Despite being two years apart at Don Bosco, Greg Jandoli and Chris Mazzella have spent six of the past eight years as teammates, forging a lasting bond that will resonate long after their hockey careers are over. Yet both players came to Don Bosco in different ways. Mazzella had family ties to Don Bosco, his father Mike was a 1980 grad, while Jandoli transferred in as a Junior. Despite their difference in age and graduation year, it was Mazzella who fondly remembers Jandoli’s breakout game for the Ironmen.
“Jando came in late his Junior year (2013) and had to sit because of the transfer rules. We were playing St Augustine’s on a Sunday night, I think it was his first or second game. It was late in the season and we’re down a goal or two. But Jando stepped right into the lineup that night, scored a hat trick and led us to a come from behind win. That win helped us lock up the #3 seed in the state playoffs,” said Mazzella. Despite losing in the Gordon Conference semifinals that year, Bosco made its first return to the State Finals since 1994. “That was tough for me to watch,” said Jandoli, “I wasn’t eligible for the State playoffs that year because of the transfer timing, so seeing my teammates lose in the finals was good motivation for my senior year.”
The following season, both players contributed to the first ever Gordon Cup Championship, a 3-2 victory in overtime against rival Delbarton. “I was on the ice for the winning goal, right as Welch ripped it home. It was awesome to beat them, especially like that, in overtime, incredible,” said Jandoli. Both players had good years in 2014, Jandoli posted 21 points (8G, 13A) and Sophomore Chris Mazzella tallied 13 points (8G, 5A). Mazzella remembers that game too. “I was one of the younger players at the time, but I played in all 24 games. We split with them in the regular season, but that game was just awesome to be a part of. We had a great Senior class that year led by Cody, Dylan and Stimmer, winning like that, in OT was special.”
After Jandoli graduated, Mazzella took on a much larger role, posting 78 points (48G, 30A) his final two seasons and finishing with 96 points (57G, 39A) for his career, putting him 10th in All-Time scoring among Ironmen hockey players. A Captain his Senior year, Chris also led the Ironmen to their fourth and fifth consecutive Bergen County Tournament titles, winning tournament MVP in 2016.
Not knowing it at the time, both players would re-unite, playing for ACHA Division 1 Delaware University. While Jandoli opted to play two years of Junior hockey in the EHL for NY Applecore and the NJ Rockets, Mazzella went straight to Delaware, rather than play Junior hockey. “Delaware was just a good fit for me,” says Mazzella, “the facility we have is awesome, the weight room and training area is right near our locker room and the atmosphere at Fred Rust Arena is a great place for college hockey.” Both Chris and Greg credit the competitive Gordon Conference and Non-Conference schedule at Don Bosco for preparing them to play college hockey. “My time at Don Bosco created lasting friendships and great moments,” said Jandoli, “it gave me the confidence to succeed on the ice because of the high level of competition we faced, but also prepared me for the challenges that I would face in the classroom.” Mazzella echoes his long-time teammates words of wisdom, “Each game we played at Bosco was a battle and that turned me into a better player and prepared me for college life.”
As their time at Delaware comes to a close, both players are not done writing the endings to their collegiate careers. “Jando’s been a great friend and having played with him for 6 years, has been awesome. He’s still his energetic self, always cracking jokes and getting the guys going. But we have our sights on finishing what we started here at Delaware,” says Mazzella a Sports Management Major and Senior Captain who has recorded 148 points (76G, 72A) in
126 career games for the Blue Hens. Jandoli, a Biological Sciences Major, also wants to ensure that he leaves his mark on the Delaware program, “It’s been a privilege to play here and I couldn’t see myself anywhere else…I want to finish this season on a high note and leave an everlasting impact on this program.”
“We had many accomplishments during our time at Don Bosco and its been a unique experience coming in as Freshman getting to continue our education and playing hockey together,” says Jandoli. “The brotherhood from Don Bosco has carried into the University of Delaware and I believe I speak on behalf of both Mazzella and myself, in saying that our time here at the University has been unforgettable. I hope we’ve made Don Bosco proud in representing that community to our very best ability.”
Indeed you have boys! Best of luck to both Chris and Greg in their final season. Follow Delaware Hockey throughout the remainder of their season on Twitter: @UDHockey or on the Web at: www.udelhockey.com