Togetherness has Colonials playing top-notch hockey

Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury High hockey season was 10 days old and headed nowhere when team captains Mark Murray, Drew Ineson and Paul Grip approached coach John Binkoski with a decision they had made.

"We have a very large team, with 25 skaters and three goalies, so we dress in two locker rooms at our practice facility, Westborough's North Star Youth Forum," Binkoski said. "Mark and Drew and Paul came to me the second week of the season and told me that no matter how cramped it would be, we needed to all dress in the same locker room, because we were not as together a team as we needed to be."

The Colonials haven't lost since they consolidated their locker room. They were 0-3 before and they're 6-0-4 since.

And it's not just a run-of-themill 6-0-4. Included in their unbeaten string is a win over cross-town rival St. John's – the Colonials' first win over the Pioneers in 20 years – and ties with Division 3 heavyweights Marlborough and Gardner.

"I congratulated the team on blemishing two unblemished records in two weeks," Binkoski said following a 1-1 tie with Gardner Jan. 19. "It was a rocky start, but the kids kept working hard despite the 0-3 beginning. Practices were upbeat. Now they've gone 10 straight games without a loss, they're four points away from qualifying for districts, and they're just going to keep getting better and better."

Shrewsbury has arrived on the local hockey scene by consistently sending out four lines of off ense and three shifts of defense and riding a goalie who has gotten better as the season has progressed.

The first line Binkoski sends out consists of juniors – Pat Brossi at center, Dave Comeau on the left wing and Castan Sommer on the right wing. The second line features sophomores Clark Dumart (at center) and Kevin Dufault (right wing) and freshman Steve Stanislawczyk (left wing).

Sommer is the son of Roy Sommer, the head coach of the American Hockey League's Worcester Sharks; Dumart is the grandson of former Boston Bruins player Woody Dumart; and Dufault is the youngest of Shrewsbury's hockey-playing Dufaults, a clan that includes older brothers Paul – now playing at Harvard – and Chris.

Shrewsbury's third line features Ineson (at center), Murray (left wing) and junior Ian Powers (right wing). The all-junior fourth line has Dan Sampsonis at center, Brendan O'Rourke at left wing, and Zack Quinn and Alex Moriarity splitting time on the right wing.

Sophomore Derek Ryan and junior Kevin Charbonneau lead the Colonials' defensive corps, which includes senior Brian Roy, juniors Joe McGuinn, A.J. Jenkins and Anietie Uko, and sophomore Dave Findlay.

Serving as a backbone to it all for Shrewsbury is goalie Pat Army, who is backed up by fellow senior Andrew Valliant.

"Pat is playing great. He has given us a chance to win every game we've been in. He kept us steady early while we were finding our way," Binkoski said. "As for Andrew, he's an important part of the team. He works very hard and has improved tremendously over the last two years. I wouldn't hesitate to put him in a game."

Binkoski, who has taught Latin at Shrewsbury High for the last 10 years, replaced Phil Irving behind the Colonials' bench this season following Irving's retirement after two decades as coach. Binkoski was the Colonials' junior varsity coach the previous nine seasons.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=1628

Posted by on Jan 25 2008. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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