STAMFORD, Conn. – Rosario Mallozzi has been part of the Stamford hockey landscape for more than 30 years. But this winter’s run with the Stamford Sharks Youth Hockey Association Squirt A team stands out.
The Sharks travel to Gorham, Maine, this weekend for the New England Regionals. Stamford is 51-8-3 on the season and recently rolled through the six-game state tournament by outscoring its opponents, 31-1. The Sharks won two other tournaments this winter, including the prestigious New England Silver Sticks and a tournament in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“This is the most accomplished teamed to come out of Stamford since the program started,’’ said Mallozzi, who is also an assistant coach with the Stamford High School hockey team. “I’m loving it. For the most part, hockey is over for a lot of kids by the middle of March. We’re one of a handful of teams in the state that are still playing.”
Stamford plays its opening regional game Friday and has two games scheduled for Saturday. The New England tournament is the furthest the team can advance. The Squirt age group, for players ages 9 and 10, does not have a national tournament.
Mallozzi started coaching the team three years ago. His focus has been on defense, goaltending and skill development. “I coached some older age groups and in high school, and a lot of kids were not learning the basic skills,’’ he said. “I said let me go down to the younger guys and teach them the right stuff at the younger age. It’s a lot easier to teach the basic skills when they’re younger.”
Stamford’s team members are Ben Nash, Austin Scheine, Jack Johnson, Cooper Gibson, Tucker Healy, Max Hussar, Leo Johnson, Gary Claps, Tyler Tuccinardi, Jack Kinahan, Gavin Dolan, Hunter Gilchrist, Luke Dube, Myles Bazoia, Bradley Hennessey, Charlie McNeil and Jason Marchese. Rosario Mallozzi coaches the team, assisted by Tim Nash and Jake Savona.
“I think this puts Stamford youth hockey back on the map,’’ Mallozzi said. “A lot of times you have kids jumping around looking for a winning program. I think this gives out organization a lot of confidence in what they can do.”