Sunday, February 01, 2009

All-Italian AMHL All-Stars: Subs, Grinders, and Goal-scorers

Sub-stitute netminder (and Wayne Gretzky advisor) John Bionelli made his AMHL goalie debut on Tuesday, and it got me thinking about an all-Italian AMHL All-Star roster.

Bionelli, who said he had played well enough for his Penguins in a 2–3 loss to the Flyers, prays the goalie gig was a one-time event. But he doesn’t make the All-Star squad, at least not as a goalie.

In nets, Steve Scansaroli gets the start. Sure, Scans is the only current goalie whose name ends in a vowel, but he’s a such a good boy.

On defense, it’s a three way competition for two starting spots. The merry Mike DeLeo, whose favorite pre-game brew is a Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut, is tough to play against. Fast on his feet and near perfect with his positioning, “Mr. Koffey” is a good pairing with either Bill Chioffi or Rich Yamartino, who are also spry and speedy but take a few more chances. Give the edge to Chioffi , who has more recently traveled to the mother country. Besides, Yamartino says he’s not all-Italian but rather “half garlic, half Gaelic.”

Reeking like a rotten sub is forward Stephen “Whoa Nelli” Antonelli. Garlic gushing through his pores and contaminating his shoulder pads, Antonelli—according to a former teammate and his current coach—stinks like a way-past-its-prime Prosciutto Di Parma. But, with consistent coaching, the Shark forward will, by season’s end, become a solid shut-down forward. Maybe next season, Steve. Bona fide All-Star grinders include the semi-aromatic Greg Catalano and Peter Garavito (who’s enjoying a banner season). Either one complements the more prolific goal-scorers like Jay “Ciao bella” Antonangeli or Chuck “Ravioli” Livoli. And remember Bionelli? He won’t come right out an say it, but he has the bravado of "Rocket Richard.” Bravo, "Razzo Ricardo."

Honorable mention goes to those I haven’t yet watched enough to determine their sub-stance: the Costanzas, Jamal DeVita, John Ragucci, and Joshua Russo.
Post a Comment