Article Courtesy of Darren Cooper, northjersey.com: https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/columnists/darren-cooper/2018/01/03/high-school-ice-hockey-cooper-ironmen-revel-opportunity-play-citi-field-don-bosco/1002306001/
NEW YORK – The signature sounds of planes flying overhead was constant. So was the sound of the goal horn.
Don Bosco scored early and often Wednesday evening at Citi Field, downing the Hun School, 8-1, on the same ice that hosted the NHL’s Winter Classic between the Sabres and Rangers on New Year’s Day.
Over the years, the final score will surely be forgotten, but what will linger was the opportunity that the Ironmen had to play in one of the more unique settings in all of sports.
“This is one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life,” said Don Bosco junior Tyler Sedlak, who had a hat trick. “It was awesome.”
“I just thought the atmosphere was pretty cool,” agreed Ironmen sophomore Robby Greenleaf. “The ice, walking out the tunnel with the fans behind you. It was a good experience.”
Dean Toskos and Jack Foye, sons of the Ironmen head coach and assistant coach, respectively, led the Ironmen out onto the ice just after 4:30 p.m. with the sun still peeking through the clouds.
During pregame warm-ups, even one of the referees called what looked to be his son on to the ice for a quick picture.
How did the Ironmen get to play at the home of the Mets? Four years ago, Don Bosco had the chance to play at Yankee Stadium when part of the NHL’s “Stadium Series” was staged there. The Ironmen tied CBA. When Greg Toskos, the Ironmen head coach, found out about this year’s Winter Classic being at Citi Field, he began to make some phone calls to see about whether the ice would be available.
Before the game, Toskos downplayed his role, but it was obvious this was something he wanted to do for his team and school. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“This is something different,” said Toskos. “This doesn’t come around every year. We didn’t plan this. This may not come around for 10 more years, who knows what the NHL will do? But if it does, we will put our name in the hat and love to do it again. This is pretty cool stuff.”
After some pregame introductions, the puck was dropped, and Don Bosco scored on its initial rush. It only took 14 seconds.
That just opened the floodgates, as the Ironmen demonstrated precision passing at close range and bombarded the Raiders net. It was 3-0 after the first period, 6-0 after two.
Toskos said every player got a chance in the game and was clearly pleased with how his team performed.
“We had some beautiful goals,” said Toskos. “Some of the goals were tic-tac-toe goals. Sedlak has a Division I release, the way he shoots the puck. And it’s nice to see some of the other guys get on the scoresheet too. That helps everyone get into the flow of the game.”
Don Bosco senior defenseman George Weiner was the talk of the locker room, because after his first goal, he mimicked hitting a home run out of the ball park with his stick, looking up into the stands.
“He got a little creative with that one,” said Toskos with a smile.
“That was pretty funny,” said Sedlak. “He said he would do that before the game. He scored and did what he said.”
The Hun School was unable to match the Ironmen’s firepower and depth, but the Raiders shouldn’t feel bad. Don Bosco has been the dominant force in North Jersey ice hockey for quite some time.
Toskos stopped short of calling this his best team, but did say at this point in the season, well, it’s hard to find many faults.
“Clearly, we have a lot [of talent],” said Toskos. “The core of this team has been together since they were mites, and they have been playing together for what, 12, 13 years? This is a culmination of all that time playing together. And it’s not just Sedlak and [Mickey] Burns, it’s Campo [John Campomenosi] and [TJ] Schweighardt and Weiner and [Graham] Garlasco, all of them playing together. It’s cool to see.”
Near the end of the game, Toskos was still pointing out good efforts made by his back-ups. They were talking about how much they wanted a snow day from school Thursday.
Before the game, Toskos had made a point of telling the kids to soak it all in, the stadium, the ice…the airplanes. The time was going to fly.