A Big Apple Chelsea Piers spinoff of the century-old New York St. Nicks senior men’s hockey team, the eight-year-old New York Midtown Mafia has arrived in the valley to play the Sun Valley Suns.
The Sun Valley Suns (15-1, 11-1 home) continue their February home-stand today, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15 with the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend visit of the New York Midtown Mafia.
Since they lost both games of a Presidents’ Day weekend clash with the Midtown Mafia in 2019, the Suns have won 19 of 21 games including their second straight Black Diamond Hockey League title.
But Midtown Mafia will give the Suns all they can handle once again.
Weekend benefit is the Wood River Baseball and Softball Association. The opening face-offs are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Hailey’s Campion Ice House.
This weekend’s games are the last at home for Sun Valley until the March 6-7 series with Vermont Switchbacks. Only six home games remain in the 2019-20 Suns campaign.
Mafia coach Kevin Reich, 29, from Connecticut College said, “Midtown Mafia was established in the fall of 2012 and has competed against New York’s most talented Senior A hockey players since.”
“All our team members live and work in New York City. We skate once or twice a week from October through February. Our home rink is the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink, located at the edge of the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan.
“We share the rink with our good friends on the New York St. Nicks Hockey Club. This year, we arrive in Sun Valley fresh off of our winter playoff run. Just last Thursday, the boys buzzed to their fifth New York City championship title.”
Midtown’s goalie Andrew Margolin, 31, from Mahwah, N.J. and Connecticut College, played in the goal for New York St. Nicks in 2017 when the Suns swept St. Nicks 6-5 in overtime and 4-3 Saturday.
But last February, Margolin was in the net for both games when Midtown Mafia swept the host Sun Valley Suns 5-4 in overtime Friday and 5-2 on Saturday. Margolin made 32 saves Friday and 25 Saturday.
Reich said Margolin has 117 career wins, a goalie record for the New York Senior League. Margolin has been the Midtown starting goalie since the team’s first season of 2012.
Margolin was one of four emergency back-up goalies for NHL New York Rangers in 2017-18. Two years ago, he was called into the Madison Square Garden locker room to dress with the Rangers in case All-Star Henrik Lundqvist had to be pulled.
Boasting 11 players returning from last year’s Idaho visit, the 14-player Midtown roster features former New England and New York Division 3 collegians, including six from Connecticut College and four from Bowdon College in Maine.
Up front, Adam Patel boasts a team-best 56 blocked shots on the season, according to retired defenseman Reich. Blueliner Kyle Hanson leads the team with 21 assists.
Average Mafia age is 28. Reich said, “We’re looking forward to a fun weekend of hockey and skiing.” Here are more Midtown roster details:
Head coach: Kevin Reich.
Co-captains: Veteran forwards Zack Jones and Kyle Lockwood.
Goalie: Andrew Margolin, 31, Mahwah, N.J., 5-10, 165-pound (Connecticut College 2008-12, 37 games).
Defensemen: Matt Dyer, 31, Suffern, N.Y. (St. Lawrence 2009-13, 64 games); Kyle Hanson, 33, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Bowdoin 2007-11, 78 games); Adam Rimmer, 28, Newbury, Mass. (Conn. College 2010-14, 64 games); and first-time visitor Greg Liautaud, 25, Butler, N.J., 5-10, 190-pound (Connecticut College 2013-16, 68 games, 9 goals, 21 assists).
Forwards: Michael Paglino, 31, 6-3, 165, Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. (Wentworth Institute of Technology 2008-12, 88 games, 26 goals, also 24 Mafia goals this season); Spencer Antunez, 25, Ohio (Bowdoin 2014-18, 94 games, 21 goals, 47 points); Zack Jones, 28, Gibsonia, Mass. (2011-15 Connecticut College, 82 games, 16 points);
Tim DiPretoro, 27, Philadelphia (Connecticut College 2012-16, 91 games, 36 goals, 73 points); Kyle Lockwood, 28, Ridgefield, Ct. (Bowdoin 2010-14, 82 games, 22 goals); Adam Patel, 27, Georgia (Connecticut College 2011-15); Joe Pavone, 32, New Rochelle, N.Y. (Conn. College 2008-10); Matt Sullivan, 25, Duxbury, Mass. (Bowdoin 2013-17, 98 games, 41 points).
First-timers include Connor Doyle, 26, Duxbury, Mass., 6-1, 195-pound (Eastern Hockey League Boston Bandits 2013-14, Connecticut College 2012-13); Darric White, 28, Fairfield, Ct. (2010-12 Middlebury College, 21 games, 4 goals).