now is the time to shine bright,
And Burtsville Believes in you to bring it every night.

Teddy Kennedy you've brought us, brains and guts and more,
You have been outstanding, now continue to help add to Hamden's Hockey Lore.
Keep up your fine play down low, covering those around,
And next thing you know, you'll be wearing a Champion's Crown.

          Teddy Kennedy plays tough defense

Michael Lee you've had a season, you've been a great teammate,
But if I know you, you've saved some more, to finish with one word--
Great and Great and Great.

           Michael Lee blocks shot

So keep it up me boy, compete on every shift and more,
And stay all over the low post, so no one can get a score.

Harley Pretty you have made it, to start your Senior Year,
And it has just been wonderful to see you, you are special and oh so dear.
From the days of Mites to now a senior be, oh those years flew by,
Others will shortly see. 

                        Harley Pretty

So go out my young dear Harley, like you have in the past,
And trust me when I tell you,
the Memories will last and last.

And to Timmy Lee my scorer, I knew it would come to you,
Now go out and get more, not one but two, two, two and two.
You have it within you, to lead and score at will,
And when you do this for us, you'll bring us all the thrills.

Timmy--you know what I've told you--and I believe it's true,
This one is your's now go and make it true.
You are a Champion--yes me boy, that's true.
Last year was special this year's trip is too.

Tim Lee shoots and scores

Forget about a streak or record, the one that counts is now,
Lock IT IN me boy, win it with a WOW.  No one can stop you,
your gifts are pure and sweet.  Now go out and do it, go out and join the elite.

Burtsville Believes in all of you, 'Tis what the Vineyard Trip brings to you, 
Dadio's Cannon Ball Park--Take a Right,
The mystery, the mystical has brought you two.

The coaches have given you the chances to win again and again,
you have grown from boys to wonderful young men.
Working Hard with Talent has brought you rewards--two time Champs,
and each and every time you've had to climb a higher ramp.

Steve Walsh finds way to CBP with friends                                               Coach George J. & Coach Todd Hall at CBP

Those of you believers, from the Vineyard to the Whale,
know that each game must bring, its very own lunch pail.
You have now before you Four Doors to open wide,
But each door must be addressed itself, to have another ride.

  Hamden High School Team 2010-2011                                                                   Coaches Bill V., Todd H., & George J.                                                        

So my fine young men, keep your eye on Door Number One,
Keep on skating hard,
And keep on having fun.

Lock It In me boys, each and every step,
Keep on playing hard, keep up your wonderful pep.
You can see what has happened in the last few games this year,
Just like the last two seasons, you've made us cheer and cheer.

You are a peaking, again, at the right time,
Keep on playing better, and you all will shine.
You are the Best--you've proved it not once but twice,
Now go out and do it, Man won't this be nice.

Burtsville has seen it, trust me oh for sure,
But Allie will not tell you,
until he sees the envelope at 
The Whale.

But let's not get ahead of anything that's dear,
Only think about, the game that is so near.
You play a kid in net, the word outstanding comes to mind,
You need to bring it hard and fast, becuase this game will be a grind.

Now your own tough schedule, will reap dividends divine,
and all those real tough games, will help you all to shine.

The Door that is before you, is the only one there is,
so go out on Wednesday evening, and finish your important bizz.
And to those of you seniors, enjoy every sound and sight,
for you will be leaving the Hamden Rink, your competitive days on that ice end that night

How strange it is to think, from Mites and here you are,
that this Lou Astorino Ice Arena has made so many of you stars.
And now in a few short days,
Your games here will end,
What a ride it's given you,
to all of us Amen.

Thank you to Coach Astorino,
and to so many who have made it so,
What a ride it's been,
What a wonderful Show.

So, my dear young seniors,
It'll be a Special Night,
Make it  all the more special,
By making everything right.

Go out and skate hard,
smell the smells and see the sights,
Go out and play hard,
and have a wonderful night.
The Atlantic Restaurant on Martha's Vineyard                                                     The Harborview Hotel on Martha's Vineyard

Connor Walsh keep on bringing it each and every night,
To watch you play with your hustle, is a wonderful sight.
You give it 100% both ways all the time,
We have a special feeling, now is your time to shine.

                 Connor Walsh robbed

And to our Brandon Dadio, you have stepped it up Big Time,
no better time than now, to be tough and smart and shine.
Keep up your hard skating and win those battles low,
And do what you know you can,
to get us back to The Show.

                     Brandon Dadio

And to Justin MacGregor, it's your time of the season, Yes it is.
No doubt you're ready to go, You've been playing great,
Now lead us to The Show.

You have the talent within you, and have been playing strong,
Just keep on going hard, keep singing a beautiful song.
Hands as soft as velvet, and a body stronger than most,
keep up your fine play, and you can raise the toast.

                     Justin MacGregor

Nicky you are a wonder, you did it last year at this time,
'Tis now the season when you rise and shine.
Play hard each and every shift, short and clean and fast,
And bury each and every puck from the start to the last.

                Nicky Amarone

Use your feet and hands, get to each free puck on the fly,
And score each which way, from the ground to the sky.

Your winner last year was nice, just remember how you felt,
And think about this year, and go out and get another pelt.

And here's to Paulie A., a one gear kid in high octane,
To watch his energy level is unbelievable and insane.
You've had a wonderful year, scoring and doing what you do,
now raise it up and notch, let's not stop at two.

       Paul Amarone scores OT winner

I know that you, Patch and Jimmy,
will miss a friendship dear, when you all are apart,
but that is for next year.  You've all cooked up something special,
the last two year's for sure, You all have played so well, beautiful and pure.

So, let's do it again, for them and you and us,and let's even do it again for the guys
who follow the Bus.  Just keep it up my young man,
you make us all so proud,
Do it all again me Paulie--take us back  to the clouds.

Burtville Believes in our Team and that is what it is,
A Team of fine young players,
Champions--in any sports and bizz.

Champions take a special breed and you boys have it,
Yes You Do.
Burtsville Belives in You---and You Should Do So Too!

What more can be said, about four boys who soon will be men,
All they have done is win and win and win.
To think about young Patrick, the Lynch Boy everyone doubts,
Well let me tell you something, he's the BEST--did you hear my respectful SHOUT.

Again, here comes Patch, as small as he can be,
Others look at him,
And marvel and ask did he just do that? The answer:
Oh Yessiree.

                   Pat Lynch lets it rip

If ever there was a player, as talented and smart as can be,
You show him to me, because I show Patch to thee.
Mr. Patrick Lynch scoring and scoring galore,
And to win the Championship, we want more and more and more.

You think that others want us, with Patch, CJ, RJ, Jim and more,
You are in a Dream World, because all these kids will soar.
The leaders on the team, winners oh for sure,
And in the State Tournament their games are more than pure.

CJ took off on a tear that we all expect will be seen again and more,
He loves this time of the season and watch him score and score.
He helped to lead us, to two Championships no doubt,
And wait to see what is in store this year, approval you will shout.

                   CJ Carignan

And let's not forget, what goes on outside the Rink, 
for this team is special--it skates, works out and thinks.
Many are a reason, to bring Champions home each year,
to us there are many signs to help us scream and cheer.

Yes we have the Vineyard, Cannon Ball Park and Take a Right,
But we also have Mr. Oneto--a prayer can bring wonderful delight.
Let's not forget Coach Cliff--the Spiritual Leader of the Team,
his talks have been a tremendous help,
To the Top of the World he has helped us dream.

                              BLISS LINE

                       2010-2011 EDITION

But dreaming is seeing and believing in what you see,
maybe means a date on a forearm, for you and possibly for me.
Well my strong young men, talented and hard working yes you are,
to me you are wonderful, to me you all are stars.

Burtsville Believes in Karma, Destiny for you and me,
Ink it in that forearm, this year you make it Three.

And to those final two, RJ and my own Jim,
What can I say to you, what a wondeful ride it has been.
RJ you've been a wonder on and off the ice,
Your articles have been touching, to Poppy oh so nice.
And yet your play, stellar each and every night,
has made me often smile, watching you play is a wonderful sight.

Smooth and fast and smart, an artist on and off the ice,
Hey RJ, two is wonderful, but man Number Three is special and nice.

                   RJ Ugolik Fires on Net

And to my young man Jimmy, what more can a dad say,
You make me ever prouder, each and every day.
I hold back in my writings, how much you mean to the team,
you make everyone around you better and help them shine and glean.

You are a special player, many have said so,
And it has been a delight to watch you lead the show.
I'm so glad you stayed at Hamden, with your friends and town,
And how much fun it has been to watch your teams win the crowns.

All I've ever told you is to play hard and have lots of fun,
Man you've given back so much more,
You are a wonderful son.

I am so proud of what you have accomplished, on and off the ice,
But what I am most proud of--is that frankly you are nice.

Jim Burt on the move at Martha's Vineyard

I know that you will have a wonderful tournament, just like you did the last two times,
and help to lead the Green Dragons to victory--if for no other reason to let your dad keep making up these rythmes!

So play hard and have fun Jimmy, your high school career has been a blast,
And you and your teammates have made wonderful memories that will last and last and last.

So, to my young Green Dragons, Burtsville Believes in you so much, let each and everyone of you feel strong and come through in the clutch.

Remember my young men, YOU ARE THE CHAMPIONS--TWO TIMES BACK2BACK.  Believe in yourself and Believe in your teammates.  You are a TEAM.  You are the CHAMPIONS.  Play one game at a time.  One shift at a time.  Dadio's Cannon Ball Park--mystical, magic is with you--Take A Right.

Burtsville Believes!!!  Oh Burtsvillle Believes!!! 

                                                                                           March 2, 2011

                                                                     HAMDEN 2 NOTRE DAME OF WEST HAVEN 0

                               MATT HOFF & GREG HARNEY ALSO SHINE IN NET


Justin Wetmore shines in net for Hamden

Justin Wetmore was in net for Senior Night and oh what a night it was for the senior goalie.  Wetmore--who has not played since covering the twines in Martha's Vineyard in early December--put on quite a show for the hometown team before an overflow crowd of 3,000 at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena.  He made several fine saves in shutting down the talented Green Knights offense before yielding way to sophomore Matt Hoff in the second period.

"Justin was outstanding," voiced Paul Avitable.  "It was great to see him between the pipes.  He is such a good kid and another in the fine tradition of outstanding goalies that Hamden High has produced over the years," said the father of former Hamden netminder and State MVP Anthony Avitable.  Wetmore's presence in net was in part thanks to his senior teammates who implored Coach William Verneris to play the affable Wetmore for Senior Night.  The kid did not disappoint.  Way to go Justin.   Burtsville tips its cap to you on an outstanding performance.

Wetmore was joined by two other players who performed miracles in net.  Teammate Matt Hoff turned in two outstanding periods of shutout hockey and but for a beautiful tip in by Billy Reilly, NDWH's Greg Harney would have left the ice without yielding a tally.  Harney--one of the best in the state--stopped several tough shots as the Green Dragons put pressure on him throughout the game.  Hoff made a couple himself leading Hamden to a victory in its last regular season game of the year.

                                                                GOALIES SHINE ON SENIOR NIGHT AT HAMDEN

                     GREG HARNEY

                                JUSTIN WETMORE

                              MATT HOFF

Paul Amarone added a patient empty net goal assisted by his cousin, Nicky Amarone.  Reilly's goal was assisted by Connor Walsh and RJ Ugolik who let go with a blast from the point that Reilly deflected in front.

Billy Reilly Tips Home RJ Ugolik Blast

Hamden starts the State Tournament this Wednesday at home against the West Haven Blue Devils.  The teams played a historic 3-3 tie earlier in the season with West Haven's outstaning goal tender JP Withington making 50 saves and its talented first line skating circles around Hamden after the Green Dragons had posted a 3-1 lead.  Hamden won the second game at the Bennett Rink led by a Pat Lynch Hat Trick and two goals by Jim Burt.

It's a whole new season come Wednesday.  One game at a time has to be the focus.  The Hamden team has obviously excelled the last two years during this "Second Season" time and Burtsville Believes the team will excel again.  Just concentrate on one game at a time.  Focus.  Don't think down the road.  Don't think about numbers.  Think NOW!  Think TEAM!  This is YOUR TEAM.   Go play each shift hard and fast.  Stay smart.  Stay focused.  Stay sharp.  And play from the first whistle to the last.

Team Play!  Team Goal! Team Celebrates! Team Championships!

Burtsville Believes!  Oh, Burtsville Believes!!!

                                                   February 27, 2011


The Hamden High School Green Dragons are finishing their regular season this Wednesday Night at home against ND of West Haven.  Hamden once again has several players ranked high in the State and SCC Scoring despite having one of the toughest schedules in the state.  Here is how some of the Hamden Players rank according to MaxPreps.  Any errors made in this table are the responsibility of Burtsville as it attempted its best to accurately reflect same.

Statewide in D-1 Hamden Players Pat Lynch ranks 11th in goals with 13, 30th in assists with 10, and 15th in points with 23.  CJ Carignan ranks 31st in goals with 7, 7th in assists with 16, and 15th in points with 23.  JIm Burt ranks 17th in goals with 11, 6th in assists with 18, and 7th in points with 29.  Several area players have performed well including approximately 6 players from East Haven and St. Joe's who are ahead of these Green Dragon Players.

Statewide Hamden also has Nicky Amarone posting 22nd in goals with 10 and 34th in points with 14, Paul Amarone 31st in goals with 7 and 36th in points with 13, RJ Ugolik is ranked 40th in points with 11 (2G, 9A) and is one of the top scoring defensemen in the state.  Justin MacGregor is ranked 40th in points with 2 goals and 9 assists.

The SCC D-1 sees Hamden players Pat Lynch ranked 6th in goals, Jim Burt 8th, Nick Amarone 11th, CJ Carignan and Paul Amarone 13th again with three local players from East Haven and one from West Haven ahead of the Hamden pack.  Hamden also has Michael Lee (23rd) and in 25th spot is RJ Ugolik, Tim Lee, Justin MacGregor and Billy Reilly.

Hamden has the following players ranked in assists for the SCC D-1 Burt (4th), Carignan (5th) &  Lynch (14th) again with two local players from East Haven ahead of this Hamden trio.  MacGregor is ranked 19th along with Ugolik, Paul Amarone (25th), Nick Amarone (33rd), Harley Pretty and Michael Lee (37th), and Teddy Kennedy (47th).

Total Point Leaders in the SCC D-1 Division show Hamden players Jim Burt (4th), CJ Carignan and Pat Lynch (10th) again with three local players from East Haven ahead of this Hamden trio, Nick Amarone (20th), Paul Amarone (21st), Justin MacGregor and RJ Ugolik (24th), Michael Lee (33rd) and Billy Reilly (49th).

                                                                                                         February 27, 2011
                                              HAMDEN 3 NOTRE DAME OF FFLD 1

                          ERIC SUGRUE UNREAL IN NET FOR LANCERS
                                 ANDY VARGA OUTSTANDING IN NET FOR GREEN DRAGONS

                                  MICHAEL LEE & CJ CARIGNAN BOUNCE GOALS OFF DEFENDERS

Freshman defender Michael Lee used a defense man's helmet in the first period and Senior CJ Carignan used a defense man's skate in the second to bounce goals past Lancer goalie Eric Sugrue who put on a masterful perfomance Saturday afternoon at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena.  Sadly (?) it will be the last time the Hamden Green Dragons face this outstanding senior netminder as the tough loss leaves the young and talented Lancers short in their miraculous bid to make it to this year's state tournament.  The Lancers lost 3 games and had one tied in the last thirty seconds of the game; including Hamden's improbable two goals in five seconds game, leading to an OT victory earlier in the year.

"That team that just skated off the ice for ND has character.  They are a young team.  A talented team.  They knew they needed to win their last 6 games of the season to get into the finals.  They won 4 straight and had Hamden and Xavier left.  And look how they performed.  They should be very proud of themselves.  I know the scoreboard registered a winner and loser today, but in my mind there was no loser.  They should hold their heads high.  And that kid in net.  My God was he amazing!" voiced longtime Hamden observer Terry Loukidies.

Amazing?  Well, if Varga was outstanding for Hamden--and he was.  If Hamden scored two of its' goals off what one Hamden fan said after the second period, "Thank God for two lucky bounces."  And if Brandon Dadio finished it off with an empty netter after ND's Brian Sanca made it interesting with a goal at the 7:31 mark of the third on an assist from Ben Viccari.  Well then, it's simply easier to show you the pictures than to try to describe the Eric Sugrue Show at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena Saturday.

               RJ Ugolik is robbed by Eric Sugrue

                        CJ Carignan shoots and scores

         Lancers celebrate Brian Sanca Goal

                                  Hamden Players CJ Carignan, Paul Amarone & Jim Burt Say a Hockey Hello to Mr. Eric Sugrue

                      Good Bye Mr. Carignan

                         Good Bye Mr. Amarone

                          Good Bye Mr. Burt

The save that Mr. Sugrue made on CJ Carignan in the third period was one of the best saves Burtsville has ever seen.  Bing Bang passing by the Hamden team had the Lancer goalie going back and forth from one post to the other.  Carignan teed it up and let go with a snap shot that was destined to hit the back of the twines.  Somehow a diving, sprawling Sugrue got his glove on it, knocked it down and covered it up before Carignan could reach the unexpected rebound.

Hamden's Andy Varga had an outstanding game in net as well.  Varga made 22 saves on the night as Sugrue registered 44.  The Hamden netminding situation has seen Varga and Matt Hoff alternate most games and each has performed well.  Either way the Hamden team will be solid in net come the State Tournament.  The team played solid defense Saturday and turned in another outstanding offensive display that was thwarted by another of the outstanding goalies that are we are lucky to have in the State of Connecticut this season.

      Andy Varga corrals another Lancer Shot

      Wouldn't you Smile with this woman between you?

                           Andy Varga makes Great Save

"Hamden has run into some outstanding netminders this season.  It is the price you pay when you play a schedule as tough as the Green Dragons play.  God knows what Hamden's record would be or what their stats would look like if they played the type of schedule some other D-1 Teams play," proferred Ed Brachocki regional scout for the Carefree Blades.  "This schedule has a way of making you look ugly at times.  It keeps everyone in the game.  But you could see today that tight games don't bother this team.  They just keep on working and playing believing they can win no matter what.  This belief in themselves will pay dividends in the state tournament games just as it has the last two years."

Burtsville ehoes those comments and firmly believes that this team--just like the last two years--has yet to play their best games.  Burtsville believes this team has what it takes to do it again.  Play smart.  Play hard. Play clean.  Get to every free puck fast.  Challenge each shot like you did against East Haven.  Move the puck and shoot like you did against West Haven.  Defend and goal keep like you have over the past several games.  And show the character you have shown for more than two years now when the games count the most.

Harley Pretty and Jim Burt recorded Hamden's only assists on the day as two of the goals were unassisted.  Justin MacGregor had another strong game for the Hamden squad as did Paul Amarone and the entire defensive corps.  Tim Lee, Billy Reilly, Vito Puopolo, Connor Walsh and Steve Ruocco continue to play well as did Nicky Amarone.  

Pat Lynch?  Well, Patch had his typical all out game but one undermanned shift in the first period had the fans come to their feet.  This young man scurried from infront of the net, darted behind it where he disrupted the puck carrier, stole the puck dipsy-dood his way somehow around him, by another and through another and got off a shot that if it had gone in would have completed one of the best shifts in high school hockey history that covered all of 20 feet.  He was like a jitterbug on water with the bull frogs and bass trying to snare him to no avail.  If not for Big Mama Sugrue, Patch would have been feasting on frog legs and striper after the shift was over.

                         Pat Lynch stopped by Sugrue  

Hold dear to your hearts my young men the mystical, magical power of the Dadio Cannon Ball Park Express. Take a Right!  Some things in life can't be explained.  Some things are mystical.  Some are magical.  The Dadio CBP Express is both. Take a right!  It brings a power and a mystique that cannot be comprehended but is as real as your sticks and skates.  Think back to Martha's Vineyard.  Think back to what you have done to prepare yourself the last two seasons.  Get ready for Coach Cliff and his special talks, Top of the World, Mr. Oneto and the blessings he helps bestow upon us all.   Think about dates and forearms and think of the destiny before you.

Burtsville Believes!  Oh Burtsville Believes!!       


                                       February 26, 2011


Burtsville and the entire Hamden Hockey Community Congratulate the outstanding players of the Hamden Youth Hockey Association's Pee Wee B State Champions!  The team went 5-0 in the State Tournament and were recently honored on the ice during a Hamden High School game.

Well done!  Congratulations to the players, coaches, parents and the entire HYHA membership.  Winning a State Championship is something you will never forget.  Looks like the future of the Hamden Green Dragons is looking good.

                                                                             February 25, 2011

                                                            Hamden High 3  Winchester 5

The Hamden High School Green Dragons played the all too gracious host in giving up 5 goals to the talented team of Winchester High School.
The Sachems took advantage of Hamden's generosity in posting a 5-1 lead before the home team came roaring back to make it a respectable 5-3 game.  Brendan Greene scored two goals, Nick Ducharme, Colin Edwards, and Dan Donavan also scored for the visitors.  Assists went to Nolan Redler, Derek DiVincenzo and Conor Tedesco.  Jed Robinson was outstanding in net including making a great save on teammate Colin Edwards.

       Brendan Greene scores one of his two goals

                      Tracy & Friends from Winchester

            Don Boyle interviews HHS Girls Team Members

Rumor has it that Robinson wouldn't let Edwards eat any of the pizza on the bus ride home for shooting on him in the game.  Sorry Colin, I just had to write this.  You played a great game as did Mr. Robinson and your entire team.

Hamden was playing without stand out center CJ Carignan and winger Jim Wilson.  They were down 1-0 in the first when the tandem of Jim Burt and Pat Lynch hooked up once again for a beautiful play and goal.  Burt picked the puck up in his zone and skated it up the side boards.  Hamden was down a man and as Burt turned around his linemate Lynch was motoring up the center of the ice.  Burt made a beautiful no look back hand pass and Lynch put the moves on the Sachem's goalie to score a Hamden short handed goal.

"Those two kids just seem to know where each other are all the time," said Peter Vander Veer, on his color commentary with Don Boyle on Sportingnewsct.com.  Boyle, the mastermind behind this great site and audio and video coverage of High School Sports in Connecticut, echoed those comments.  Boyle--a Peabody native--did a wonderful interview of many members of the HHS Girl's Hockey Team between periods and the interview is up on his site.  Please take the time to take a listen.  And for Tracy and our Winchester friends, you can listen to the call of the game and download it for your future pleasure. And please remember that all of the pictures Burtsville took at the game will be posted to a free site in the future.  The site is www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com.  It may take a month or so but they will be up there eventually for all to enjoy.

Hamden never gave up and kept battling until the end.  Their effort level will serve them well in the upcoming state tournament.

"I think Hamden has the talent to do it again," said Cape Cod Cutters General Manager Johnny Sides.  "I said it last year and I'll say it again, Hamden has many talented players.  In my opinion, they have the best player in the state and several who are close behind.  That's just my opinion.  They can do it again but each kid needs to play smart.  It doesn't matter which line you are on or who you are playing with.  Move the puck, hustle and stay out of the box.  The defense needs to stay strong in the slot and watch those cross ice passes.  They don't have to be the best team in the regular season.  They just need to be the best the last four games of the year.  All those tough games they played--especially Hell Week--will server them well in the state tournament.  There is no way I would bet against this team.  No way.  You know who was the best team the last two years when it counted most?  'Nucc' said."

Hamden finished the first period down 2-1 as a late goal put the Sachems up.  They left the second period down 3-1 and then found themselves down 5-1 before Hamden cashed in on two late goals.  The hard working third line saw sophomore sensation Billy Reilly score a bang in goal assisted by Teddy Kennedy and Conor Callahan.  Kennedy and Callahan have added smarts and muscles to the Hamden Blue Line over the past several games.

"Reilly is really a good looking player.  The kid doesn't stop working, is strong as a bull, and has a knack for putting the puck in the net," said Mike Murphy, former Davis Street Hockey Pond Legend.  Another kid who never stops working and had an assist on Tim Lee's goal is Vito Puopolo.  It is great to see these kids get rewarded for their hard work and fine play.

                              Billy Reilly bangs one home

        Pat Lynch scores beautiful Short Handed Goal

                     Tim Lee shoots & scores

Tim Lee is now on a roll.  The talented winger has scored in two straight games and had several quality scoring chances.  The fact that this line is starting to score at this time of the year in nothing but good news for Hamden.

Let's face it.  Hamden has two tough games to end the season.  So what else is new?  Hamden has a tough game every game on its' schedule.  The team has qualified for the State Tournament.  The team still has work to do.  It is very important for every player to dig deep and play their best--no matter what line you are on--no matter who is in net--and no matter who is playing with one another.  The Prize is what you have done the past two seasons and Burtsville Believes you will do it again.  You are still waiting to play your best hockey over a sustained period of time.

 It is difficult for Burtsville to ignore the fact that these are the last two regular season games that his son and his senior mates will play at  the Lou Astorino Ice Arena.  What a great ride it has been.  Enjoy it boys--especially you seniors.  You have accomplished wonderful things over the last two years and your destiny awaits you.  Thank you for everything.

Three Crowns is the prize, we have seen it for you,
You are the Champs, you already have two.
Others may doubt you, with the record and all,
Never mind about all that, go have a ball.

You are the best, you've done it before,
You are the best, stand proud and tall.
Hit the ice hard, get ready for the test,
And at the end of it all, you'll be the Best.

You are Hamden Hockey, 
the Green Dragons you be,
You have already won two,
go make it three.

Believe in yourself,
your team and your town, 
Burtsville Believes,
You'll be wearing Three Crowns.

Now is the time,
You know what to do,
Go make it three,
You already have two.

Burtsville Believes.  Oh Burtsville Believes!!!

                                                                      February 22, 2011

                      EDWARD "POPPY" UGOLIK SAYS GOOD BYE

Hamden Hockey's Number One Fan has left us.  Ed "Poppy" Ugolik passed away last evening driving past the Lou Astorino Ice Arena where he loved to watch his grandsons and grand daughter perform for the Hamden High School and HYHA teams.  Grandson RJ has a wonderful memorial for his beloved Poppy in his New Haven Register Blog.  How fitting it is that Poppy's last moments here on earth were spent driving by his old Woodin Street home and past the Rink where many of us in town came to know and love him.  Poppy never made it to the Arden House last night but we are certain that he has already made it to Heaven.

God's Speed my friend.  You were a wonderful man and it was a pleasure knowing you.  Burtsville and the entire Hamden Hockey Community sends its heartfelt sympathies to the entire Ugolik family.  Poppy will be missed by all.

                                                     February 20, 2011

                                           CJ CARIGNAN & JUSTIN MACGREGOR ADD TWO ASSISTS EACH
                                                         TIM LEE SCORES FIRST VARSITY GOAL

Hamden High School avenged an earlier tie with West Haven by winning on the road 7-0 behind stellar defensive play, outstanding goal tending, and scoring from Pat Lynch and mates in what was Hamden's most dominant performance of the year.  The team, coming off a feisty win over East Haven, played hockey from start to finish staying out of the box except for one minor penalty in its dominating victory.

         Michael Lee drops to block shot

          RJ Ugolik helps Matt Hoff on fine save

        Harely Pretty dives to block shot

    Teddy Kennedy plays solid defense

              Tim Lee Scores First Varsity Goal!!!!!!

    Connor Walsh is robbed by JP Withington

"This is what this team looked like last year," said Hamden Youth Coaching Legend Terry Loukidies.  "They had solid defense, the kid in net looked outstanding, each and every line was hustling all game long, and they got scoring from the kids they need to get scoring from to win.  And to see a kid like Timmy Lee who has the scorer's touch finally get on the board can only mean great things for the Hamden team.  To be honest, I really liked that kid playing where he played yesterday."

The Green Dragons got off to a fast start with dynamo Pat Lynch scoring just twelve seconds into the contest.  Lynch was assisted by linemates CJ Carignan and Jim Burt.  There was much talk about the line of Carignan, PJ Vakos and Burt over the past two years being the Best Line in the State.  At this time last year the Hamden team was 11-4-1.  This year the team in 10-5-1.  Last year the team had scored 54 goals and gave up 41 goals.  This year they have scored 55 goals and given up 42.  And at this time last year, Vakos, Carignan and Burt had 22 goals and 32 assists.  This year Carignan, Lynch and Burt have a combined 29 goals and 42 assists.

        Josh Robichaud shoots for West Haven

              Brandon Dadio fires for Green Dragons

     Mark Berretta lets it rip for Blue Devils

     Three Amigos inside the Bennett Rink

                 WHOOOOOOOOOOO ALLIE!!!!!!

   Sticky Notes are tough for one coach to handle

"What can you say about that line," said Paul Flinter a former star of the Waterbury Turbo's in the 1960's.  Carignan has had a fantastic regular season picking up where he left off after last year's state tournament.  Lynch is absolutley incredible.  And Burt has been high octane for the past several years.  And is there a better penalty killing tandem than Lynch and Burt in the state?"

Hamden had it all going in this game.  Interestingly, it was the West Haven game last year in which the team seemed to jell which propelled them onto a second straight State Championship.  Perhaps the fracas at the East Haven game woke some players up to play hockey and stay out of the box to see just how good this team is.  And don't for a moment boys think otherwise.

Billy Reilly, Vito Puopolo and Connor Walsh were flying all game long.  They hit hard and kept on going.  Just as important they fought through hard checks and kept their eyes on the puck and not the opposing player.  Well done boys.  Burtsville actually thinks you were the best line on the ice yesterday and your day will come with the scoring if you just keep up your fine work.  You give an enormous amount of energy to this team and it is vitally important that you take it home strong over the next few games and into the state tournament.

The defense was outstanding.  You got to every loose puck, guarded the men in front, limited a high potent offense to just 14 shots and protected your goalie by blocking shots and staying strong and staying smart!  Sean O'Keefe, Harley Pretty, & Teddy Kennedy had their best games of the year.  Ditto Brandon Dadio who this team needs to play at that level the rest of the way for it to be successful.

RJ Ugolik and Michael Lee continue to play at a different level.  RJ is simply the best two way defense man in the state in Burtsville's humble opinion.  He is a gifted skater, tough and smart.  Michael Lee's game for a freshman is extra-ordinary.  Each has to keep working hard in practice and games for the Green Dragons to continue to be successful.  Conor Callahan and Joey Quick added to the blue line strength yesterday playing well when they hit the ice.

Congratulations to Matt Hoff.  Matt made many fine saves and stayed controlled and focused the entire game to garner the first shut out of his high school career.  Matt has excelled his last few games and Hamden is going to need Matt and Andy Varga to continue to play well the rest of the year.

Both CJ Carignan and Justin MacGregor keep playing well.  Both had two assists yesterday and J Mac was robbed late in the game on a fine save by West Haven's outstanding goalie, PJ Withington.  Make no mistake boys you scored against one of the state's best yesterday.  You came to play all game long and didn't stop.  Withington stoned you the last time you played 50 times and you better be ready to face he and his Blue Devil mates again because Burtsville can see this Joe Morrell West Haven squad going deep into the playoffs.  They have a stud goalie, tough defense with the likes of Kyle Leyerzapf, Josh Robichaud, Mark Berretta and Company and one of the best lines in the state with Ryan Hansen, Mike Troiano, & Adam Mink.  Do not be surprised if we are seeing them down the line.

And Burtsville sends out a special Thank You to Coaches Joe Morrell, John Ascenzia and the entire West Haven Coaching Staff.  You guys have made the last four years an absolute blast.  It has been a pleasure to see you and get to know you and I hope that our paths cross many times in the future. And for those watching, please keep in mind that West Haven lost many of their prime players to graduation last year when they were destroying state competition.  They lost one of the best players in the state--Tim Baylis--to Prep School.  And this year the team has come back stronger than ever.  This is a testament to the talent and character of the players they have on this year's squad and the character and talent of the guys behind the bench.  Well Done &  Best of luck the rest of the way.

It was nice to see Anthony Rascati get onto the varsity ice for the first time in his career.  The kid can fly and he had an assist on Patrick's last goal that was not officially credited to him at game time but a review of the Sportingnewsct.com Instant Replay clearly shows the hustling young man banged the puck over to Lynch before he scored his beautiful third goal.  Well done Anthony.  And we hope that Jimmy Wilson--who always gives 100%--is okay after getting banged up along the boards.  And Brother Carignan may need to rest a bit to let his injury heal in time for the state tournament.  Short, hard shifts all game long is what this team did yesterday and the results speak for themselves.

And let's face it.  Who plays harder than Paul Amarone?  Up and down the ice the kid goes full throttle.  He never stops working.  Forechecking.  Back checking.  He hits. He scores.  And what he did in yesterday's game shows us all how important he is to this team.  And it shows him how important it is for him to stay on the ice for this team.  He not only scored a beautiful goal assisted by Harley Pretty and CJ Carignan but he played a vital role defensively in covering the talented West Haven forwards all over the ice.  Well done Paulie A.!

And how can one describe Jimmy and Patch?  Best friends since birth.  Up the street or down the street, at one house or the other and they find themselves together making beautiful music on the ice for their Hamden High School Hockey Team.  One kid over 6 feet tall the other breaking the 5 foot barrier but not by much.  If ever the Odd Couple wore skates, there you have it.  And yet, the fiercest of competitors, hockey IQ's second to none, and the drive to take this team to another Championship along with the other fine players who have done so in the past.

              Paul Amarone                                                                Jim Burt                                                                         Patrick Lynch




And here they are leading the team forward with scoring, defense and leadership.  They along with Carignan up front have posed enormous problems for other teams in match ups.  They have consistently scored and have given the team great penalty killing along with Ugolik and others on defense.  Carignan has 6G and 16A; Lynch 12G and 10A; and Burt 11G and 16A.  It is a line you can count on for production and with Paul Amarone, Nick Amarone, and Justin MacGregor playing and producing the way they have the Green Dragons just need to keep their heads on straight, work hard in practice and play hard and smart each and every shift.  SHORT SHIFTS and HARD, CLEAN play is what you got yesterday.  Let's see more of it for the rest of season.

        Jim Burt & Pat Lynch wrap arms after another score

  It's been a lot of fun my friend.  What say we do it again?!

And Patch. Nice Hat Trick young man.  You were too quick with the scores for Burstville on two of them, but we got the third and man was it a beauty. The scoring line yesterday saw Lynch get 3 goals and 1 assist, Burt 2 goals in 16 seconds (slowing down a bit in those 2 goal spurts James!) and 1 assist, Paul Amarone 1 goal, and Tim Lee 1 goal.  Carignan had 2 assists, MacGregor 2 assists, Anjthony Rascati, RJ Ugolik (on Burt's first goal another assist not properly credited to Ugolik but seen on the Sportingnewsct.com replay), Pretty, Dadio and Mike Lee 1 each including a beautiful assist by Lee to Lynch on Pat's second goal.

Timmy Lee--listen to me my young man---you told Burtsville the day before the Championship Game last year that you had never won a state championship before.  After the game you walked around in a daze, smiling, uttering that you were a State Champion.  Yesterday started your voyage along with the rest of your mates.  Don't be satisfied with that first goal kid.  Be estatic!  It was a beauty.

That is what gets you going and now don't stop.  Work even harder in practice.  Get greedy to score more.  You can do it.  We need you to do it.  And we need everyone else to do it as well.

Make that ONE move like you did around the defenseman--hard, decisive and fast--no jukes in and out--you put on the jets one way and went by him on your way to #1.  And that is the way you should look at this year's title.  Not the third in a row, but your #1.  The one you won for us.  Each of you should feel that way.  Pressure?  There is no pressue on you guys.  Forget about that talk.  No pressure at all.  This is YOUR TIME.  No one else's.  Seize the Moment.  Yesterday was the start.  Practice hard.  Play hard.  No time in the box.  Keep your eye on the prize.  And while you should make this one your #1, that #3 does have a nice sound and look to it.

              Pat Lynch celebrates the Hat Trick Goal

                            I Like the Number Three

Burtsville Believes!  Oh Burtsville Believes!  And boys, if you don't already, you sure should by now. Believe in yourself.  Believe in your teammates.  Believe in your coaches. Believe in your destiny.  Believe in your TEAM.  You are Hamden Hockey.

Join the mystical magic of the Dadio Cannon Ball Park Express.  Take a Right.  Lock it In.  Enjoy!!  Burtsville Believes!  Oh Burtsville Believes!!!

                                                                   February 18, 2011

                                                                    HAMDEN 4  EAST HAVEN 3

                                                            CJ CARIGNAN & NICK AMARONE ALSO SCORE

 Hamden's Paul Amarone scored with a little over three minutes in the game to lead the Green Dragons to a hard fought victory over East Haven Wednesday evening at the Lou Astorino Rink in Hamden.  Sam Gavigan was outstanding in net for the visiting Yellow Jackets making one outstanding save after another in a 31 save performance.

"Man, Hamden has seen some great goalies this year and that kid ranks right up there with the rest of them," waxed Paul Avitable father of State MVP Anthony Avitable who led Hamden to the State Championship two years ago.  " The kid made one great save after another to keep East Haven in the game.  I love watching a good goalie and I certainly saw one tonight."

Hamden got on the board first with a Nick Amarone goal assisted by Paul Amarone and Justin MacGregor.  East Haven answered back with an unassisted goal by Kevin Randall.  The second period saw Hamden go out on top 2-1 on a CJ Carignan goal on a fine feed from Jim Burt.  RJ Ugolik also had an assist on the goal.

       Nick Amarone Shoots & Scores

East Haven answered back as Rich DeCarlo scored assisted by Andrew Hamilton and Tom Brunski.  Less than one minute later the crafty freshman Steve Marsico put the visitiors ahead on a nice shot in the slot.  He was assisted by DeCarlo and Matt Barcomb.  East Haven held their 3-2 lead until the 10:21 mark when freshman defenseman Michael Lee took a pass from Brandon Dadio, made his way through the defense and scored as the East Haven goalie tried to poke the puck off his stick.  The crowd rose to its feet after this beautiful rush and goal.  Burt was also credited with an assist.

                     Kevin Randall Goal

                            Rich DeCarlo Goal

                      Stephen Marsico Goal

Then with less than 4 minutes to play Paul Amarone--who was flying all night--gathered in his own rebound and shot the puck up and over the Yellow Jacket goalie for the winning tally.  He was assisted by Nick Amarone and Justin MacGregor.  

Both teams battled hard and the game ended on an unfortunate note but that should not take away from what a good game it was for both teams.  East Haven proved it belonged in the hierachy of teams in the state and Hamden once again showed the type of character and never say die attitude that has led them to two straight state titles.  Some pundits have written Hamden off this year as a result of their record.  Beware.  That is not such a good idea according to Burtsville.

Hamden plays the toughest schedule in the state and last week was a testament to the talent, toughness and character of this team to play the teams it did and to do as well as it did.  You don't win Back2Back Titles without a boat load of talent, hard work, and character.  Many of the Hamden players who have contributed mightily to those Championships are still on the team.  The team is starting to get scoring contributions from many players.  The core unit is playing well.  Now if some of the players can just KEEP THEIR EYE ON THE PRIZE and STOP TAKING STUPID PENALTIES the team can do it again.

CJ Carignan Lofts it over Goalie;s Shoulder to Score

             Michael Lee Finishes Off Beautiful Goal

     Paul Amarone Second Effort Goal Wins Game

It is up to you as players to find the discipline to do what is right.  This team can do it again and Burtsville Believes it will.  The TEAM needs all of you to play hard and play smart.  Smart is not taking penalties--at all!!!  Let's see if we can accomplish that this weekend and the rest of the year.

Burtsville has had a lot of fun around the state the last few years meeting coaches, players, fans, etc.  One of the nicest people Burtsville has had the pleasure of interacting with is Head Coach Lou Pane of East Haven.  Coach Pane always has competitive teams that play hard.  He is also a true gentleman with a Ton of Class.  Coach--It's been a pleasure.  Thanks for the memories and best of luck the rest of the way.  I am sure our paths will cross many times again.




                                                        February 13, 2011  

                                                                          HAMDEN 4  SOUTH WINDSOR 1
                                       NICK AMARONE HAT TRICK/PAT LYNCH GOAL
                                          CJ CARIGNAN TWO ASSISTS/HOFF SOLID  IN NET
                                                                          KYLE BENSON SCORES FOR BOBCATS

Hamden ended a hectic week with a huge confidence boosting win over one of the toughest teams in the state in the South Windsor Bobcats.  Hamden's Nick Amarone scored three goals--including 2 shorthanded goals--to lead the hard playing Green Dragons.  Matt Hoff followed up Andy Varga's outstanding performance against New Canaan with one of his own as both netminders allowed only one goal each against the best the state has to offer.

"Make no mistake about this win," said Springfield native and former St. Mary's Blades star Ed Corridan, "This was a huge win by the Hamden team.  They have just played 4 games in 5 days against 3 top ten teams in the state and one of the best teams in the USA.  They lost two close ones and to come back after a tough defeat to undefeated New Canaan--and in a rink that makes it hard as visitors--speaks volumes about the talent and character of this team.  They haven't won Back2Back Titles without both those qualities. Some people were writing Hamden off after those three losses.  I don't think that is a wise thing to do with the championship caliber players and leaders this Hamden team has on it."

The South Windsor squad (13-3) is a deep and talented team.  Coach Rodman and Coach Humiston have one of the finest all around teams in the state.  Tonight was not their night but don't count out this team that kept playing hard until the end.  Kyle Benson got them on the board in the third with a hard shot assisted by Joe Bonazelli and Chris Marchi had a strong game in net.  The Bobcats have many other fine players and it would not surprise Burtsville to see them go far in this year's tournament.

 Kyle Benson gets on the board for Bobcats

              Nicky Amarone Short Handed Beauty

    Bruce, Paul & Brian Benson enjoy the game

What Hamden had tonight was three lines buzzing.  All night long.  And boys, it does make a difference when all of you are flying.  The fourth line hit the ice flying as well.  Nicky "Magic Hands" Amarone showed why he has one of the best pairs of hands in the state with his three goals.  No one does it alone though--unless we are reliving his highlight reel goal in the first period--which defies description.  Or as one mother put it, he looked like a snake slithering through the grass as he made his way in for a five hole beauty.

Amarone picked off a pass just outside of the blue line.  He darted left and right--forehand to backhand--between, around and through two defenders, came cruising in on the goalie deked back hand froze forehad and rifled a five hole special along the ice that smashed into the net as loudly as the fans erupted at seeing this spectacular goal.

CJ Carignan had an outstanding night assisting on two goals including a beautiful short handed block of a shot, hustle for the puck and then sprinted up ice feeding a pass between two defenders for Nick's second short handed goal of the evening.  Nick's third goal was set up with the fine play of Paul Amarone getting a loose puck and feeding it down low to Justin MacGregor who found Nick in the slot and the kid let go with a snap shot that made it to the back of the net.  He had about 2 inches of freedom with the defenders and goalie guarding the twine but somehow got it to go for a goal.

    CJ Carignan threads pass to Nicky A.


             Nicky buries it after a couple of moves

Nick Amarone somehow finds the back of the net

And then old reliable showed up in the uniform of Patrick Lynch.  Once again this dynamo was in the right place at the right time.  People are starting to take notice of Patch as being one of the best players in the state.  RJ Ugolik let go with a blast as Jim Burt screened in front.  Lynch was behind the goal line, snapped up the rebound, bolted to the puck and to the net and scored another of his team leading 9 goals which ties him with Burt and Nick Amarone.

RJ lets it rip as Jimmy screens and Pat anticipates

   Pat Lynch grabs rebound and heads to net for goal

        Teammates Celebrate Patch's Goal

Hamden's first line has been cooking all year long.  Burt has 23 points, Carignan 19, Lynch 18, Nick Amarone 10, Paul Amarone 10, RJ Ugolik 8, & Justin MacGregor 7.   Nicky Amarone has 5 goals in the last two games alone.

 "Not too many teams can match up with Hamden's first line," opinioned Johnny Sides the regional scout for the Cape Cod Cutters.  "But I have to tell you, with Nick Amarone and Justin MacGregor playing the way they have the last two games Hamden's first line might be their second line.  Paul Amarone never stops. He goes up and down the ice both ways.  If Nick Amarone and Justin MacGregor keep up their levels play that they have had the last two games, well, let me just say that Nicky got three tonite and three is a number the Hamden team knows oh so well."

Burtsville could not agree more.  This is the Hamden Team that so many predicted we'd see at the beginning of the year.  The team has not totally meshed yet--and that is a good thing.  The team once again appears ready to begin peeking at the right time of the year And with the goaltending the team has gotten from both Andy Varga and Matt Hoff, the team is in good shape no matter which kid plays in net.

So boys, nice week of games.  Some tough losses but you competed hard in each game.  Big win tonight against another quality opponent.  Now carry this momentum over into next week, tighten up your defensive assignments down low, and everyone keep working hard in practice and games.  Oh, and one more thing, will you please start mentally going into games knowing that at times there are going to be some bad calls or misplays or hard hits and learn to ignore them all, keep your mouths taped and play on without taking the types of penalties that we have endured way too long this year.  It has cost you games and it will again if you don't start to steel yourself away from those penalties.  Take a lesson from Mt. St. Charles--they just kept skating and paying no attention to hard hits, bad calls, whatever.  Their heads were always on the puck and the next play.  They weren't concerned about telling the ref off or taking another poke at an opposing player after the whistle.  You guys are too good for that stuff and at the same time you are not good enough to engage in it.  It wears your penalty killers down and takes away from your TEAM.


You are on the verge of doing something special.  You can do it.  You have the TEAM to do it.  You have done it before.  Burtsville Believes!  Oh, Burtsville Believes!!!  Don't underestimate what you did last night.  You played an undefeated, outstanding New Canaan Team the night before and came back to play a team that had lost just 2 games all year--in their building--and won against a Top Ten team that is in the mix with all the other fine teams you have played this year.  You play the toughest schedule in the state. It is games like this---week's like this--that get you ready for the State Tournament. Back to Back to Back to Back tough games.  See that?  

Four tough games against outstanding, quality opponents.  Just like the tournament.  A Four Act Play against top notch teams.  Your year long schedule--and especially this week's schedule--gets you ready for the grind of the playoffs.  You got up for all these games, you played hard and you never stopped working.  And when you could have folded in your fourth tough game--on the road---after getting beat the night before in a game against an undefeated team--playing against another Top Ten Team and one of the best  in the state---what did you do?  You played hard and you won.

Tough schedules.  Great opponents.  Hard work.  Character.  Talent. Leadership.  Hamden Hockey.

 It has worked the last two years and it will work again this year.  Believe in yourselves and Believe in your TEAM and TEAMMATES.  Work Hard.  Make it Happen.  Believe Kids.  Lock it In kids.  Enjoy it!  Destiny awaits you.  Talent and Hard Work beats talent every time.  There is something mystically magic about the players on this team.  Dadio's Cannon Ball Express has a power that we all don't have to understand to believe.  This team has won two straight Back2Back Titles.  The same character--talent--work ethic--desire and that something special that you have--will work again.  Conceive it.  Believe it.  Achieve it.  Burtsville Believes!  Oh Burtsville Believes!!!!

                                                  February 12, 2011

                                                             FOUR GAME WEEK TAKES ITS TOLL ON BURTSVILLE!!!!!

It has been a busy week for the Hamden High School Hockey Team. The team played Fairfield Prep Tuesday night losing a good game 4-2, got beat Wednesday night by Rhode Island's #1 Ranked Team, Mt. St. Charles 7-3 although the team competed throughout and scored the only goal in the third period of the game, and lost a 2-0 game last evening to Connecticut's #1 ranked and undefeated New Canaan squad.  The New Canaan game witnessed fine goaltending for both teams as Andy Varga had his best game of the year yielding one goal and Tom Nowacki for New Canaan stoning Hamden all night long.

Burtsville apologizes to Kevin Regan and the rest of the loyal readers of Burtsville for not getting out its' usual articles and pictures.  It actually takes 7-10 hours to do each story with the uploading and editing of pictures and the writing about each game.  This simply is not possible this week with such a cluster of games in such a short span of time.  Suffice it to say that Prep got the better of Hamden with a strong outburst in the second period helped by penalties by the Green Dragon squad.  Two Power Play  goals and fine play by the Prep forwards in stealing two pucks deep in the Hamden zone led to their four goals.  

Hamden got goals on a Mike Lee slap shot and a Pat Lynch Power Play goal on a pretty feed from Jim Burt.  CJ Carignan, Paul Amarone and Justin MacGregor also had assists in the game for Hamden.  Prep was led by Donald Carnicky's two goals and goals by AJ Unker and Bryan Puffer.  David White (3), Puffer, Tom Worsford, and Mike Brophy also had assists for Prep.  Unker scored an absolutely beautiful spinning goal in the second period that was waved off by the official for the net being off its moorings.  Burtsville has seen enough of these types of calls to know that the rule needs to be changed.  The fact that the net was off had nothing to do with this young man scoring.  It happend to Hamden in the MSC game and also negated a possible breakaway by Hamden in the Prep game with a whistle behind the play to move the net 1/4 inch.  Suffice it to say Unker was denied a goal on one of the prettiest moves made all year long.

Hamden next played Rhode Island Power Mt. St. Charles.  No doubt the best team that the Mount has had in 4 years.  Fine skating, passing and execution.  They never stopped moving and didn't engage in any banter or after the whistle jostling with the Hamden players.  Clean, hard skating game that while a loss to the home team was actually one of the best games Hamden has played all year.  Hamden had one goal negated (see above about net issue) but got two goals from Nick Amarone and one from Jim Burt.  CJ Carignan, Pat Lynch and Paul Amarone had assists for the evenig.

The Mount got goals and assists by Zachary Sambosky (1G2A), Brain Campbell (1G1A), Trevor Plante (2G1A), Alexander Erban (2G1A),
Derek Duschene (1G), Ben Handdanyan (2A) and Michael Magerman (1A).

And last night both New Canaan and Hamden played strong.  One mistake turned into a beautiful goal by the undefeated Rams Charlie Corcoran.  Corcoran caught an errant clear out attempt by Hamden fed a pass down low to Reed Harper and Harper fired a pass back to the hard charging Corcoran who put it in the net.  Haper scored an empty netter with 7 seconds to go for the 2-0 victory.

Burtsville wants to extend its best wishes to New Canaan's outstanding senior forward Henry Corcoran who has been lost for the season as a result of a non-hockey related injury.  It is always disappointing--especially in your senior year--to not be able to compete in the sport you love.  Burtsville related his own story to the young man before the game as a shoulder injury senior year of high school two weeks before the playoffs kept Burtsville out of the state baseball tournament.  Disappointing then as we are sure it is for this young, great athlete.  Keep your chin up Henry.  We wish you nothing but a complete and speedy recovery.

Pictures from the games this week follow.

          Michael Lee Beauty

             Michael Ferguson & Beauties

                    Bryan Puffer Beauty

             Jim Burt No Goal

        Dave and Bill Belisle with Billy V.

  Derek Deschene Back Handed Goal

  Charlie Corcoran scores one for brother

        Coach Bo with New Canaan Beauties

Who said Hamden can't get something past Tom N.?

                                                      February 5, 2011

                                             HAMDEN 6   SIMSBURY 2
                                           BILLY REILLY SCORES FIRST VARSITY GOAL
                                           SIX PLAYERS SCORE GOALS/VARGA SOLID IN NET
                                           JOE QUICK/CONOR CALLAHAN EXCEL ON DEFENSE
                                           RYAN CARPENTER & CODY CARLSON SCORE FOR SIMSBURY  

Hamden got goals from six different players jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first period against upstate rival Simsbury.  The Simsbury squad never stopped working or competing and came back with two goals to start the second period but the Green Dragons were just too much this Friday night for the young Simsbury squad who was playing without standout senior Steve Wergeles who missed the game as a result of an injury.




Pat Lynch got Hamden on the board at the 3:07 mark on a nice shot in the high slot. RJ Ugolik and Jim Burt had the assists on the goal.  It was then Billy Reilly who scored his first varsity goal at the 9:37 mark on a rifle wrist shot also from the high slot.  Reilly was set up on a pass from Ugolik to Jim Wilson who made a nice drop pass to the hard charging Reilly who let go and watched the puck sail over the left shoulder of the Simsbury goalie.  Both Ugolik and Wilson had helpers on the goal.







Hamden then made it 3-0 at the 11:53 mark when Nicky Amarone stole the puck in the offensive zone and deked his way in and "Magic Hands" lofted a pretty backhanded shot into the back of the net.  His goal was unassisted.  At the 13:39 mark CJ Carignan took a nice pass from Burt and snapped it home from the left circle to make it 4-0.  Burt and Lynch had assists on this goal.

Simsbury is a proud team with competitive fire and fine players.  They came out smoking in the second period and scored so fast that Burtsville apologizes to Ryan Carpenter who made it a 4-1 game at the 1:38 mark before Burtsville even had its camera's ready..  He was assisted by Connor Rice.  Carpenter was flying all night along with Cody Carlson, Steve Patria and a number of the other fine Simsbury players.

Carlson was about to make it a 4-2 game on a brilliant short handed rush and beat Hamden's Andy Varga on the short side to the delight of the Simsbury crowd.  It was at the 3:23 mark with Patria and Carpenter getting assists and all of a sudden---GAME ON!  (Please note that all of the pictures taken at this game--including the entire rush and score of Cody Carlson--will be posted on www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com within the next several weeks.)

RJ Ugolik--one of the best two way defense man in the state in Burtsville's opinion--then scored one of the prettiest goals you will ever see.  He took the puck at the blue line, went one way, then another, between and around a couple of defenders and made one final move before tucking the puck into the net for a 5-2 Hamden lead at the 6:35 mark.  Sean O'Keefe was credited with an assist on the play.







"Wow, that was some outstanding effort by Ugolik," voiced Pat Smith scout for the Flat Stanley Clippers.  "He moved in more directions than those people on Dancing with the Stars."

The play got a little chippy as both teams were taking no quarter.  Paul Amarone--who was flying all night along with the likes of Tim Lee, Vito Puoplo, Connor Walsh and Jim Wilson--hustled after a rebound and made a miraculous shot from the goal line up and over the outstretched body of John Ryan to put Hamden up 6-2 at the 11:30 mark.  Connor Walsh and Nick Amarone had assists on the play.

"Hamden has been waiting for this," voiced longtime Hamden observer, Chris Smith.  "They have been shooting the puck all year long.  Now they are starting to go in the net.  It's going to give a lot of those kids confidence that they can score too.   And that only bodes well for the entire Hamden team."

Burtsville couldn't agree more.  Ten players got into the scoring column.  Tim Lee and Vito Puopolo were flying all night and it is only a matter of time before these two fine players also find the back of the net.  Hamden once again got solid goal tending from Andy Varga and the defense has really come around the last two games.  It was an added bonus last evening to see both Conor Callahan and Joe Quick excel back on the blue line for Coach Todd Hall's defensive squad.

Simsbury is having a tough year.  You never want to see that especially with folks like Coach Joe, Coach Chris and kids like Steve Wergeles  associated with the program.  They will be back and hopefully as soon as next year.  It's always a fun place to play and kudos to both school's atheltic directors and coaches for having the wisdom to be pro-active and play the game last night instead of waiting until today with the weather that is predicted.

         Coach Joe & Steve--We look Good!

    Scorekeepers:Jenna & Lauren--We look Better!!

     Zamboni Son & Dad--We look the Best!!!

You know when Burtsville was growing up Hamden was not a part of Little League Baseball as it now is.  No sir, your little league teams were your neighborhood kids.  No town wide drafts.   No playing on the same team as your cross town rival until it came time for season ending All Star Teams.  Spring Glen v. Pine Roick.  State Street v. West Woods.  Highwood v. Mt. Carmel.

Man, those were the days.  We all disliked each other.  We played our best against their best and we played hard.  And we played every week.  Pine Rock one night.  West Woods the next.  State Street the next and so on.  A smile on our face, dirt on our uniforms and the thrill of competing against the best that part of town had to offer.

It wasn't until high school when we became teammates and friends that we learned that "those guys" from the other parts of town were actually not only good athletes but great guys.  You kids play with each other from Jump Street nowadays so you need to look out of town for this kind of competition.  It usually comes on a weekly basis in hockey.  Not this  year.  Not with the winter we have had.

So, we bring you to this week's hockey schedule.  Tuesday Night: Hamden v. Fairfield Prep.  Wednesday Night:  Hamden v. Mt. St. Charles.  Friday Night:  Hamden v. New Canaan  Saturday:  Hamden v. South Windsor.  

It's like your old neighborhood games.  Top notch, hard nosed competition with teams that compete at the highest level.  You arguably have in the span of five days five of the top teams in New England playing against one another.  You have three of the most storied High School Hockey Programs in the World playing.  You have 4 of the top 10 teams in the State of Connecticut playing and the best team in Rhode Island for the last three decades playing.

It simply doesn't get any better.  So boys, enjoy it.  Every blessed second of it.  It will be rocking at the Wonderland of Ice on Tuesday.  Then you get to play the Mount St. Charles Team with legendary Coach Bill Belise and his fine Program at home.  And then the Number 1 ranked Team in the state--the undefeated New Canaan Rams--come to the Lou Astorino Ice Arena--on Friday.  No one will ever forget the epic battle these two fine teams played two years ago in the State Tournament when the most exciting game ever played at the Hamden Rink saw Hamden win a thrilling 1-0 Double Overtime victory on a Scott Walsh goal that propelled Hamden towards its first State Championship in over twenty years.

And then for dessert you get to travel to South Windsor Saturday to play that always tough and talented upstate squad which once again finds itself ranked in the Top 10 in the state with a real chance to compete for the title.

Lock it In my dear young men.  Smell the smells.  Hear the sounds.  See the sights.  Enjoy.  Enjoy.  Enjoy.

And boys, Burtsville Believes.  Oh, Burtsville Believes!!!!

Flat Stanley comes to Hamden High School Hockey!  Lily--These are for you my dear!!!!

              Justin with Flat Stanley

                   Patty with Flat Stanley

                                Jimbo with Flat Stanley

                                    BURTSVILLE FINAL 2010-2011 UNOFFICIAL SEASON
                                            SCORING STATISTICS

Name                                         Assists                                Goals                                         Points

Jim Burt                                          18                                           13                                               31
Pat Lynch                                       11                                           13                                               24
CJ Carignan                                  16                                             7                                               23
Paul Amarone                                 8                                             8                                               16
Tim Lee                                                                                           2                                                 2
Mike Lee                                         4                                              4                                                 8
Nick Amarone                                7                                             13                                              20
J. MacGregor                                11                                              2                                              13
Ted Kennedy                                  2                                                                                                 2
RJ Ugolik                                       11                                              2                                              13
Brandon Dadio                              3                                               2                                                 5
Steve Ruocco
Connor Walsh                               3                                               1                                                 4
A. Rascati                                      1                                                                                                  1
Joe Quick
Z. Masotta
Billy Reilly                                      1                                              4                                                  5                                               
Vito Puopolo                                1                                                                                                   1
Jim Wilson                                   1                                                                                                   1
Harley Pretty                                3                                                                                                   3
Sean O'Keefe                              1                                                                                                   1
Conor Callahan                            1                                                                                                   1
J. Wetmore
Andy Varga
Matt Hoff
                                                                     February 1, 2011 

                           HAMDEN 4  NOTRE DAME OF WEST HAVEN 1  
                               PAT LYNCH SCORES 2 GOALS AND AN ASSIST
                                           CJ CARIGNAN HAS THREE ASSISTS/JIM BURT 1G 2A
                                   BRANDON MARTONE SCORES FOR NDWH
                                                              MATT HOFF & GREG HARNEY STAR IN NET

Archrivals Hamden and NDWH hooked up for a battle between teams Ranked 3 & 4 in the state on Saturday, January 29th at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.  The Green Dragons of Hamden left victorious with a hard fought 4-1 win.  Hamden's first line of CJ Carignan, Pat Lynch and Jim Burt collected nine of Hamden's eleven points on the day as this threesome has been making beautiful music together since being reunited midway through the ND of Fairfield game.   

                                              GREG HARNEY MAKES THE SAVES

Connor Walsh stopped by pads on shorthanded attempt

              Nick Amarone stopped with glove

Justin MacGregor stopped by Knob Stick Save

Hamden got out on top on a Jim Burt goal fed by a beautiful pass by Pat Lynch at the 3:45 mark of the opening period.  Carignan had forechecked deep in the zone and fought off two defenders to get the puck to Lynch.  Lynch somehow threaded a pass through the goalmouth to Burt who slammed the puck home for a 1-0 Hamden lead.

Pat Lynch makes pass as CJ screens goalie

           Patrick Lynch WELI Player of the Game

Jim Burt slams home Pat Lynch goal mouth pass

Burt returned the favor at the 8:38 mark when Carignan hustled for his own rebound and filtered a pass to Burt down behind the Green Knights net.  Burt saw Lynch crashing down the slot and slid a beautiful back handed pass to Lynch who fired it home in a nano-second.  Hamden up 2-0.  Carignan had assists on both goals and Burt and Lynch had helpers on their linemate's respective tallies.

It took NDWH all of twenty seconds to score after the Lynch goal when Brandon Martone used his exceptional strength to grab the puck out of a crowd behind the Hamden net.  The Green Knight's Captain--who is having an exceptional senior year--somehow fired the puck  in and behind Matt Hoff to score from the goal line to make it a 2-1 game.  It got ND back in the game at the 8:58 mark.  Kyle Thibault and Greg Zullo had assists on the play.

                 Brandon Martone scores for NDWH

               Brandon Martone Celebrates Score

             Anthony Astorino Fires on Net

Each team was making plays.  Hoff and Harney were showing why both are considered two of the finest netminders--young netminders--in the state.  Harney just robbed Justin MacGregor earlier in the first with the knob of his stick; and, then stoned Connor Walsh on a brilliant short handed attempt set up by the pass of the ever hustling Paul Amarone.

Hamden's defense led by the reunited tandem of RJ Ugolik and Brandon Dadio looked strong all game long.  Ugolik appeared to play the entire game as this top notch two way defender has simply excelled all year long.  Dadio looked like his old self playing with his longtime partner.  Both played the way Hamden needs them to play to compete with the best in the state.

And make no mistake, NDWH is one of the best team's in the state.  Coach Bill Gerosa's squad has rebounded tremendously from a disappointing year last season.  The team has already qualified for the state tournament and with the likes of Martone, Joe Travaglino, Matt Merola, Zullo, Thibault, Kevin Debrow, Andy Beckwith, Larry Ionnotti, Jessse Ruocco and Anthony Astorino the Green Knights will look to go far in the tournament this year.  NDWH has many fine playes not mentioned above but with the likes of Astorino anchoring a strong defense and with Harney in net Coach Gerosa's squad will be one to be reckoned with the rest of the year.

                               We look Good!

                             We look Better!

                           We look the Best!

"NDWH has had a great bounce back year.  Billy Gerosa, Chicky D. and the entire staff--including the kid Dave Landino--have really turned their fortunes around in one year.  I am very happy for them," said long time area youth coach Terry Loukidies.

How fortunate are we in this state to have such wonderful coverage of our high school children's athletics?  Dan Nowak at the New Haven Register, Matt Conyers at the Hartford Courant, Mike Madera, Rich Coppola at Fox News Ct., Phil Brodsky, Pat Clapp, and Michael Esposito of Patch.com and several other individuals at the Connecticut Post and other fine publications throughout the state. 

Some of the most prestigious members of the media were in attendance Saturday covering the games between Amity and West Haven (Did Corey Shea really score 3 goals and have 3 assists for Amity?  Way to go Mr. Shea!) and Hamden v. NDWH.

     WELI's The Coach-George DeMaio and Coaches

           Sportingnewsct.com Guru Don Boyle and Pal

         Peter Vander Veer interviews Pat Lynch

If you haven't taken the time to listen to Coach DeMaio on WELI you are missing a treat.  The Coach has been covering high school sports in Connecticut for years--make that decades--and along with his crew of brother Mike, Ivan and the MVP of Engineers, Glenn Edwards--does a remarkable job.  His contributions to Connecticut High School Athletics goes way beyond the hockey scene, but let's be selfish here and just say a Big Thank You to The Coach for what he does for Connecticut High School Hockey!

And with a voice as smooth as silk and a Game Call as professional as any, how can you not love the job that Sportingnewsct.com founder and operator Don Boyle does for our children.  He and cohort Bob C. call a smooth game with Play by Play action and Color Commentary that makes you feel as if you are watching the game.  And you may be fortunate enough to do so if they are streamlining the games as they often do.  Thanks Don for bringing us the action the way you do!

And let's not forget the likes of Peter Vander Veer who has been covering high school athletics for as long as anyone can remember.  Peter has a memory like no other and has a genuine love for the games he is covering  and the kids who are playing in them.  Whether it's hockey, baseball, football or soccer--Boys or Girls--Peter is a treasure to have and it's always good to see him around the rink.

And to Jim Stout of CBS who runs MaxPreps it is simply a wonderful site and resource for all sports in the country.  The coverage it gives to Connecticut High School Hockey is incredible.  And to Josh Schacter of HockeyBarn.com---we miss you brother!  Hope you are enjoying that California weather.

The second period opened with a strong rush by Burt up the right side.  Burt had gotten the puck from Carignan and fired a shot low and hard to the right of Harney at the far post.  Lynch was charging to the net hard and gathered in the rebound and shot it home for his second goal of the game.  It was only 43 seconds into the period and Hamden was up 3-1.  While that threesome was done scoring for the day, the Hamden defense of Zach Masotta, Harley Pretty, Mike Lee, and Ted Kennedy were playing strong hockey.

             Vito Puopolo takes the Face Off

                 Matt Hoff makes solid save

        Connor Walsh tips home Harley Pretty blast

There is no doubt that this was Hamden's best performance of the season.  Paul and Nick Amarone were flying all game, Justin MacGregor just missed scoring a couple of times as did the Amarone boys.  Let's face it, Harney is just another in the line of outstanding goalies that have stymied many of the Hamden scorers.  If Hamden keeps up the pressure it had on the Green Knights' goalie and the other goalies they have faced this year, pucks are going to start pouring into the net.  Just ask Connor Walsh, Vito Puopolo and Tim Lee.

These kids were flying all game long.  Puopolo and Walsh have only one gear---All Out.  They never stop working and go hard up and down the ice back checking as fast and hard as they forecheck.  So it was great to see Connor Walsh get rewarded for all his hard work by tipping in a goal at the 5:34 mark of the third period on a hard low shot by Harley Pretty. 

Walsh will score.  Sometimes it just takes that first one to get someone going.  In fact, except for an incredible save by Harney, Walsh would have had a short hander set up by Paul Amarone. Now that Walshie is on the board look for his linemates, Puoplo and Lee, to join him in the scoring column.  It will be nice to see this hard working line start popping them into the net.

Paul Amarone is another of Hamden's fine players that just doesn't stop. He almost had a hat trick himself being robbed several times by the Green Knights' net minder.  Both he and cousin Nick are proven scorers who have and will continue to play an important role in Hamden's offensive machine.  J Mac had a big game following a week's worth of illness that left him less than one hundred percent.

Tim Lee simply had his best game in a Hamden uniform.  It is just a matter of time before this gifted player starts to light up the net for Hamden.  He has always been a scorer and it is clear by his play over the last few games that he is about to break out for the Green and Gold.  Walsh, Lee, & Puoplo play a key role on the Hamden team and their energy and effort is well received by all who watch them play.

TEAM.  It is a word that is simple.  It is a concept that works.  It doesn't matter who scores the goals or makes the saves.  It is all about TEAM.  So, it is especially rewarding to see three top notch players play as unselfishly as do Carignan, Lynch and Burt.  Carignan's three assists being just as important as Lynch's two goals.  Next game it may be reversed.  And you know what, none of those kids will care.  It's all about TEAM.

                                                                                   THREE BODIES----ONE MIND

                        SNAP!                                                                  CRACKLE!                                                                      POP!

                                      Carignan to Burt

                                        Burt to Lynch

                           Lynch to Back of the Net

"Those three kids have played together since youth hockey days.  I remember when CJ's dad coached those kids along with the likes of Johnny Glynne, Frank Maturo, Ricky Fusco, Joseph Mortali, Lowell Page, and many other fine young players," recalled old timer, Ed "Bigg Daddy" Simpson.  "Those kids don't need eyes to see one another.  They don't just know where each other are.  They know where each other are going.  It's like there are three bodies with one mind.  It's fun to watch." 

And that's what is so nice about seeing a kid like Harley Pretty hit the ice with the confidence and determination to do what he needs to do to help the team. Harley just does what he needs to do to help the team when he is called to do so.  Puopolo, Walsh, Billy Reilly, Jim Wilson, Steve Ruocco all hit the ice flying and just don't stop.

And let's not forget the fine play of Ted Kennedy and Zach Masotta.  These two players along with Ugolik and Dadio are the backbone of the team's defense.  They held strong in front of Hoff.  The Hamden netminder was solid in net.  He was under control, discarded pucks with is stick and pads and seemed to be in control the entire game.  A good sign for the Hamden TEAM.

                         Paul Amarone snap shot

                                  Tim Lee slap shot

                          Brandon Dadio wrist shot

Matt Hoff played solid.  The defensive coverage deep in the zone--especially in front of the net--was better.  The forwards moved the puck and went to the net consistently hard.  The forechecking was superb and the back checking was good.  The team played like a TEAM and everyone played hard.  That is Hamden Hockey.  That is what you need.  That is what has made you a successful Program. Work hard in practice.  Work smart in practice.  Get better.  Keep on playing hard and playing smart--as a TEAM--and good things will come your way.

    Doc Messiah and her HHS Young Women

            RJ Ugolik was flying all over the ice

Matt Hoff was catching everything Saturday

Burtsville Believes!  Burtsville Believes!

                             January 27, 2011


                                                   January 26, 2011

Jordan is flanked by his many friends-Morgan Amarone is on the right
   Hamden folks came out in droves on Sunday evening to support Jordan Jacques and his remarkable fight against cancer.  This young man has been dealing with this dreaded disease on and off since his youth.  He is an inspiration to those that know him and just one great young man.

                   Mom, Jordan, Morgan, & Dad

Jordan's Journey--Keep Up  Your Beautiful Spirit Jordan--We all Love You!

                          Sean & Johnny Donahue

A Big Thank You goes out to event organizer Morgan Amarone, the Hamden High School Girls' and Boys' Hockey Teams and to Dan Bush and Sean Donahue who donated all the Rink Proceeds from the event to Jordan.  Thank You to everyone who came and participated in this wonderful event.

Well done folks.  Well done.  As Jordan's dad Paul said,
"There are a lot of great towns in the United States.  But there is no town better than Hamden when it comes to community support.  I worked part-time in this rink for several years and many of the kids on the hockey teams grew up with my son.  This is a special event for our family and I want to thank Morgan Amarone and everyone else involved in doing this for Jordan."

Check out the You Tube Video done by one of Jordan's friends which is up on that media outlet.


                               JORDAN'S DRAGONS

                                   ZAMBONI BOYS

                                                                                             January 26, 2011

                                                                       PICTURES TO SHARE

                    Wooster Comes South

                           Tim Lee Hat Models

             Who is that man behind the camera?

        Brandon Dadio gives it his all after puck                                    Captain's Daddies Enjoy the Cook-Out

                         Lake Pocotapaug Princesses

                                                                                           January 26, 2011

                                             Hamden 3 West Haven 3

                                 Burt, Lynch, Nick Amarone Score for Hamden
Troiano scores 2G & 1A and Mink adds 1G & 1A for West Haven


Materpiece Theatre was found around the West Haven net on a cold, blustery Saturday in the Lou Astorino Rink.  JP Withington, the senior goalie for the Blue Devils, put on a tremendous performance in denying the Green Dragons shooters time and time again.  The final tally was 50 saves for the tall and athletic netminder.

Withington is not only a big young man, but athletic as well.  He had fire in his eyes to begin the game with his depleted team skating with less than a full squad.  It is a credit to JP and his teammates and the entire West Haven Coaching staff that they came into Hamden's Rink and down 3-1 battled to a 3-3 tie.

                                                                              JP WITHINGTON STOPS 50 SHOTS

             CJ Carignan Slap Shot--stopped

         Justin MacGregor Wrist Shot--stopped

                 RJ Ugolik Slap Shot---stopped.

Let's make no mistake about Saturday's Game.  It was Withington's star that shined brightest with pad saves, stick saves, glove saves and dives to get to loose pucks.  It was a masterful performance by this young man in what may be his last game at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena.

"I don't know what more Hamden could have done," said Johnny "The Rink Rat" Ruddman GM of the LFS Saints and former standout shooter for the BPL.  "The kid in net was just outstanding.  What a game!  Trust me, I know about rejection. I've been rejected more than anyone I know.  I can empathize with the Hamden kids.  He just kept stamping "REJECTION" on each and every shot."

             Inspector Withington rejects more rubber!!!

Puck hits Kyle's right boot heel after hitting his left knee.  Ouch!

        Hamden or East Haven for Pasta Fazzoiul?

Truth be told the Green Dragons played their best game of the year start to finish.  A three minute lapse in the third period saw West Haven score two quick goals to tie it up on the home team.  Hamden came out storming in the first but thanks to the kid in net and some fine defensive work by Kyle Leyerzapf and Josh Robichaud the Westies hung in there.

Then at the 5:21 mark Mike Troiano scored on a feed from Leyerzapf to put West Haven up 1-0.  Leyerzapf--one of the best two-way defenseman  in the state--would get hurt later in the game by a rocket slap shot off the knee.  The kid is not only good but tough as he lay on the ice for several moments only to return later in the game.

Troiano and Adam Mink were in tune all game long.  No surprise there as these two dynamos helped West Haven rally back after a tough defeat to Fairfield Prep earlier in the week.  Troiano scored another goal in the third to tie the game assisted by Mink and Troiano had assisted on Mink's third period goal about 40 seconds earlier.

Burtsville apologizes to the West Haven scorers.  Most of the game Burtsville was camped out behind Brother Withington at the far end of the ice.  As the Hamden players found out, the boy covers a lot of ground!  Burtsville's camera was not always fast enough to get around him to catch a picture of the Blue Devil goals.

            Mike Troiano Score                                                Adam Mink Score                                                     Mike Troiano Score

Please remember that all of the more than 2,500 pictures taken at this game will be posted in a few weeks to www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com  where anyone can view and download them free of charge.

Hamden tied the game in the first when Pat Lynch found Jim Burt with a nice pass in the high slot and Burt wristed it home at the 10:33 mark.  Lynch later scored on a tip in goal at 4:17 of the second to put the Green Dragons up 2-1.  Assists went to CJ Carignan and Burt.

                       Jim Burt  Scores                                                  Pat Lynch Scores                                                    Nick Amarone Scores   

Hamden killed off a 4 minute penalty and then scored on a Power Play of its own early in the third.  Nicky Amarone took a feed from Burt and poured in a five hole goal just 16 seconds into the final stanza.

The Green Dragons last year were 6-2 at this time of the season and stand 5-2-1 right now.  You can see the team starting to get it going but there is way more to do.  And the same can be said for last year.  Defensive lapses, passive play in every phase of the game, and after the whistle penalties are matters the team must address and correct to continue to improve.  They certainly all were addressed at practice this week and its Burtsville's belief that the team will carry that over into the games.

Burtsville likes what it sees in this team.  You have run into some very fine goal tenders thus far this year.  And you will see more.  You have played well, gotten a lot of rubber on net, but there is so much more potential for each and every one of you and we see it.  Keep working hard.  Keeping learning and applying what the coaches are telling you.  Hustle in practice, battle each other and keep getting better.  There is a wonderful destiny awaiting you--all of you.

Some of you told me last year you had never won a State Championship before.  Remember how you felt after that pulsating game? Remember how you felt knowing that you were a State Champion.

 Well, make this year YOUR year.  Work harder in practice.  Play harder in games.  You are Hamden Hockey.  Wear it with PRIDE!  Don't watch the game.  Play the game.  Come out fired up each and every practice and each and every game and make yourself and your team better.  You can do it.  You have done it.  Dedication and hard work outworks talent every time. 

Don't wait for someone else to do it.  You do it.  Bring it each and every shift of each and every game.

And remember, Burtsville Believes.  Fifty Saves, three posts, three poor minutes of play, outstanding goalie play and almost misses leads to a tie.  Use it.  Learn from it.  Want more.  From the goalies on out--battle each and every time you are on the ice.  In practice.  In games.  Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it again.  You are Hamden Hockey!

               Pat Lynch's shot is saved by JP as puck almost still goes in net

Tomorrow night the team is suppose to play Rhode Island Power House LaSalle Academy weather permitting.  Right now Burtsville believes the game is slated for 5:15 or 6:15 at the Hamden Rink.  You should call the Rink to find out before heading out.

Let's do what we should do with respect to the West Haven Game.  Burtsville Tips its Cap to JP Withington on simply an outstanding performance in net that this young man will remember the rest of his life. And his team never stopped working and playing which is a great credit to Head Coach Joe Morrell and the rest of the West Haven Coaching Staff.

  Well Done JP!  Burtsville hopes you are still not dreaming of pucks hitting you everywhere!

The Penalty Box's Annual Cook-out was held Saturday and a Big Thank You to everyone who worked to make it a phenomenal success.  Special Thanks to Andy Amarone and Bob Ugolik for clearing out all the snow from the sidewalk before the event.  It was another fun time in the upper parking lot for Hamden and their friends and families.

Andy Amarone catches some well deserved rest

                        Hat People President Tim Lee and Followers

                      Nobody Flips Burgers Like Bobby U.


                                               January 21, 2011

                                 HAMDEN 4 ND OF FAIRFIELD 3

                                         NICKY AMARONE BANGS HOME WINNER IN OVERTIME

Kissing the Net Brings Good Luck to Jim Burt

Miracles abounded Wednesday Night at the Milford Ice Pavillion as the ND of Ffld Lancers hosted the Green Dragons of Hamden High School.  Garrett Mendez (see related story and pictures below) a young man possessed with a determination beyond definition graced the Milford ice to drop the puck to begin a game that had more subplots and mystery than any in recent memory.

One of Connecticut High School Hockey's Class Acts and a man who seeks no recognition but deserves as much as one could give him--George Burr--started the night out by asking for a Moment of Silence for Hamden's beloved Dr. James Sorrentino who lost his brave fight with cancer the night before the game.  It was a wonderful gesture by George and the entire Lancer Hockey Community.  All of the Hamden High School Hockey Family Thank You for your kindness and recognition of a man who meant so much to our Program.

Garrett Mendez.  Jim Sorrentino.  George Burr.  Eric Sugrue.  Jim Burt.  Nicky Amarone.  The miracles just kept on coming.  It was a special night for so many reasons.  It was a game in which only the scoreboard had a winner and a loser.  Because anyone who was at this game knows that it was not in the control of the players on the ice.  Not tonight anyway. Everyone walked away a winner Wednesday evening. 

What we all witnessed was something spiritual and magical.  It was Brigadoon isolated in a small fog shrouded rink in the middle of Connecticut.  Surrounded by snow.  Blest with the presence of the strength and aura of Garrett Mendez; and, the spirit of Jim Sorrentino. If you think that game--the way it was played and particularly the way it ended--was anything short of a miracle...well..let's just say that Burtsville Believes.  A higher power came to visit us all and Burtsville is thankful for being priviledged to have been there.

ND came out flying as Charlie Zuccarini and Christian La croix had their team pounding at the Hamden net.  Finally, after many fine saves by Hamden netminder Andy Varga, La croix let go with a slap shot in traffic from the high slot and the Lancers were on the board at the 4:35 mark of the first period.  La croix was assisted by Zuccarini and Ben Viccari.

Chrstian La croix fires shot into net in first period

     Charlie Zuccarini scores beauty with 2:26 left

           Christian La croix scores 2nd Goal

It was then the Eric Sugure Show for the rest of the first period and especially the second period as Hamden assaulted the Lancers' goalie with everything they had.  CJ Carignan, Justin MacGregor, Nick Amarone, Brandon Dadio, Jim Wilson, Paul Amarone, Pat Lynch, Mike Lee, Tim Lee, Connor Walsh, RJ Ugolik all had their chances along with Burt.  Sugrue simply said NO--with his glove, his pads, and his stick.  He was outstanding!


  Double Pad Stack stops Nick Amarone Shot

     Brandon Dadio lets rip but Sugrue is up to the task

     Check out puck just above tape on Sugrue's Stick as Burt is stopped

While Sugrue was stoning the Hamden team, his squad led by the Fabulous Flying Mr. Zuccarini was doing everything they could to score on Varga and hold Hamden at bay.  Brian Sanca was hitting everything in sight, Billy Vizzo was skating hard each and every shift, and a host of fine Lancer players were giving Hamden everything they could take.  Zuccarini is simply one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the state.  A ton of talent, heart and desire.  The kid just never stops his engine.  And he never stops competing.

                Charlie Z. flies after Jim Burt

          Tyler Beebe flies off ice after practice

         Charlie Z. Flies over RJ Ugolik after hip check

Hamden has a lot of kids like that.  Talent, heart and desire.  Engines that just don't stop.  It is one of the great traits of the two time defending state champs.  And those kids--those champions--didn't stop Tuesday Night.  They started the night out warming up in the cold, dark parking lot next door holding a moment of silence for Doc Sorrentino and ended the night with a miracle finish sent from above.

                    2:06 left down 3-1

          Thanks for everything you did for us Doc

                             9.7 Seconds left 3-2

One of those Hamden players is Assistant Captain CJ Carignan.  Carignan has been flying all year long.  He has scored huge goals for Hamden for years.  This year has been no different.  And on this night, at this time, it was Carignan who started the Hamden comeback which may very well rate as the Greatest Comeback in the History of High School Hockey in Connecticut.

"I left.  I can't believe I left.  I saw CJ score to make it 2-1 and then Charlie Zuccarini comes in and scores that back breaking goal to put ND up 3-1 with just two minutes to play.  I thought the game was over," wrote a Hamden Youth Hockey Coach to Burtsville the next day with an apology to the kids on the team of whom he has coached in hockey and baseball.  "I read the paper the next day and I thought it was a misprint.  I can't believe I walked out on the most excitng comeback in the history of high school hockey in Connecticut.  I apologize to the boys for doubting them. I will never do that again."

                    Jim Wilson fires on net

          Andy Varga makes another key save

                   Patrick Lynch fires on net

Truth be told.  He was not alone.  The stands were emptying after Carignan's beauty was topped by Zuccarini's unassisted goal.  Burt and Lynch had helpers on Carignan's but with a mere seventeen seconds left Paul Amarone--another one of Hamden's stalwarts the past three years--was heading to the face-off circle to the right of Mr. Sugrue.  Amarone--as strong as they come--won the face off battle and watched his Captain Jim Burt pick the puck up, dart past a defender and squeeze a five hole shot through Sugrue to make it a 3-2 game. Amarone got the lone assist.

 No celebration.  Just a quick peek at the scoreboard clock.  

           Jim Burt checks time on clock 

It read 9.7 seconds.  Hamden called a Time Out.  The play was discussed.  Do we go back with the draw or do we slap shot it towards the net?  The coaches and players decided that Carignan would slap shot the puck to the right boards off the face-off to Burt and everyone else would head towards the net.

                    Time Out Meeting

"I am a football guy," said Bob Ugolik father of Hamden Assistant Captain RJ Ugolik and another of the fine players that have helped Hamden win the title the past two years.  "What I saw was the prettiest On-Sides Kick I have ever seen.  No really.  I didn't know they had on-sides kicks in hockey.  That is exactly what that was.  And it was executed perfectly."

Hamden-Prep.  3.1 seconds to go.  First Period.  Championship Game last year.  Face-Off.  Darric White scores on a fantastic play to end the first period.  Hamden fans have seen what a team can do in a limited period of time.  They knew what could happen.   

 But could one kid score two goals in 5 seconds?  In the last 10 seconds of the game?  Has that ever been done before?  Remember,  Garrett Mendez.  Remember, Doc Sorrentino.  Remember, Cannon Ball Park and the Dadio Express--Take a Right! There were powers over the game that some of us don't understand.  Just have faith.  Believe.  Burtsville Believes.

                                                         YOU DON'T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING--JUST BELIEVE

                    Your Spirit is with us

                     Your Spirit will never leave us

   Mystical Magic of Dadio's CBP Express--Take a Right!

And it happened!  Carignan won the face-off and fired the puck beautifully off the right boards as Burt was screeching down the wing. He picked it up near the center of the circle to the left of Sugrue.  Burt skated it along the boards and just before he reached the goal line he let go with a hard, low wrist shot as Paul Amarone, CJ Carignan and every other Hamden player was racing towards the net.  No need.  The puck hit off the goalie's skate and bang into the back of the net for a 3-3 tie with 4.3 seconds remaining in the contest.  It was simply unreal.

Two goals in 5 seconds!  Do you believe?!! 

(SEE http://www.youtube.com/mcdonaldmorgans#p/u/6/ARtMKKdUA10  entitled The Incredible Comeback on Fox 61 posted by Quinnipiac University AD Jack McDonald.  An interview by FoxNewsCt's Rich Coppola on this incredible story.)

Overtime came and two of Hamden's finest finished off an incredible night.  Pat Lynch came streaking in and almost scored, gathered in his own rebound with a hustle play that is this talent's trademark and fed Nicky Amarone a fine pass in the high slot and the hero of last year's championship game buried the puck at the 1:11 mark to send the Hamden players and fans into a wild celebration.

CJ Carignan gets Hamden going with hard wrist shot goal

 Jim Burt makes it a one goal game with 9.7 seconds left

                  Nicky Amarone scores OT winner

"I am in as much shock as anyone here," voiced Hamden Head Coach Bill Verneris shortly after the game.  "You see six guys on the ice who have been around for two consecutive state championships.  There's something special about that.  There's something special about this group of kids.  And there's no quit in them."

                         Burtsville Believes!!!!!

And a final note to Jesse who spoke so lovingly of his dad yesterday at Doc's funeral.  You made us all proud Jesse.  We're sure your dad still had his hand on your back.  And always will.  Well done young man.  We know how proud he was of you and Steven and Nicole. And how much he loved you all.  A good man has left us and will be missed by us all.

And to Alexis---Congratulations young woman!!!!  We'll be looking forward to seeing you all at a game real soon!!!

                                                                    January 21, 2011

                           MENDEZ FAMILY--CHAMPIONS IN LIFE

There are special moments in life.  Tragedies turn to triumph.  Tears of sorrow turn to torrents of joy.  Life is precious.  It is sweet.  It is a moment to moment journey that should be embraced, enjoyed and cherished.  No one knows this more than Gary and Eileen Mendez and their remarkable son, Garrett.

Garrett's story has been well chronicled by his proud ND of Fairfield Family.  It has been told to many and written about in Burtsville and elsewhere.  It is a story rooted in athletics.  It is a story about an athlete and his family.  It is a story about triumph over adversity.

It is a story about :

                 FRIENDSHIP                                            SUPPORT                                                LOVE

                          LINEMATES & FRIENDS



It was a special night on Wednesday at the Milford Ice Pavillion.  To see this young man hit the ice after everything he has been through (see related story below) is an inspiration to all.  He not only dropped the puck, but spoke to us all and shook the hands of each player from both teams.  One team he had starred for in high school and the other a team that he battled against as hard as he could.




And this kid just keeps on battling.  He raised funds the night of the game for Gaylord Hospital which has been instrumental in his remarkable recovery.  His mom and dad have shared their knowledge helping others cope with stroke victim issues; including providing tremendous emotional support in addition to many helpful insights to one of Hamden's own.

It's not about winning or losing for Garrett and Gary and Eileen.  They have already won.  They have faced one of life's shocking events and turned it into a wonderful story of success.  A miracle by any other name. To us humans, they are TRUE CHAMPIONS.

He may not have parted the Red Sea at the game the other night but to Burtsville and all others his parting of the line of his beloved Notre Dame of Fairfield Lancer Players was pretty darn close to it.  Good tidings young Garrett.  Burtsville knows you will continue to grow and prosper and continue to be a wonderful success.  Burtsville Believes!!!

Red Sea?  May as well be to Burtsville.  Miracles Do Happen!

All of the approximately 2,000 pictures taken by Burtsville at this game--including numerous pictures of Garrett shaking each players' hands--will be uploaded to www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com in a couple of weeks.  Anyone can go up onto that site and download any picture free of charge.  Enjoy!

                                                                 January 18, 2011


Garrett drops puck two years ago

If you are going to the Hamden v. ND of Fairfield Game Wednesday evening at 8:00 PM at the Milford Ice Pavillion you are going to witness a miracle.  Garrett Mendez--an incredible mountain of strength and courage--will once again drop the first puck after skating onto the ice.  Garrett--a twenty three year old young man--is a stroke survivor.

You read that correctly.  This 23 year old's life changed on a dime on Thanksgiving break his freshman year in college.  He collapsed on his bedroom floor.  Unable to move, unable to talk, hardly able to breathe.  Found by his mother Eileen the young man was rushed to the hospital and then made a slow and miraculous recovery with the help of many--including the miracle workers at Gaylord Hospital.  His recovery continues.

              Garrett in Hamden Locker Room

                   Garrett and mom Eileen

                        Ron Cosenza sends his best to Garrett

Paralyzed.  Unable to speak.  No warning signs.  Healthy.  Ahtletic.  Hockey Playing Freshman in college.  Down on the floor with a bang.  Up with determination, prayers, support and love.  And lots of hard work.

So, once again we are blest to see this athlete skate onto the ice as he did two years ago at the Hamden game.  The kids--our kids from Hamden and ND of Fairfield--will get to shake his hand.  They will get to shake the hand of a True Champion.  Garrett Mendez.

Please--if you don't usually participate in the 50-50 raffle at games--do so tomorrow night.  Fifty Percent of the proceeds will go the Gaylord Hospital's In-Patient Gym.  You will be helping Garrett help others like him.  An athlete who doesn't know the word quit.  An athlete on his way back.  An athlete--a Champion--by any meaning of the word.

Garrett's story is told in the Program being handed out at the game.  Please--keep it.  And the next time your kid doesn't get a goal or an assist, the next time your kid gets burned by a forward, or the next time your kid lets in a soft goal---don't let it faze you.  It's only a game.  What Garrett is playing is life.  And he knows exactly what to do with it.

So, to you Garrett Mendez, Burtsville Salutes You!  Burtsville Congratulates You!  And Burtville Commends You!  Keep up the fine work and good things will continue to come your way.  You are a proud example of what life is all about and your are a proud example of what a person can overcome with faith, hard work and loving support.  Keep up the fine work.

                                                                                       January 18, 2011





And a Special Burtsville CONGRATULATIONS TO COACH BILL GEROSA  and his Staff and Team.  ND of West Haven--coming off a disappointing season--has already qualified for the State Tournament on an outstanding 8-2 start of the season.  Way to go Coach Gerosa!  One of the true gentlemen in the fraternity of Connecticut High School Coaches.

                                                January 17, 2011

                                  DOC SORRENTINO MAKES HIS LAST CALL

Doc with Steve and Jesse afer last year's Championship Game

It is with great sadness that Burtsville reports that Dr. James Sorrentino passed away this evening after a courageous battle with cancer.  Doc was such a part of the Hamden High School Hockey family as his son Steve starred on the Championship Teams.  Our hearts go out to the family and our thoughts are with them all.  We love you Doc!!!

Doc was all about Team--son Jesse's Championship Picture

Friends are asked to go directly to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Whitney Avenue in Hamden for a Mass on Thursday, January 20th at 12:00 Noon.  The Church is immediately off the Route 40 Connector off I-91.  Sisk Brothers Funeral Home in Hamden is in charge of arrangements.

Hockey becomes a family.  It's just the way it goes.  And Hamden is a Hockey Family like so many other towns have around the state.  Each family has it's own stories.  Hamden's hockey family all shared--to some degree--the story of Doc Sorrentino and the brave fight he put up over the last 14 months.  He made it to the Vineyard, saw his son's team win it again, and shared so much of himself with his sons and daughter and extended family of which Burtsville is proud to say we were a member of and still are.  And now he is gone.

Anyone who knows what Doc did for the team and the boys, shared in the joy of young Steve as he jumped to the heavens after last year's victory.  And many were touched as they saw him look for his dad in the crowd after the celebration died down.

Burtsville has taken over 100,000 pictures at games over the past several years.  Few contain the story behind the eyes in Steven below.  It is one of Burtsville's favorite pictures.  It always will be.  So, as we think about Doc and his generous purchase of Championship Rings, his many donations to the team and staff, we will think back to the times spent with him in and about the rinks we all shared; and, particularly we will think of the 2009-2010 Championship Season and his time with Jesse, and Nicole and Steven.  God's Speed Doc.  We will never forget you.

      It's over--Back2Back Champs

                  Steve let's go with joy after the game

                  Steve looks for his dad after the game

                                                      January 17, 2011

                                           Girls Hockey Tops Branford 8-0

The Hamden High School Girls' Hockey Team bested Branford Saturday 8-0 at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden.  Branford is a new program and fought bravely against the talented and deep Hamden squad.  All of the pictures from this game (and pictures from the Overtime Game at Quinnipiac University against North Haven) will be posted at www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com.  It will take about one week to post all the pictures.  Meanwhile, here are some shots taken at the game.

                                                                                     AROUND THE RINK WITH FRIENDS

       Ms. Sargolini with Sharp Skates--Watch Out!

                            Double Trouble!!

                    Dance to the Time Warp Yeah!!!!!!

                    Branford Brain Trust

                                     Emily's Girls

                       Hamden's Brain Trust

And as always, one finds beautiful people at the Hamden High School Rink.  Some from the same family.  Some from different countries and cultures.  When have you ever seen a Greek Goddess and Polish Prince look so good????  Poppy--These photos are for you my friend!!!  Get Well from Burtsville and Beyond.  We all Love You and Miss You!!!

                              I AM Beautiful

                                 I  AM  Handsome

                  We are-----simply----BOTH!

                                                    January 17, 2011
                                    RACHEL UGOLIK & GABBY BENITEZ NAMED ALL-STATE


By Special Correspondent Robert "Cash Man" Ugolik

Hamden High School ran away with the Top Invididual Awards at the All-State Soccer Banquet held this Sunday at Aqua Turf.  Both Rachel Ugolik and Gabby Benitez were selected to the All-State Team for their outstanding performances in leading their team to the Finals of the SCC Crown and the Semi Finals of the State Tournament.  The team captured its first ever SCC Quinnipiac Title and has many players returning next year.  Congratulations to you two fine athletes and congratulations to the entire Hamden High School Girls' Soccer Team.  We are all very proud of you.

Every  team needs good leadership.  Hamden is blest with many fine coaches.  It is wonderful to see a coach like Gary Collins get the reconition he deserves for doing such a fantastic job with the girls.  If you haven't figured it out by now, that's right!  Coach Cary Collins---the Class LL High School Coach of the Year for the State of Connecticut!!!  Congratulations to Gary and his entire staff on an outstanding season and a job well done.

And next year's captains for this dynamite team are Kate Murphy, Lily Laster, & Rachel Ugolik.  Congratulations girls on being selected to lead your team next season.

                                                   January 14, 2010


        Coach Hall with his UNH Coach

Hamden's own Associate Head Coach Todd Hall will lace them up Saturday, February 19th at Renchsler Field in East Hartford.  It will be the Hartford Whalers v. the Boston Bruins in an Alumni Game held outdoors.  Game time is 4:00 P.M.

Hall was the Player of the Year his last year at Hamden and went on to have a successful career at the University of New Hampshire and in the Pros.  He started his collegiate career at Boston College and finished his Pro Career with the Hartford Franchise now known as the Hartford Whale.

Todd, along with Head Coach Bill Verneris and Assistant Coach George Jerolman, has been instrumental in leading the Hamden Program to Back2Back D-1 State Championships the last two years.  Coach Hall is a Fairfield Fire Fighter and is married to the lovely Melissa (Jason) Hall and they are blest with beautiful daughter, Eva.

    Melissa, Eva and Gabby

Burtsville will post ticket information as we receive it.  Good Luck Coach Hall!!!!  Have a Ball!!!

                                                    January 14, 2011

Congratulations to Paul Amarone who was selected as the New Haven Register Athlete of the week.  Way to go Paul!!!    
                                                          Isn't that Paul Amarone over there?
                                                January 13, 2011

                         STORM FOR THE AGES POUNDS STATE   

We all got a respite from hockey the past couple of days as the state was pounded by a snow storm that dumped 1-2 feet throughout the state.  The snow piles are as high as we've seen them in years and rumor has it more is on the way.  Burtsville hopes you got out and enjoyed the sea of white as much as you did when you were a kid.  Stay young at heart.  It makes it all worthwhile.

                       Mom & Lucy enjoy the snow

                            Break Time from shoveling snow

                               Lucy wants Ear Muffs


                                                        January 13, 2011

                              XAVIER FALCONS FLY BY HAMDEN DRAGONS 4-3

Xavier High School won a big game Tuesday evening beating Top Ranked Hamden 4-3 before a capacity crowd at the Wesleyan University Rink in Middletown.  Swift skating Charlie Dupont put the Falcons on top at the 12:14 mark of the first period on a fine pass from Dan Walsh.  Trevor Buchas also had an assist on the goal.  Walsh followed up his pretty assist with a highlight reel goal at the 13:25 mark for a 2-0 lead.  It was assisted by Kurt Johnson.

Falcons' Dan Walsh flies by Green Dragons

Johnson scored  a goal of his own at the 3:04 mark.  It was assisted by Dan & Charlie Dupont.  Xavier was flying as they consistently beat the Green Dragons to the puck and when they didn't they fought them off it.  John Burkinshaw made it a 4-0 game at the 4:37 mark of the second assisted by Kade McCartin and Charlie Dupont.  The Falcons crowd was going wild and it looked like the Hamden Dragons were done.

                    John Burkinshaw shoots & scores

                                Charlie Dupont lets it Rip

                     Kurt Johnson whacks it Home

Or were they?  You don't win two straight D-1 Titles without gamers.  Hamden has them and they came roaring back when all seemed lost.  Jim Burt got them going with a double tip-in goal off a rocket from Brandon Dadio.  Dadio fired a slap shot from the right point that Pat Lynch deflected and so did Burt before slipping by outstanding Falcon goalie, Austin Essery.  It made the score 4-1 at the 6:29 mark of the second.

                                                                                       DAN WALSH SCORES WHILE FALLING TO ICE

Burt scored minutes later on a nice set up from Justin MacGregor and CJ Carignan.  It was a rocket wrist shot that scorched the net and made it a 4-2 game at the 9:10 mark.  Hamden kept up the pressure but Essery turned away shot after shot.

                                                                                   CARIGNAN TO MACGREGOR TO BURT

     CJ Carignan wins draw to Justin MacGregor at point

        Justin MacGregor makes nice pass to Jim Burt

                   Jim Burt fires and scores

The third period saw much of the same and after crafty Pat Lynch stole the puck and scored a short-handed goal at the 8:32 mark to make it 4-3 the fans were in for a delightful end to this game between two of the best teams in the state.  Essery was just getting warmed up and the import from the Carolina's paid off his first dividends for the Xavier Team.  Big Time!

                                                                                               DADIO TO LYNCH TO BURT

 Pat Lynch & Jim Burt double tip Brandon Dadio slap shot for goal

                     Brandon Dadio fires towards net

                             Pat Lynch short-handed goal

Simply put, Essery was outstanding!  He made saves of every kind.  He stopped Hamden's Big Guns when it counted.  He stoned one Green Dragon after another.  It was pure magic.  It was beautiful music.  It was highway robbery.

                                                          GREEN DRAGONS ARE ESSERY'D BY FALCONS' AWESOME AUSTIN IN NET

                     Tim Lee Caught

                          Nick Amarone Rejected

                               Paul Amarone Stopped

                 Jim Burt Sticked Away

                           CJ Carignan Gloved

                            Nick Amarone Stoned

Hamden's Matt Hoff kept the team in there after falling behind 4-0.  Teddy Kennedy and Mike Lee and RJ Ugolik had outstanding games on defense and Justin MacGregor, CJ Carignan, Nick & Paul Amarone all played well.  Burt and Lynch had their typical all out hustling game and Connor Walsh was dearly missed.  Timmy Lee is coming on and was one of many players robbed by Essery.

          Can you tell which one is the real Canadian?       

                           Head Coach Scott Gainey

                 The Greatest Country on Earth

Kudos to Coach Scott Gainey, John Stanton and the Xavier Coaching Staff and players.  It was a hard fought game and the Falcons proved themselves to be true contenders for this year's crown.  The Green Dragon squad should learn many lessons from this game.  The team has to stop taking penalties after the whistle; they need everyone working hard each and every shift; and they should be proud of the way they kept battling against a top notch team despite being down 4-0 early in the second.  Something tells us that these two teams have not seen the last of each other.

Let's all take a moment and remember all those poor victims of the Tuscon, Arizona shooting last week.  Burtsville says a prayer for their families.  It is a strange world we live in when such a gracious and hard working and caring woman such as Gabby Giffords is so little known around the country until she is shot while others more interested in headlines garnered through shocking statements and nasty comments about people dominate our news and politics.  Here's a Toast to Civility in politics, sports and life. 

The Green Dragons have a busy week with New Canaan Tuesday at home, ND of Fairfield Wednesday in MIlford and then West Haven at West Haven on Saturday.  It should be a fun and interesting week of hockey.  Have a ball boys!!!!  Burtsville Believes!

All the pictures from this game will be posted at www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com in approximately 5-7  days.

                                                                                         January 10, 2011

                                                               HAMDEN 3 FAIRFIELD PREP 2
Paul Amarone ends OT Thriller with Goal
RJ Ugolik/CJ Carignan Score for Hamden
                                                                           Sean Henry and Donald Carnicky Score for Prep
Matt Hoff and John Galiani Shine in Net
Did you really expect anything less?  Two of the premiere programs in the nation picked up right where they left off in last year's title tilt as Hamden upended Prep 3-2 in Overtime at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena before an overflow crowd on this crisp and cold Saturday afternoon.  The game just seemed as if there was a long intermission from last year's game as the two teams battled each other to the end.

A Paul Amarone goal sent from the heavens above scored a little over a minute into OT to send the Green Dragon Team into a wild celebration.  Few who don't know the story behind the goal and why it meant so much to Paul, his family and teammates may not have understood the joyous celebration it brought to those of us who do.  

Paul was named after his uncle and wears number four in his honor. He is named after an uncle he never knew.  Ron and Virginia Cosenza--Paul's grandparents--and the best of the best--lost their hockey playing son Paul to a courageious battle with cancer at the tender age of 14.  Their daughter Regina and son-in-law Andy Amarone named their son Paul in his honor.

 So, it was a special goal for special reasons for Paul and his entire family. 

Amarone's goal capped an outstanding game played by both teams.  These two titans battled to a 0-0 tie after the first period.  Both teams had scoring opportunities but were rejected one after another by the fine men in net.  The best save of the period came in its last seconds as Hoff denied freshman standout Patrick Hayes who made his way through the Hamden team and almost scored at the end of the period.


Both teams continued to battle up and down the ice as the second period began.  Several penalties were called throughout the game as both teams found themselves putting their Special Teams out on the ice.  Hamden had nine penalties and Prep had three so both had opportunites to get work in this early in the season.  Prep finally put a tally on the board when Sean Henry tipped in his brother Connor's rifle slap shot that just snuck inbetween Hoff and the right post.  It was at the 11:19 mark of the second period and put Prep up 1-0.

                                    OH HENRY!

                          NO GREEN DRAGON!

                                 GO PREP!

It is simply thrilling to watch these two teams play.  Burtsville wrote it last year after the Championship Game.  Burtsville writes it again.  Gentlemen, THANK YOU!  What a display of heart, talent and sheer guts.  Both teams trying to best the other in what has become just one fine rivalry.  The level you played at yesterday was incredible.  Simply a great game played by great players.  And, it is only January.

    Hamden High School Coaching Staff--Jerzy makes the call!

      Ref, Did you get the number of that truck that just ran me over?

                            Fairfield Prep Coaching Staff

Hamden entered the third period down 1-0.  They came out flying but once again Galiani and his mates were up to the task.  Tom Worsfold, David White, Bryan Puffer, AJ Unker, Evan Antisdale, Liam Ferguson, Craig Puffer, the Henry boys and  Connor Peterson along with the rest of the Prep squad were giving the home team Green Dragons everything they could take.  Hamden's Connor Walsh, Vito Puopolo, Steve Ruocco, Tim Lee, Nicky Amarone, Teddy Kennedy and Pat Lynch were returning the favor in kind.

And oh those two studs in net.  Hoff and Galiani.  Galiani and Hoff.  Two warriors rejecting rubber more often than the shooters on the ice care to imagine.  Hoff ended the evening with 31 saves and Galiani had 34 stoppers.  Add these two young men to a galaxy of fine net minders adorning the state of Connecticut hockey scene this year.  The Green Dragons alone are blessed with Hoff and the outstanding Andy Varga who have alternated each game leading Hamden to a 4-0 in-state record having given up only 7 goals in those four games.

                      John Galiani makes another fine save

   Connor Peterson, Liam Ferguson, & Matt Beck get ready

                     Donald Carnicky Shoots & Scores

Hamden has many sections of town to it like so many other towns around our lovely state.  Wednesday evening at the TD Bank Sports Center at Quinnipiac University the Spring Glen Boys had quite the evening.  Saturday afternoon belonged to the Hill Street Blues Boys. Next door neighbors RJ Ugolik and CJ Carignan teamed up with Nick Amarone--a mere 300 yards away down the street--to put forth the kind of effort that Hamden fans have come to know and love from their t eam.  It has become music to their ears.

 And nobody sang a better tune Saturday on Mix Avenue than RJ Ugolik.  He is simply playing at a different level and it shows.

Ugolik came flying down the right point as Jim Burt was circling the wagons on a Green Dragon Power Play near the top of the left circle.  Burt twirled and spotted the gifted blue liner hitting him with a hard pass.  Ugolik, a multi-talented young man, took no time in depositing a crisp, rising slap shot into the back of the twines to tie the score at the 4:11 mark of the third period. 

Please see the video of RJ's goal at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMffDU94btl. And thank you Mike Lamb for all the technical assistance in getting this goal up on YouTube!!!

RJ Ugolik races around net to help Burtsville with video production

Burt and Carignan received assists on the goal.  The teams battled back and forth until the swift and talented Donald Carnicky fired home a shot past Hoff at the 8:32 mark on a 5 on 3 which put Prep back on top 2-1.  Tom Worsfold had the lone assist on the goal.  Hoff was stopping pucks with every part of his body as Prep peppered him trying to increase its lead.  He just kept saying, No.

            Matt Hoff ready to make the save on Prep Shot

                 Matt Hoff steps onto the ice to start the game

                       Matt Hoff gets leg up on Prep Shooter

Tim Lee, Connor Walsh, Nicky Amarone and Ted Kennedy all were flying for Hamden.  Justin MacGregor had his best game of the year especially down the stretch for the Green Dragons.  Brandon Dadio again turned in an outstanding performance on the blue line for Hamden.  Michael Lee is turning into one of the best young defense man in the state.  And brother Tim is played his best hockey of the year on Saturday being denied a scoring chance on a take down that had the crowd screaming for a Penatly Shot.


   Connor Walsh never stops hustling dives to get off shot

         Nicky A., CJ & RJ--Hill Street Blues Boys plus 2

      Nick Amarone & Justin MacGregor on the attack

Hamden was down 2-1.  Crunch Time was coming.  So was the Chairman of the Hill Street Blues Boys, CJ Carignan.  Carignan has been flying all year.  The multi-talented senior has not stopped skating since the season began.  Saturday was no exception.  So it was no surprise to the Hamden crowd and his teammates that he banged home the tying goal in a scrum infront of the Fairfield Prep net to tie the game at 2-2 with just under four minutes to play.

The play started with Justin MacGregor getting the puck low to Jim Burt.  Burt muscled through one defender and curled around the net trying to jam the puck home.  Carignan joined the fray and he and Burt just kept hammering away until the loose puck made it through the goalies legs and slowly made its way over the goal line.  MacGregor and Burt were credited with assists on the goal.

 Nine out of Ten Players Accept Galiani Invite for Dinner

                 Ted Kennedy & Vito Puopolo defend Matt Hoff

   Tim Lee chopped down on way to scoring chance

Leadership can be difficult to define.  Teammates is a phrase mentioned by many but understood by few.  Hamden is blest with three fine leaders in CJ Carignan, RJ Ugolik, and Jim Burt.  Three kids who have played with each other since youth.  A Captain and Two Assistant Captains that don't care who wears the "C" or who wears the "A".  So it came as no surprise that these three kids along with their other fine teammates played a big role in Hamden's win.  On & Off the ice.

  Hamden---a TEAM.  Leaders.  Teammates.  Champions. 

                              Brandon Dadio heads up ice

Hill Street Blues Chrmn. CJ Carignan Bangs Home Game Tying Goal

                                           Team Defense

Fairfield Prep is a wonderful school.  Burtsville received the benefit of a Jesuit education at the beautiful campus of Fairfield University.  Burtsville had several classes in buildings that presently make up Fairfield Prep.  But the Jesuit Training and Philosophy and Religion had to take a back seat to what Paul Amarone had working for him Saturday afternoon.  And for those of you who don't believe, well Mr. Oneto may be someone you want to speak to in March.

This one's for Uncle Paul!

             Paul Amarone lets go with heavenly shot

      Puck just trickles under left leg pad for OT game winner

                 Paul Amarone celebrates Game Winner

All aboard Dadio's Cannon Ball Park Express.  Take a Right!  Xavier awaits in Middletown Tuesday Evening at 5:30 P.M.  Enjoy the ride kids.

                                                            January 7, 2011

                                          SPRING GLEN BOYS SCORE 4 GOALS AND GARNER 2 ASSISTS
                                               PAUL AMARONE LEADS WAY WITH TWO TALLIES/LYNCH/BURT SCORE
                                               VARGA OUTSTANDING IN NET FOR GREEN DRAGONS/WILSON PLAYS STRONG
                                               BENSON/MAURI/KENNY/GARCEAU &  MICHAEL AMARONE AMONG INDIAN STARS

                                                                                                                 Amarone Cousins go at it again
                                                                                                        Mike in net, Nick #11, & Paul with puck

Three kids who grew up within one-half mile from each other had quite the night at the TD Bank Sports Center located on the York Hill Campus of Quinnipiac University Wednesday evening.  Paul Amarone tipped in a rocket of a shot by RJ Ugolik with just under two minutes to go in the first period and then scored again on his own rebound 42 ticks into the second period to lead Hamden to a hard-fought 4-1 victory over a determined and talented North Haven squad.

    Beautiful Anthem Singer begins the night

          RJ Ugolik lets for with Slap Shot Assist

       Paul Amarone celebrates nice Tip-In Goal

Paul Amarone was assisted on his first goal by Ugolik and Nick Amarone.  Both Hamden Amarones were playing against their other cousin, Michael, who is the outstanding net minder for North Haven.  Mike Amarone and his Tyler Benson-led squad beat Hamden in overtime last year in a thrilling game but this year the Green Dragons exacted their revenge despite a slow start after a two week hiatus from game action.

       Paul Amarone nets his 2nd goal of game


                   Tyler Benson lets it rip

       Jim Wilson applies ferocious forecheck

Amarone's second goal was set up on a fine feed up ice from Ted Kennedy to Pat Lynch who hit Paul in the slot.  The rugged center shot a rocket off his cousin's left leg pad and it came right back to him and he buried it in the net.  Both Kennedy and Lynch were awarded assists on the play.

      Rich Mauri Fires One Home for Indians

                   Captain's Meeting

              Justin Kenny (#10) & Mates

North Haven has no quit in them.  They kept coming and kept Hamden at bay with some fine saves by Mike Amarone including a beauty against cousin Nick.  Nick "Magic Hands" Amarone simply played his best game of the year with hustle up and down the ice.  He and CJ Carignan were flying all evening long and how they didn't score a goal is a credit to the fine North Haven defense and stingy goal tending. 

North Haven's Rich Mauri ended up getting set up by teammates Ken Broccoli and Andy Babbidge in the second period to score a goal. These three players were skating hard up and down the ice all night creating havoc for Hamden defense men Sean O'Keefe, Mike Lee, and Brandon Dadio.  Dadio continues to wipe out anyone in his path with thunderous checks and incredible strength.  Somehow Mauri used his speed and guile to get free and rifled one home past Andy Varga who was in net for Hamden.  At the 5:41 mark of the second it was a 2-1 game.

              Mystery Man Hugs Mrs. Burtsville

                  Who the heck is that good looking guy with Chris?

           The Three Amigos--Park Central Tavern Style

Varga had another outstanding game in net.  He and Matt Hoff have provided Hamden with a wonderful tandem in net.  These two net minders and the developing Hamden defense is a very good sign for the Green Dragons.  Ugolik and Dadio continue to play at the highest level in the state with freshman Michael Lee getting better every game.  Ted Kennedy is not only a reliable defenseman but one who gains confidence each and every game.  Look for Kennedy to continue to play an ever increasingly important role for Hamden.  Sean O'Keefe continues his fine play and development; and, old reliable Harley Pretty just does whatever he is asked to do with the greatest of effort, enthusiasm and a ton of talent.  Conor Callahan also played well on defense for Hamden.

     Santa Andy & His Elves guard the Hamden Net

                              Hamden Fans

                          Hamden Bench

Hamden's offense took a period to kick it into gear.  This is the same routine the team followed in the Amity game and the Cheshire scrimmage. The Green Dragon Engine seems to be taking a little time to warm up.   Once it does it is hard to stop.

 Mike Lee revved up that engine mid-way through the second taking the puck deep in his zone and making a hard beak out pass to the darting CJ Carignan.  Carignan looked up and saw Jim Burt cruising up ice.  Carignan hit Burt with a bullet pass on his blade and the swift skating winger was on his way.

 Burt made a great rush up ice and around a defense man before lifting a pretty back handed goal up and over Amarone at the 9:29 mark of the second to put Hamden up 3-1.  Lee and Carignan had assists on the goal.

                                                                        JIM BURT SCORES BEAUTY

Another kid who was flying all night for Hamden was Connor Walsh.  The kid just never stops working and is a great example to his teammates.  He does all the dirty work and hustles on both ends of the ice.  Connor has a fine scoring touch which is clearly evident in practice and once one piece of rubber goes into the net in a game--which Burtsville believes will be very soon--watch out State of Connecticut.  Walsh is joined in the All Hustle Club by several of his teammates which was particularly evident by the play of Vito Puoplo, Tim Lee, Jim Wilson, Steve Ruocco and Billy Reilly.

   Connor Walsh works hard along the boards

Billy Reilly, Jim Wilson & Steve Ruocco look to score

           CJ Carignan Fires Shot on Net

All of these players along with Justin MacGregor played a key role in the victory handling all the ice time they got like seasoned veterans.

Another kid who continues to defy description is Patrick "Patch" Lynch.  What more can be said of this dynamo?  He plays the Power Play, he plays the Penalty Kill, and he more than holds his own Even Strength.  Patch just never stops working and he along with Burt and Paul Amarone certainly had themselves a night of it on Wednesday. 

The Paul & Eddie Trio--The Glen Rocks--whatever twist you want to put on it--seldom will you see a prettier goal--shorthanded--than Lynch and his buddy Jim Burt cooked up midway through the third.

Burt stole the puck inside his own blue line and headed out with a burst of speed up the ride side of the ice.  Lynch was behind him to the right and as Burt crossed the red line to the right Lynch started his mad dash up the middle of the ice.  Those of us who have watched these two play knew what was coming.  Burt continued to motor up the right side as Lynch continued powering his way up the middle.  Burt then slowed just a bit as the sole defenseman went down and extended body and stick to prevent a shot or pass from the big winger.

                                            PAT LYNCH AND JIM BURT TEAM UP FOR THIRD PERIOD SHORT HANDED TALLY

No problem.  Burt feathered a beautiful saucer pass up and over the defense man's stick and flat down onto the ice which Lynch took in stride on the stick blade.  One deke here, another deke there with another defense man quickly gaining ground on the slick and talented Lynch.  Shoot kid!  Shoot!

But the kid--as cool under pressure as any player you have ever seen-- had one more move in him and as the goalie spread out to stop the shot; as the closing defense man whacked him on the arm; the cool and controlled forward buried the puck into the back of the net.  It was at the 8:56 mark of the third and it brought the entire Hamden crowd out of their seats in recognition of one pretty play.

                                                PAT LYNCH FINISHES OFF GORGEOUS SHORT HANDED GOAL

"This is the first hockey game I have seen here," offered an elderly fan by the name of Chip Hogpress.  "It was great.  Exciting.  Nice atmosphere.  And what a goal that Lynch kid scored.  I can't wait to come back!"

North Haven still did not go away.  The Indians peppered Varga with more than a dozen shots before the game would end.  Justin Kenny, Nash Garceau, John Pereire and several other of the North Haven players had outstanding games.  Tonight it was Hamden's night and a big Thank You goes out to Quinnipiac University Athletic Director Jack McDonald and to the entire Quinnipiac University Community for hosting these two area teams at such a fine facility.


If you didn't catch it this week, please look for RJ Ugolik's fine column appearing weekly in the New Haven Register regarding hockey and life.  It will  appear usually on Wednesdays throughout the season and/or in his blog in the New Haven Register.  Way to go RJ.  Your first article was Top Notch.

And for those who don't know it, Hamden High Hockey coverage has been given another voice in the talented pen of young Patrick Clapp.  Pat writes for Patch.com and will be helping to cover the team throughout the season.  Please take the time to read his fine articles and view the pictures he takes of the game.

MaxPreps professional photographer Kevin Patacky took several great pictures of the players at the TD Bank Sports Center.  You can view them at www.maxpreps.com.  They are for sale on that site and well worth the money.  Kevin does a fantastic job with the camera.  We urge you to go check out his pictures.

Hamden plays Fairfield Prep this Saturday at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena.  Game Time is 2:30.   It will be the first time that these two teams have met since last year's historic Championship Game won by Hamden 6-5.  It was the most thrilling championship game in the history of the CIAC Tournaments.

 Tuesday Hamden heads up to Middletown for a 5:30 PM game against Xavier at Wesleyan University.  

                                                                       LOCK IT IN YOUNG MEN.  LOCK IT IN.

Have fun boys.  Enjoy each moment.  Enjoy each game.  You are playing for one of the most storied High School Programs in the Nation and Saturday you get to play against another one in Fairfield Prep.  There aren't too many players in the country that get to enjoy that type of experience and there are plenty of players around who would like to have that opportunity.  So tomorrow make sure you look around your rink and take in the crowd.  Listen to your heart breathe.  Look at your opponents eyes.  Hear your skates and those of your teammates dig into the ice.

 It will be a packed house with two powerhouses going at it with crowds as loyal as they come.  Have a ball!  Have fun!  Have a blast!

And remember, Burtsville Believes!!!  Burtsville Believes!!!

                          Are We Having Fun Yet?

Pat Lynch, Jim Burt, and Paul Amarone

                                                                           JANUARY 1, 2011


A Happy New Year greeting from Burtsville to all of you!  We hope that your year is a healthy, happy, and prosperous one.  For those of you involved in Connecticut High School Hockey especially, THANK YOU!

Burtsville is closing in on FOUR MILLION HITS (4,000,000) since its' inception in December 2008.  It has been a blast doing this site and I hope that it has brought you as much enjoyment as it has brought to me.

The JOURNEY has been wonderful.  You all have made it so.  So, what better way to usher in the New Year--2011--then with some pictures that bring back so many of the wonderful moments that have occured over the past two seasons.

Stay well.  Enjoy Each & Every Moment.  Cherish those around you.  It goes by Way too Fast.

                                                       December 30, 2010



Next door neighbors Hamden and Cheshire scrimmaged each other Thursday morning at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena on Mix Avenue in Hamden.  Coach Jim "Butchie" Riccitelli came back to his hometown to take on the team he once starred for in high school.  This time he brought along his son, Assistant Cheshire Coach, Jay Ricitelli.

Jay & Dad lead Cheshire Rams

It doesn't get much better--especially at this time of the season--than being with family.  And to be able to coach at this level with your son has to make Butch R. feels pretty darn proud.  Fact of the matter is, it doesn't get much better than Butch Riccitelli in Connecticut High School Hockey period.  A great coach and great person who has led and developed a wonderfully successful program at Cheshire High School.  Happy Holidays to the Riccitelli Family and squad.

Joey B,, Ned, & Ron M. enjoy IHOP B-4 scrimmage

Cheshire has several fine players.  Burtsville apologizes that we did not have a roster for the scrimmage and we were too slow with the camera trigger to catch the first goal by Matt Dupont during the first shift of the game.  Fear not Matt, the only other goal I missed all day was by a fellow with my same last name as I so consider yourself family!  Thankfully, two nice Cheshire players who were not suited up helped me with the names for the Ram goals.

       Kevin Stevens to the Defense for Cheshire

      Goalie #30 snags RJ Ugolik Blast with great glove save!

     Tom Dupont buries puck as teammate flies by net

The other Cheshire goal was a pure hustle play by the entire line with lightening quick Tom Dupont burying a puck that was also being sought by a flying Ram player from behind the net.  This was assisted by Kyle Murgo.  Kevin Stevens had an exceptionally strong game on defense for Cheshire as did both goalies.  The young Mr. Stevens is still recovering from an early season injury but looked good and will prove very helpful to the Rams as the season progresses.

Another person who had an exceptionally strong game was veteran referee Sean "Hit Me One More Time" Donahue.  Poor Sean got nailed a few times high and low and front and back.  You have to figure he was feeling pretty sore on Friday.  Thanks Sean for handling the whistle brother!!!

  Sean Donahue loosens up before the scrimmage

The Hamden squad has looked stronger each and every game.  As a matter of fact, the team has seemed to be getting better each and every practice.   Hamden has always been a TEAM and you can see this year's squad starting to form its' own identity.  Burtsville likes what it sees.

One of the stars for Hamden in the Championship Game last year was Nick Amarone.  Nick had a quiet hockey summer which should make him fresh all year long.  He has been somewhat quiet so far this year.  Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.  The man with the Magic Hands is no longer quiet.

Nicky Boy lit it up with four goals.  We know one was on a nice pass from Justin MacGregor who was awesome on the blue line for part of the game.  The kid has the size and skating abilitly to play up or back and looked very natural and comfortable in both spots.  Joe Quick also hit the ice for Hamden and added another fine defenseman to the developing Hamden Green Dragon Blue Line.

     Nicky Amarone buries a great pass from J Mac

         Nicky Amarone scores a beauty of a back hander

               Joey Quick played well for the Hamden Defense

Nicky went Bang!  Bang! with his first two goals.  He later scored another and then finished the day off on a fine pass from CJ Carignan for a Power Play Fourth Goal.  Way to go Magic Hands!

Hamden also got a goal from the hustling Vito Puopolo.  Vito, Connor Walsh, Tim Lee, Steve Ruocco, and forwards Jimmy Wilson, Billy Reilly, and Anthony Rascati all are an important part of the Hamden squad who hustle every time they are on the ice.  It was nice to see Vito get rewarded for all his hard work.  Expect to see these names on the score sheet more often as the season progresses and the lines jell together.  Hamden will need these players to produce to be successful and one can see that beginning to happen even this early in the season.

Other Hamden scorers included a Pat Lynch beauty, a Paul Amarone knock in off an RJ Ugolik blast rebound and a Jim Burt honey on the Power Play.  Justin Wetmore turned in an outstanding game in net for the home team and Conor Callahan just kept making plays on defense.  Thus far this year Callahan, Teddy Kennedy, Zak Masotta and Harley Pretty have stepped up big time to fill the defensive void.  Now you can put Joe Quick into that equation as well.

     Patch Lynch finishes off a beauty of a rush

  Justin Wetmore guarded by Conor Callahan & Pat Lynch

     Paul Amarone Taps Home Ugolik rebound

Hamden continues to get solid defense from Michael Lee and Sean O'Keefe; and, if anyone is watching, RJ Ugolik and Brandon Dadio will get the recognition they deserve as the two best defensemen in the State.  Both players are on top of their games.  Two way players with Dadio being the hardest hitting defender around and Ugolik the smoothest skating defenseman the state has seen in years.

CJ Carignan had another strong game for Hamden piling up a number of assists as did Burt, Ugolik, Dadio, Walsh and others.  The top two lines are starting to produce consistently for the Green Dragons and that only means good things for Hamden.


Kevin Regan and Butch Riccitelli--5 decades later. Sorry Boys!

                                            Steve G. & the Boys

                             Cheshire Helpers--Thanks Boys!

And you never come to the Hamden Rink without seeing beauty.  It may not always be on the ice but it certainly is always in the stands.  It comes in a young girl's smile, young women smiles, and smiles from those of us whose personalites and love of life just keep us Forever Young.    Keep on Smiling Kids---all of you kids!!!                                    

                                                            LOU ASTORINO ICE ARENA BEAUTIES

                          Cheshire Beauty

                              Hamden Beauties--plus The Big Ragu!!!

World Beauty--Jack Killoy Hamden Girl's Asst. Coach


                                                                                                                   December 24, 2010

                                                  DRAGONS SQUEEZE BY SPARTANS 4-2
                                           Carignan nets two/Lynch & Burt Score/Hoff solid in net
                                                                        Bianchi & Shea Tally for Amity /Mansfield outstanding between twines
                                                      Ugolik/Dadio for Hamden and Negri/Soltis for Amity have strong D games

Coach Gary Lindgren and Amity Staff

Two Powerhouse Programs hooked up Wednesday evening for an  early season thriller at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden.  Two time defending Division One State Champion Hamden hosted defending Division Two Champion Amity as the Spartans played their second game as a D-1 Team.  Any questions concerning Amity's ability to compete at the D-1 level were certainly answered in a game that had playoff-like atmosphere written all over it.   

The fans were rocking as the packed house witnessed what is just simply great about Connecticut High School Hockey.  Two of the State's finest teams competing in an early season match-up. Fast skating, hard hitting, strong defense and outstanding goal keeping had everyone in attendance on the edge of their seats. 

 " I can't believe a game this early in the season had such a playoff feel to it," said The New Haven Educator who has been around the rinks in these parts for over forty years.  "I remember when these two teams played back in the 80's and well, let's just say the rivalry has been renewed."  Renewed indeed.

And as often happens in this area, you have best friends playing against one another.  Some of them even have the same number.  And some of them are blest with beautiful sisters.  Just ask Justin MacGregor of Hamden and Adam Soltis of Amity.

             My sister is better looking than yours'

  Ms. Soltis-a beatuty- between two Hamden Studs

                Yeah, I don't think so J. Mac.

Pat Lynch got Hamden on the board first at the 1:25 mark of the first period on a fine pass from Paul Amarone.  Jim Burt also picked up an assist on the goal as he tipped a blast from Brandon Dadio.  This line was moving well all night as the Amity Defense led by Mitchell Negri and Adam Soltis was putting up a stone wall in front of their outstanding net minder, Alec Mansfield.  Brother Mansfield was welcoming the Green Dragon skaters with love taps with his stick all night and the greetings were returned in kind.

Paul Amarone makes great pass to Lynch for goal

            Pat Lynch was flying all night for Hamden

                           Brandon Dadio lets it rip

Both Mansfield and Hamden goalie Matt Hoff were stopping everything thrown at them.  Hamden's defense led by RJ Ugolik, Brandon Dadio, Ted Kennedy and Michael Lee were handling the Amity pressure well.   Dadio was crushing everything in sight and adding a powerful shot every time he was on the ice.  He got an assist on Hamden's game winning goal.

Then the Amity crowd exploded as their talented forward, Joe Bianchi,  let go with a blast at the 13:15 mark to knot the score at 1-1. 
It was a rocket from the left point that just simply exploded into the net.  Amity beauty comes in many hues and this was just one of them.

                     AMITY BEAUTIES

                              BIANCHI BEAUTY

                                   AMITY BEAUTIES

"D-II?  Not anymore, " said Johnny Sides, regional scout for the Cape Cod Drifters.  "You take Bianchi, Shea, Soltis, Negri and that goalie and I'd stack them up with any D-I team around.  And this Amity Team is deep.  Those kids may get most of the ink but don't be fooled.  Amity has talent on every line and every defensive combo. Amity is the real deal."

Burtsville couldn't agree more.

The second period started 1-1.  The fans were treated to more of the same play.  Up and down the ice skated some of the best players in the state.  The hitting was crisp and clean, the goal tending outstanding and the crowd certainly got their money's worth on this clear, cold evening.

Steve Ruocco, Connor Walsh and Vito Puopolo just missed on a couple of opportunites for Hamden.  Tim Lee was pushing the puck up ice and the likes of Nick Amarone and Justin MacGregor were moving well for Hamden.  Harley Pretty and Zak Masotta had strong games on defense.



                      RJ UGOLIK FIRES ON NET

The Amity squad had strong games from Adam Shea, Matt Seymour, Bill Dixon, Eric Carrano and a host of others.

But this evening belonged to the netminders as both Matt Hoff and Alec Mansfield kept rejecting shot after shot.  And the second period--despite the feverish pace and the shots on net--ended up with no one scoring for 14 full minutes.

Wait a minute.  That's right.  They do play 15 minutes each period.  And oh what a last minute it was in the second!  You witnessed Speed, Power and Grace.  After all, it is the Holiday Season!

CJ Carignan, who was flying all night, picked up a loose puck in center ice and took off with a mad dash towards Mansfield.  Nick Amarone was in tow for Hamden.  Carignan deked once, slid to his left and somehow beat Mansfield to put Hamden up 2-1.  It was an unassisted, beautiful goal.  The crafty center man was mobbed by his teammates in the corner.

           CJ CARIGNAN---SPEED

There were 49 ticks left on the clock. 

The ensuing face off found Hamden back in the Amity zone when Brandon Dadio fed Jim Burt in front of the net.  Burt had scored one earlier that was disallowed because the net had come off its' moorings.  This time the net stayed in place and with a Pat Lynch screen in front the big winger drilled it home for a 3-1 Hamden lead. 

             JIM BURT---POWER

There were 27 seconds left on the clock.

Hamden then won the next face-off and Paul Amarone, who had an outstanding game for the Green Dragons, was somehow rejected by Mansfield on an incredible save.  Rumor has it the Hamden Police Department is looking into a theft charge against the Amity net minder on this one.

The puck was cleared to center ice where the swift skating Corey Shea picked it up and came screeching down on Hoff.  Shea deftly placed the puck through the five hole as the Amity Bleachers almost collapsed with excitement.  The game was now 3-2.  "Simply stated," said a bystander, "that was a pretty goal."

           COREY SHEA---GRACE

There was 1 second left on the clock.

Somebody call the EMT's!  Burtsville is getting too old for this much fun and excitement!!!

The third period saw more of the same by both teams.  The goalies held their own highlighed by a late glove save by Hoff.  Carignan bagged an empty netter with 23 seconds left to ice it for Hamden.




Welcome to D-1 Amity Regional, Coach Lindgren and staff.   You boys are going to make some Big Time Noise.  You have a tough schedule and that is a credit to you.  Burtsville has a feeling we will be seeing each other again before the season ends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Billy, Todd, & George

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Happy and Safe Holiday Season to all!!!  Burtsville took over 2,000 pictures at this game.  They will be uploaded to www.hamdenhighschoolhockey.shutterfly.com.  It will take several days to do so, but then everyone will have free access to them all.  Enjoy!!!                                                                                              

                                                                                                                            December 19, 2010

                                                                                        HARBORMEN HARPOON GREEN DRAGONS 4-0

The Hamden Green Dragons gave up three Power Play goals and found themselves on the short end of a 4-0 game yesterday against the defending Bay State Super Eight Champion Hingham Team.  Hamden has now played three of our northern neighbors top teams--Malden Catholic (#1), Hingham (#3), and Needham (#4)--and the experience of playing such high caliber teams this early in the season should not be lost on anyone.  Hamden's schedule is one of the toughest in the nation this year and these games may temporarily hurt the pride but they will be well worthwhile as the season progresses.

                                                                          MVPS WERE IN THE HOUSE AT LOU ASTORINO ICE ARENA

                             HAMDEN MVPS

                      HINGHAM MVP

                              RADIO MVPS

Andy Varga had a strong game in net as the Hamden squad possesses two fine goalies. Every time the Hamden squad generated any offense Harbormen Goal Tender Derek McInnis just said NO!  The Hingham Team got goals from Steve Bellew (A-John Carlson & Tom Trogele), Ryan Linehan, Matt Hughes (A-Trogele and Alex Pompeo), and Trogele (A-Pompeo).   Hamden generated 30 shots on net while Hingham had 34.  

              COACH ANDY & SON  ENJOY PIZZA                                                                   ALEX POMPEO SHOOTS & SCORES 



Steve Ruocco got a considerable amount of action and performed very well getting a good scoring opporunity late in the second period.  Conor Callahan, Zak Masotta, and Billy Reilly all hit the varsity ice and played well for Hamden.  The teams played right after the Hingham girls team beat the Hamden girls squad 4-2.


              Zak Masotta has Jim Burt's Back

                     Conor Callahan defends Andy Varga

   Billy Reilly comes up to support Nick Amarone

While the loss stings like any other, no one was stinging more than Hamden's standout defense man, RJ Ugolik.  The young man has had quite the last 24 hours and topped it off by cutting himself sharpening a skate just before the game.  RJ gutted it out and played strong.  Brandon Dadio had another good game for Hamden as did Ted Kennedy and Harley Pretty along the blue line.

Steve Ruocco Fires a Shot

So, let's look ahead as a strong Amity squad comes into the Lou Astorino Ice Arena Wednesday night before the holiday break.  And while mentioning the holidays, let's keep everything in perspective.  What a glorious life we all live.  We have a great town, families and get to watch our boys and girls play a sport they love.  And to anyone who spoke to or observed the Hingham Teams and their family and fans, well, let's just say that towns that begin with the letter "H" know what it's all about.

                                                                                               WHO SAID THREE IS A CROWD?

            THE HALL WOMEN

                            JOEY, GEORGE, & ANDY

                  THE VARGA WOMEN

It was great having such a classy group visit us and here's to a safe and happy holiday season to all.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Hingham and good luck with the rest of your season.  It was a pleasure meeting the coaching staff and speaking to the players.  It is a credit to everyone associated with the team and school to know that every player on the team came up to the Hamden Hosts and Thanked them with a handshake for the pizza and drinks after the game.  The only problem is that the brocolli and onion pizza still need to be eaten!!!
                                                                                     HOLIDAY HATS & HOTTIES!!!

                      HINGHAM HATS & HOTTIES


                            HAMDEN HATS & HOTTIES

And if you have any last minute shopping to do before the holidays, don't forget to go up and visit Meryl Henrici and the Gals at FLIRT and Dan Bush and the Boys at Hamden Sport. FLIRT is the top boutique in the state selling all varities of woman's clothes, jewelry and accessories.  The helpful and friendly staff will help all you guys out there that need it.  Just stop in, tell them if you are shopping for wife, daughter, or girlfriend and then go next door and hang out at Hamden Sports.  Go back in ten minutes and it will be the best shopping you have ever done in your life.  They will have it all picked out for you!!

And if you are in need of any sports equipment, Dan Bush's Store is the place to go.  Hamden Sports has a little bit of everything for everyone.  It's hockey season and you''ll find everything you need for any age.

Both stores are located on Whitney Avenue in Hamden near  Quinnipiac University's Main Campus.

 Now can anyone tell me what this is a picture of in the middle????

    Allie Aloi holds down fort at Hamden Sports

       Where did they put these body parts????

Maggie, Meryl, & Nikki--Three good reasons to visit FLIRT

                                                                                                                          December 18, 2010

                                     Gabby Benitez  Hamden High and Becca Parente  Hamden Hall named to All Area Team

Hamden High School Super Sophomore, Rachel Ugolik, not only got named to the New Haven Register All Area Team, she was selected as The All Area MVP.  Congratulations to this talented and hard working young woman.  Burtsville Tips Its' Cap to Rachel and her family.

Rachel led the Green Dragons to their best finish ever making it to the State Semi-Finals.  She scored 26 Goals and had 6 Assists oftentimes being double and triple teamed.  Watching this young woman play along with her teammates was a great joy.  The electricity in the crowd was matched only by the electricity in her legs and feet.  It would appear as though she just graciously shifted gears as her speed and quickness turned innocent looking plays into OMG did she really do that plays!?  One of those was the incredible burst of speed she made in the Amity Quarter Final Match as she overtook a defender with her blazing speed to outrace her for the ball and with talent and determination kicked forward with one leg to also beat the goalie to the ball.  As the ball sailed up, through and over  the goalie Rachel and she collided with a thud.  All this incredible athlete did was continue to watch the ball as it slowly bounced and rolled its way into the net for another Rachel Ugolik GOAL!--GOAL!-GOAL!!!!

                                                                                          WAY TO GO RACHEL--WELL DESERVED

                          THE KICK

                              THE COLLISSION

                              THE GOAL

Let's also give a Big Cheer to Rachel's Senior Teammate and a rock for the team since her freshman year, Gabby Benitez.  Gabby played in every game since her Freshman Year and was selected All Area as an outstanding defender.  Gabby scored 4 Goals and had 10 Helpers for the Green Dragons.

  Also being named to the All Area Team was Hamden Hall standout senior, Becca Parente.  Becca led the Hornets with 19 Goals and 15 Assists this year as the team reached the finals of the New England Prep School Championship.  Becca scored 30 Goals as a Junior and will graduate from Hamden Hall as one ot its all time great soccer players.

Sometimes moments in life scare you.  Sometimes the results from unfortunate incidents make you smile instead of cry.  You think What Could Have Been?  Then there are moments and events and selections that just simply make you proud and happy as can be--especially as a parent and family.    And when all is said and done family is what matters most.
And there is no better family in Burtsville than the Ugolik Family.  Congratulations to Jana, Bob, RJ, and Kiki, along with Rachel and the rest of the Ugolik Squad.  

                                The Ugolik Family (minus son Christian)

                                                                                                           December 17, 2010

                                           HOLIDAY SKILLS AND DRILLS HOCKEY CLINIC

Peter Alden--the creator of the very successful Junior Bobcats Hockey Program--is running a camp over the holidays for intermediate and advanced hockey players.  The Camp is being run by NextLevelSkillsHockey.  Please check out their web site at www.NextLevelSkillsHockey.com.

The camp is for intermediate and advanced players.  It is not for beginners.  It will be a short intense camp focusing on fundamentals.  There is limited space and a low coach to player ratio.

The camp will be held at The Ralph Walker Rink in New Haven.  The Coaching Staff includes the following:  Peter Alden of Choate Rosemary Hall--GM of Junior Bobcats;
Steve Novodor the SCSU Head Coach; Rick McKenna of Wesleyan University; Scott McDougall of Sacred Heart University; and Professional Goalie Training and more.

Cost per Player is $125.00 and $150.00 per Goalie.

Check out the website or call Peter at 203-444-7634 or email him at Palden@gmail.com.

                                                                                       December 16, 2010

                                                          GREEN DRAGONS BEAT BLUE WAVE 4-3 IN THRILLER
                                             MacGregor nets Two/Amarone Boys Score
                                             Max Rothston shines in net for Home Team

The Hamden High School Team escaped from the Darien Ice Center last night with a hard foughrt victory over a determined and talented Darien squad.  Three third period goals--two by Justin MacGregor--led a Green Dragon comeback almost ruined by last minute heroics by the never say die Blue Wave team.  The score ended up 4-3 as these two combatants fenced off for the first time since last year's semi-final game at Yale.

Alex Brown got things going at 7:58 of the first period.  He was assisted by Grayson Haron.  The Hamden Team was dumping rubber on Rothston as fast as Firestone could make it but the kid just kept saying No!  The period ended on what may have been the play of the game by Hamden netminder Matt Hoff who was making his Varsity debut.

The kid made an outstanding save on a breakaway with just seconds left that could have sent the Blue Wave up 2-0.


Darien is a tough team.  They come to play every night which is a testament to their coaching staff and players.  They also have some of the finest student fan support in the state.  This was evident from the start of the game as they joined in with the beautiful and talented young woman who graced us with her voice for The National Anthem.

Was this really only the first game of the season?  The pace was fast, the hitting hard, and the competitiveness level of both teams off the charts.  Paul Amarone got Hamden knotted up early in the second on a fine pass from Pat Lynch.  The period was only 18 seconds old and the teams were knotted at 1-1.  Then Garren Fritts scored at the 12:49 mark for Darien assisted by Trent Bergin and Richard Gregory.

             Garren Fritts slams one home

Hamden came out storming in the third period.  Justin MacGregor tipped in a shot from the point by Jim Burt.  CJ Carignan also picked up an assist on the play.  Then Nick Amarone scored from Burt and MacGregor and then Big Mac scored again on a fine pass play from Mike Lee to Carignan to J Mac to put Hamden up 4-2.

Boys celebrate J Mac's Tip In Goal

                      J Mac Slap Shot Goal

                         Nick Amarone Goal

Darien pulled their goalie with a minute remaining and the Gregory Boys teamed up to score with just 30 seconds left to make it 4-3.  Richard got the goal and Greorge the assist.  Hamden then fought off a frenzied Blue Wave Team to hold on with a huge face off win by Paul Amarone with 5 seconds left and some strong defense by RJ Ugolik and Brandon Dadio helping to ice the victory.

         Blue Wave Fans Kick it Up a Notch

                          Tim Lee Hits the Post

         NC's Jimmy Joe Granito Stepping out in Style

Ted Kennedy had a great game as did Michael Lee in their first varsity performances.  The play of these two players has to make the Hamden coaching staff happy along with the efforts of Harley Pretty, Tim Lee, Vito Puoplo and Connor Walsh.  Steve Ruocco hit the ice for the Green Dragons and played well as did Sean O'Keefe in defense.  

                      Pat Lynch Fires

 Walsh, Puopolo, & Lee Meet with Blue Wave Pals

                           RJ Ugolik Fires

Hamden plays its' home opener this Saturday at 2:30 PM against defending Bay State Champ Hingham.  Come out to the Lou Astorino Ice Arena and catch the fantastic Hamden Girl's Team that will be playng the Hingham Girls' Team at 12:00 Noon.

                   Paul Amarone Scores

                                                     CJ almost scroes

                            It's All About TEAM

                                                                                                                    December 14, 2010


Coach Serino & Coach Hall

"Funny, they looked like nice boys," said one of the Hamden mothers as the multi-talented Malden Catholic Team headed out of the Lou Astorino Ice Arena for a date with Joe Santilli and LVCC.  This Coach Chris Serino led team was one of the most talented sqauds to grace the Hamden ice in years.  And while taking it on the chin, the Green Dragons battled all the way to the end with freshman Anthony Rascati coming close to scoring a goal in the final seconds.

Malden Catholic Squad looked innocent enough off the ice

Coach Serino was the assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire who helped recruit Hamden's Todd Hall to the school.  He has a wealth of talent on his sqaud and it was evident from the drop of the first puck.  What the Green Dragons have to remember is that playing such a talented team as MC can only serve them well during the upcoming season.  Hamden has now played both Needham and MC--arguably the two best that the Bay State has to offer in the Public and Parochial Leagues this year.

            Hey, relax.  It's the preseason.


Yeah, relax.  I do the heavy lifting come playoffs.

One has to go back to Brother Paul Vakos' Greek Heritage to really understand what happened at the Hamden Rink v. Malden Catholic.  To all things there is a Beginning (The Alpha) and an End (The Omega).  And inbetween those two events oftentimes we are graced with something beautiful.  And anyone who was at the Rink to see MC play, witnessed something beautiful!

                   The Alpha--the Richter Beginning

    The Malden Catholic Beautful.  What a Goal!

                                The Omega--the Richter End

And while Malden Catholic had its sort of Beautiful on Saturday at the Lou Astorino Ice Arena, Hamden had its own kind of magic too!!!

                    Ms. Snack Bar

                                       Ms. Hoodies

                                          Ms. May

                                                                      December 11, 2010

                                                                    VINEYARD TRIP ADDS TO WONDERFUL MEMORIES

                                                     AS TEAM BONDS AND GOES 2-1

The Hamden High School Hockey Team ventured again to the Island of Martha's Vineyard to play three scrimmages against some of the best teams in the Bay State.  Their first opponent was Andover.  A tough, fast skating team the Andover squad was a most worthy opponent for the Green Dragons.

The game was played at a high pace as both teams had long rides to the beauty of the Vineyard.  It's early in the season--even for Burtsville--so the official score of the scrimmage and the points to each player may be wrong.  Apologies from the Editor!

The scrimmage ended 4-2 in favor of Hamden.  Tim Lee scored on a nice play sneaking his stick around an Andover defender.  RJ Ugolik and points unknown has assists on the goal.  Billy Reilly followed that one up with a beauty from a tough angle down near the goal line.  Brandon Dadio and Paul Amarone had assists on that one.

Billy Reilly Goal

Jimmy Wilson got on the board for Hamden as he and Connor Walsh fought fiercely for the puck near the Andover net.  Steve Ruocco and Reilly picked up assists on the play.

Jim Wilson Score

Paulie Amarone finished off the scoring for the Hamden squad on a nice wrap around assisted by Justin MacGregor and Jim Burt.

Tim Lee pounds one home

Paul scores on wrap around

CJ lets one rip

Andover scored two goals against the Green Dragons.  The Andover team played well and their goalie was outstanding.  Look for this northern squad to fare very well in the Bay State this season.  Good Luck to Andover----and all its' beautiful mothers who graced the stands--as you play throughout the season.

Justin Wetmore gets help from RJ & Patch

Next up for Hamden was host Martha's Vineyard.  The Vineyard is a scrappy team that never stops working.  They scored late in the contest on a rocket slap shot by #10.  It was the Island team's lone goal in a 5-1 game but the score doesn't indicate the closeness of the play.

Vineyard Slap Shot

Nick Amarone celebrates Goal with mates

Vineyard Shot & Goal

Hamden got out on top when Birthday Boy Jim Burt scored out in front from his knees on a nice backhanded shot.  Assists went to CJ Carignan and Pat Lynch.  It would not be the last time these three hooked up in the game.  Next Nick Amarone scored on a backhanded shot on a feed from Sean O'Keefe.  RJ Ugolik also picked up an assist on the play.

Hamden was flying as Burt, Carignan, and Lynch hooked up again on a beautiful play.  Carignan carried the puck over the blue line and circled low to the left before cruising back out high left as Burt screeched between the boards and Carignan's back.  Carignan froze and Bing! lasered a pass to the right where Lynch was down low near the goal line.  Bang! Lynch touched the puck for an instant and fired it through two defenders to Burt who Boom! fired it into the net for his second goal of the game.




Nick Amarone scored another with assists to Burt and Ugolik.  Then Jim Wilson, Connor Walsh, Steve Ruocco, and Anthony Rascati put together a hard working shift that resulted in a Wilson goal with Ruocco and Rascati getting the assists.  

Burt finished off a Birthday Hat Trick on a great play by Carignan.  O'Keefe stole the puck down low in the defensive zone as Hamden was fighting off a penalty.  He rifled the puck off the boards and just as a Vineyard player was about to get it Carignan came out of nowhere with lighting speed to knock the stick out of the Vineyard player's hands and then beat him to the puck and fed a streaking Burt down the middle.  Burt deked the goalie and put home a short-handed back hander for Hamden's last goal of the game.

Conor Callahan & the Needham High School Girl's Team

Fritz, Bo, Mousey, & Mac enjoy the Harborview Hotel

    Needham celebrates beautiful short-hander

Up next was  a team that in three short years on the Vineyard has become one of the top rivalries in all of New England.  The Needham Rockets versus the Hamden Green Dragons.  Needham challenged for the D-1 State Title last year in the Bay State.  They are as talented a team as any Hamden has faced in the last two seasons.  It is a great early season test for both teams and gets them both ready for their year long battle towards the top.

                                                                LET THE FUN BEGIN!

                    Steve and Bobby

                        Billy V., Todd H. & George J.

                                 Chris & Ned

Last year's Needham team beat Hamden 3-1 in a hard hitting, shall we say chippy game.  Well brother, this year we saw the sequel.  Both teams exhibited the same skill as last year, both teams hit harder than last year, and both teams got in their share of stick jabs, rabbit punches, and just darn good hits.  Burtsville just loves watching these two teams play.

And while the Vineyard and everything associated with it has brought Hamden nothing but great things since the Green Dragons started going there, can anyone say Omen?  Last year Hamden lost to Needham 3-1.  This year's game was 2-1 in the waning moments when Hamden pulled their goalie and had the puck down low in the Needham end.

 Needham Goalie Robs A. Rascati--Big Time!!!!

                         Oh Dad!  Do I have a headache!

   Does anybody know how to get to BurtsVille?

I haven't been to Needham High School.  I do know the Rockets have a great hockey team.  I have seen them play the last three years and no one has to tell me how good they are.  But, if the hockey team is this good, I certainly do not want to see their High School Pool Team.  Why do I say that?  Because their defense man scored the prettiest bank shot empty net goal I think I have ever seen that brought a smile to his teammates face and even a smirk to the Referee's face.  Just not sure if he called the shot!

Hamden loses 3-1.  They leave the Vineyard 2-1 just like last year.  Jim Lynch buys dinner--God Love Him!--at the Atlantic--just like last year.  And the boys get their annual Harborview Hotel Lighthouse Picture--just like last year.  Well, all that is nice but it doesn't mean anything unless the team focuses on hockey and what is in store for them each and every game.

But what does mean something is Jim Dadio's Van Ride to Cannon Ball Park.  Burtsville Believes in The Dadio CBP Express'--Cannon Ball Park--magical and mystical powers.  Burtsville Believes!  Take a Right!

   Dadio's CBP Express Boys--Take a Right!

Jim Lynch does it again at The Atlantic--Thanks Wooster!

         Coaches enjoy respite at Cannon Ball Park

Have a ball today guys against a top notch Malden Catholic Team in your scrimmage.  It begins at 2:30 at the Hamden High School Rink. The real games begin on Wednesday.  Can't wait for the fun to begin!  Wait a minute, I think Bob Ugolik said the Fun Has Begun!  Can anyone help Steve Walsh get to the rink? To Burtsville?

Happy Birthday Jimbo!  Have a Ball!


                                                                                                              DECEMBER 1, 2010

                                   ENJOY EACH AND EVERY BLESSED SECOND


It's hockey season again around our great State of Connecticut.  We here in Hamden love our hockey like so many other places do around the world.  Sometimes, all of us can get way "to into it" and lose perspective of the role sports plays in all of our lives.  Face it, all of us want our kid to excel, our kid to be the hero in the big game, our kid to make the save or score the goal that brings home the championship.  We here in Hamden have been spoiled over the past two years especially getting to relish in Back2Back Championship Years which has been the result of Team Play.

Championships are wonderful.  They bring lots of joy to the players, coaches, families and to the Town itself.  They make you happy and to think great thoughts of this year and years to come.  They bring players recognition--for the team and for the individuals on it.

My kid Jimmy spent the better part of this past summer going to hockey camps.  People knew him.  People knew about Hamden Hockey.  The Program has a storied tradition dating back to the beginning of High School Hockey in Connecticut.

The camps provided more good exposure for Jim and great competition.  Like most sports moms or dads I was there each and every step of the way.  I have had a ball watching all three of my kids grow up just like so many of you.  Burtsville was created two years ago somewhat as a spoof and has turned into a labor of love for me primarily covering the Hamden High School Boys' Hockey Team.



Many nights traveling this summer with the merry group that made up Peter Alden's Junior Bobcats Team and many a night staying in out of town motels/hotels.  But, the bottom line is that Jim was there to play hockey with so many other fine players looking to get exposure for their years beyond high school.

So, one day as the morning session ended standing along the aisle at a rink in Foxboro, Mass. I was approached by a cheery looking man around 65-70 years old.  Friendly, rotund, and with a clip board in his hand. It was 90 degrees outside and 25 degrees in the rink.  "Great day to be in a rink, hey?" he said to me with a smile on his face.  "Charlie O'Halloran," he chimed in before I could get out a word.

"Hi Charlie.  Ned Burt.  Nice to meet you.  And yes, it is a nice day to be in the rink."  Some small talk was exchanged and then I left.  Later that day the afternoon session of Jim's group was held at this BU Camp and once again I saw Charlie and exchanged pleasantries.

I really didn't give Charlie much of a thought.  I figured he had a grandson on a team or was just one of those guys who loves to come to the rink to watch hockey.  The next four weekends found us at the NESC Rinks in Marlboro at one tournament or another.  My God I thought as I walked down the main aisle towards the stairs leading to the second level.  There was Charlie against the wall.  It was early in the AM.

"Hi Charlie."  "Why hello Ned.  Nice day to be in the rink, hey," he once again said to me.  "Yep, nice day to be in the rink."

Every weekend we were at the NESC---day and night--I saw Charlie.  Clip Board in his hand, smile on his face, but always alone.  For those of you who know the NESC, that aisle is the meeting place for so many people dropping off a kid before a game or meeting a kid after it.  Families mingle, bags and sticks collide with human flesh from butts to elbows, and a sea of humanity enters and exits this ice arena mecca.  Everybody there is with someone else--a team, a kid, a parent, a coach--someone. 

Except Charlie.  Always alone.  Clip Board in hand.  Smile on face.  Friendly greeting to all.

Again, I left the summer buzz of Midget Hockey Tournaments and really didn't give Charlie much of a thought.  Then one day in my office in late October I had clients in to sign Wills.  I asked how their son was doing at Stonehill.  Now a senior he was in the same grammar school class as my daughter, Rachel.  They told me a numbing story of how some of the college boys had gone up to Vermont the spring before and had gone White Water Tubing.  They said one of the kids had gotten thrown from his tube and broken a leg.

I stopped.  Some things over the years have touched me in a way I can't fully explain.  I have cut newspaper articles out and framed them.  Two are hanging in our Waiting Room.  One is a Sept. 11th story.  The other about a boy who lost his life tubing.

I got up to take down the article.  Joe Fitzgerald wrote it for the Boston Herald.  I looked at the date.  July 9, 1992.  I hadn't looked at it in years.  I then looked at the picture of the boy--17 year old Kevin O'Halloran.  I read the first paragraph.  It was Charlie's kid.  Charlie was 48 years old and his standout high school 17 year old hockey playing kid for Norwood High School had gone north White Water Tubing with his buddies.  Something he had done many times in the past.  He never came home.


I started to shake and cry as I took the framed article down from my wall.  I am glad that I knew the couple so well as I began tearing up right away.  I just had a sick feeling come over me.  No, I haven't seen Charlie since this happened, but I just know this was his kid.  It all fit.

I suddenly realized what we tell ourselves so many times in life.  You never know what the person you are speaking to has been through in their life.  Here was Charlie.  A smile on his face.  Eighteen years after the tragic death of his son hanging around in rinks watching kids the age of Kevin when he died.  I cried as I am now when I think of what Charlie and his family have gone through and no do doubt still go through to this day.

It is a sad and difficult experience suffered by some associated with Hamden Hockey.  They know so much better than I what Charlie and his family are feeling to this day.

Here is some of what Charlie said in Joe Fitzgerald's article and I hope that it helps you all in some way to appreciate what we all have.  Whether we have goal scorers, goal stoppers, bench warmers, or kids that just don't want to play hockey or other sports anymore. Whether our kid is the star or the goat.  The biggest.  The fastest.  The smallest or the slowest.  It is a life lesson and words of wisdom from a man--a parent--a dad--who has seen the dark side of life up close and personal.

"I'll never forget one game in Mites.  I started screaming at him because I thought he wasn't hustling.  When you get among a group of people it's easy to get carried away.  But that night I began thinking, that poor kid.  One of the smallest players out there, probably the least experienced too and there I was like a damn fool hollering at him to keep up with the bigger guys."  I don't think anyone's ever heard me holler at a rink again.

"But I hear alot of parents hollering at their kids.  It's so easy to pick out your kid's mistakes.  Too many people want their kid to be perfect and a lot of kids can't be perfect.  The next time I hear a parent yell at their kid I'll be tempted to say to them, "How do you think you'd feel if you got a call asking you to come identify your son's body?  Think about it.  If you've got a good kid, a healthy kid, be thankful every day."

"I don't know why this happened to Kevin.  He wasn't a wild or careless kid.  He had gone tubing before and knew every turn.  This time for some reason he didn't make it.  One thing I know though, we loved that boy with all our hearts and Kevin died knowing it.  There never will be any regrets in that department, thank God."

"So, while I would be tempted to say something to that hollering parent, I probably never would.  So, maybe this story can do it for me.  I hope it does.  If it helps just one father enjoy his son more--that's all, just one--it will be well worth the telling."


So, here's Burtsville wishing you all a grand season filled with happiness and joy.  Enjoy the journey and have fun with it each and every day.  Wins and Losses will come to us all.  But let's enjoy what we have and Thank God for the blessings bestowed on us all.

Burtsville hopes that all of you have a healthy, joyous and safe holiday season.  Enjoy each and every blessed second of it.  Players, Coaches, Family, and Fans.  Enjoy each and every blessed second of it.

And I truly hope that you enjoy reading the stories and viewing the pictures in Burtsville.  We have been fortunate to receive over 3,400,000 hits on this site since its' December 2008 beginning.  We will post pictures from every game on a Shutterfly Site to be developed so that fans from all teams that play the Green Dragons can enjoy pictures taken at each game.  Last year we took over 1,000 pictures at each and every game---sometimes even more!

We hope to add a YouTube Site as well to post video that may be taken at some games.  We will post the YouTube information at a later date.  And we will post the Hamden Green Dragon Season Schedule in the near future.  (It is posted below.)

Have Fun & Play Hard!

And to my Green Dragons, Burtsville Believes!  Oh yes!  Burtsville Believes!!!




                                                                         DECEMBER 1, 2010

                                                         MARTHA'S VINEYARD HERE COME THE GREEN DRAGONS

                                    DADIO'S CANNON BALL PARK TOUR SIGN UPS--TAKE A RIGHT

The two time defending State Champion Hamden High School Green Dragon Boys' Hockey Team departs Friday for the Island of Martha's Vineyard.  The Island Pre-Season Trip has proved to be mystical and magical for the team as it scrimmages agains the Vineyard and other top teams from the Bay State.  The boys get to bond, enjoy the hospitality of the Harbor View Hotel and Coach Verneris gets to listen to the wisdom and guidance of Steve "The Wharf Man" Walsh.

Last year's excursion resulted in many fine experiences.  The team scored on its' very first shot courtesy of a Jim Burt rocket.  Adam Devine scored in his first game in over a year.  Ryan Amarone showed the team that they would be fine in net.  And, Paulie Avitable and Johnny Sides, came back to keep the karma flowing.

The best thing that happened though was the Worcester Rocket--James Lynch--reached deep into his pockets at The Atlantic to treat everyone very generously to dinner.  As my good friend Bob Ugolik said during the first interview of the 2010-2011 season, "Hey, it worked last year so Lynchie let's just do it again."  Lynch's generosity at this fine establishment was offset when Paul Vakos scared away every beautiful living creature from the bar area with one simple sentence.  Problem is, one year later we all are still trying to figure out what he said.

This year's team comes back loaded with talent.  It also heads into the season with one of the toughest schedules in the state.  The last time a team won Back2Back Titles was 1975 when Coach Verneris'--a player then--team won a National Title.  Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, but there is no reason at all to think that this year's edition cannot compete for the Mythical Title.

The team's nucleus is as strong as they come.  Led by Jim Burt, CJ Carignan, Pat Lynch, Paul Amarone, Justin MacGregor, Connor Walsh and Nick Amarone the Green Dragon offense should be second to none.  Add players like Vito Puopolo, Tim Lee, Steve Ruocco, Billy Reilly, Jim Wilson, and Anthony Rascati and the team seems destined to score goals.

If Hamden is to do well, the big guns will have to produce.  And, the question is which player or players will fill the void left by Adam Devine's graduation?  Devine was a goal scoring machine last year like his counter-part Scott Walsh was the year before.  While Hamden expects certain players to produce--and Burtsville is confident they will do so--which player or players will step up to fill this goal scoring void.  The team has the players.  It is just a question of them believing in themselves and getting it done.

The defense suffered a blow just before tryouts when outstanding blue liner Eric Sullivan decided to concentrate on school rather than hockey.  A tough decision no doubt but one made by an outstanding young man who has a wonderful future before him.  Kudos to you for making this difficult choice Eric.  You wil be missed on and off the ice and your entire family's involvement with the hockey program will be missed for sure.  We hope that all of you will keep tabs on the team and we look forward to seeing you all at the rink and elsewhere.

RJ Ugolik and Brandon Dadio will lead an inexperienced group on the blue line.  No doubt that if Hamden is going to have a successful year that these two players are going to have to continue their outstanding play.  Hamden will also look to Sean O'Keefe (coming off an injury), Michael Lee, Harley Pretty, Teddy Kennedy, Conor Callahan, Zack Massotta, and Joey Quick to be stalwarts on defense.

The final roster may not yet have been picked by the coaching staff but add goalies Justin Wetmore, Matt Hoff, and Andy Varga to the equation and it looks as if the Green Dragon squad will once again be solid in net.  The past two years have seen Anthony Avaitable and Ryan Amarone shine between the pipes and there is no reason to believe that this threesome won't shine as well.


                                                                                                                               DECEMBER 1, 2010

                                                                                           2010-2011 SEASON SCHEDULE

Friday, December 3, 2010                                @ Martha's Vineyard                         7:30 PM

Saturday, December 4, 2010                            @ Martha's Vineyard                        11:00 AM

Saturday, December 4, 2010                            @ Martha's Vineyard                          5:00 PM

Weds. December 8, 2010               Scrimmage v. Glstnbury @HHS                          6:00 PM

Sat. December 11, 2010                  Malden Catholic @ HHS                                      2:30 PM

Weds. December 15, 2010              Darien @ Darien Ice Rink                                   7:40 PM

Sat. December 18, 2010                 Hingham @ HHS                                                   2:30 PM

Weds. December 22, 2010             Amity @ HHS                                                        6:00 PM

Weds. January 5, 2011                    North Haven @ Quinnipiac Univ.                           7:00 PM

Sat. Jan. 8, 2011                              Ffld Prep @ HHS                                                    2:30 PM

Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011                   Xavier @ Wesleyan Rink                                         5:30 PM

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011                  New Canaan @HHS                                                 6:00 PM

Weds Jan. 19, 2011                       ND of Ffld @ Milford Ice Pavillion                           8:00 PM

Sat. Jan. 22, 2011                          WH @ HHS                                                               2:30 PM

Weds Jan. 26, 2011                     LaSalle Academy @ HHS                                          6:00 PM

Sat. Jan. 29, 2011                        NDWH @ Bennett Rink                                               3:30 PM

Weds. Feb. 2, 2011                     Ffld Prep @ Wonderland of Ice                                6:00 PM

Sat. Feb. 5, 2011                          Simsbury @ ISCC                                                        TBA

Weds. Feb. 9, 2011                      Mt. St. Charles @ HHS                                               6:00 PM

Sat. Feb. 12, 2011                        South Windsor @ So. Windsor                                  5:00 PM

Weds. Feb. 16, 2011                    East Haven @ HHS                                                     6:00 PM

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011               WH @ Bennett Rink                                                     1:00 PM

Weds. Feb. 23, 2011                    Winchester @ HHS                                                      6:00 PM

Sat. Feb. 26, 2011                         NDFfld @ HHS                                                             2:30 PM

Weds. March 2, 2011                    NDWH @ HHS (Senior Night)                                     6:00 PM


The Rink at Hamden was privatized this year by the Hamden Legislative Council.  Ticket Procedure will be set by the Management Company that is running the Rink.  Kindly check with the Rink for any information regarding ticket prices and sale policies.  If we learn of any, we will post that information for you.  Thank you.



                                                                                                                            DECEMBER 1, 2010

                                     BACK2 BACK  TITLES BRING AWARDS

                                VAKOS NAMED ALL STATE MVP & FIRST TEAM ALL STATE

                                                         BURT NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL STATE

                                                     CARIGNAN NAMED HNIB TOURNAMENT MVP


                                        UGOLIK HOCKEY BARN ALL STATE SELECTION AND

                                        ALL SCC SCHOLASTIC TEAM WITH  TEULINGS    

The two time defending Hamden High School Boys' Hockey Team ended last year on the ice with a thrilling 6-5 win over Fairfield Prep in the Championship Game.  Those of us lucky enough to be there will never forget it.  The win--along with Back2Back Championships--brought Hamden its' second straight MVP Player Award.  Anthony Avitable had done it the year before and PJ Vakos did it last year playing the Championship Game one day and laying in a hospital bed the next few days recovering from a punctured lung.

All of Burtsville articles and pictures from last season are located on the Sports Archive Page of Burtsville.

Vakos' toughness during the Championship Game was a microcosym of his season.  The rugged and savvy winger played a big role in the team's two championship seasons.  He was the team's third leading scorer with 8G and 16A.  He along with Burt and Carignan made up the so-called Bliss Line which was recognized to be the Best Line in the State over the past two years.

Vakos, the Co-Captain of the team along with high scoring defense man John Teulings (2G16A), scored 1G and 3A in the tournament.

Burt, the Captain of this year's team, led the team in scoring with 17G and 14A.  The rugged winger scored in each of the Tournament Games and amassed  6 points (4G 2A) in the four game tournament.  Burt and Vakos were demons in short-handed situations highlighted by Burt's four goal (three short-handed) versus West Haven last year at home coming on top of Vakos two short-handed goal game in West Haven two weeks earlier.

Carignan came out of the Penalty Box during the first tournament game against Xavier to a Time Out.  Hamden was down at home 3-1 in the Third Period.  Whatever was discussed during the Time Out triggered something inside the talented winger.  He exploded for two goals in three minutes and didn't stop scoring until May.  The kid scored 7 goals in 4 games and added three assists for 10 points in the four tournament games.  He scored a Hat Trick in the team's second playoff game and capped off the Championship Game with two more gamers.

He ended the season with 25 points (13G 12 A) and along with RJ Ugolik was selected as this year's Assistant Captains.  Carignan's red hot finish to the season earned him the prestigious Hockey Night in Boston's Tournament MVP selection.  He finished the season as the team's second leading scorer.

The Bliss Line scored an incredible 38G 42A and 12G and 8A were in the Tournament.  Big Players playing Big in the Big Games.  Eighty Points in 24 games.  Nice way to go out for Mr. Vakos and a great two year run by these three outstanding players that will never be forgotten.

Two years ago Hamden had an outstanding senior by the name of Scott Walsh.  Walsh was made of sand paper.  He just simply stuck to you and had soft hands which amassed a ton of goals in leading the team to its' championship. The question coming into last year was, Who was going to replace the scoring and grit of Scott Walsh?  Answer:  Adam Devine.

The tough as nails, whirling dervish, scoring machine came back from a one year hiatus from hockey, to burn up the Connecticut High School scene.  Devine scored 15G and 6A including matching Carignan's 10 points in the Tournament (3G7A) scoring a goal with three assists in the Championship Game.

Hamden had a lot of gamers the past two years.  No one was more of a gamer than Adam Devine.  Burtsville will never forget the young man walking out of the Hamden Rink after his last practice the day before the Championship Game.  "I just had my last high school practice. There is no way I am not walking off that ice tomorrow a Champion.  No way."  It wasn't said in a bragging manner.  It was said with a determination that the kid showed all year long. 

Devine's efforts led the Hartford Courant's  Matt Conyers to name him the Outstanding Player of the Tournament.  

 Speaking of outstanding players, is RJ Ugolik in the house?  RJ along with Blue Line Partner, Brandon Dadio, combined last year for what Burtsville believes was the best defensive tandem in the state. And the State's two best defense men.  While Hamden's offensive players received their due last year, Hamden's defensive corp has been somewhat overlooked.  Ugolik and Dadio definitely deserved All State recognition last year as did Dan Wheeler and Dan Cusano for their fine play in the 2009-2010 Championship Year.

Ugolik is simply the best two way defensive player in the state.  He is an incredible skater, has a slick moving shot, and is as smart as they come. He was named to HockeyBarn.com's All State Teams along with Burt. The only draw back to Ugolik is that he will never again be known as the best athlete in his house as his younger sister Rachel tore up the High School Soccer scene this season for the Green Dragons.

The talented sophomore striker augmented her growing reputation with 7 goals in three games at a prestigious AAU Tournament in Long Island the weekend after Thanksgiving. Might a sophomore win the Girl's High School Soccer MVP Award?  Rachel certainly deserves strong consideration as she led her Green Dragonette Team to its best finish ever.

Paul Avitable use to complain about being known as Anthony's father.  Well RJ, welcome to now being known as Rachel's brother.  

Alongside Ugolik is a kid that definitely has not received the recognition he deserves.  Brandon Dadio.  Dadio is a throw back defense man who is strong as an ox.  He hits like no other, is never out of position defensively, and has a rocket slap shot and deceptive wrist shot.  Look for Dadio to have an outstanding year this coming year for the Green Dragon squad.



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