By MIKE SMITH
Just minutes before the puck dropped between the Mamaroneck Tigers and the Rye Town/Harrison Titans on Jan. 4, Titans’ goalie Joey Livornese took a warm-up slap shot off his skates, breaking a blade. With no backup skates–and no backup netminder–the game was delayed roughly 30 minutes while a Titans parent ran home to get a pair of skates he thought would fit the sophomore goalie.
When play finally kicked off, Livornese‑sporting those second-hand skates‑would shine, posting a whopping 35 saves as the Titans downed the Tigers 3-1 to spoil Mamaroneck’s home opener.
The Tigers tested the sophomore right off the bat, peppering him with a flurry of shots in the first period. Despite the delay, Livornese said he felt in control of the game when heading out onto the ice despite the fact that he wasn’t wearing his own skates.
“Before games, I always do my best to focus so, even though it was different warming up and then having that break, I was ready to play,” he said. “I was just a little worried because the skates felt sort of awkward.”
Although the Tigers outshot the Titans 36-15 on the day, the Titans made their shots count. Ian Bass notched the game’s first goal with 6:25 left in the first period, scoring off an assist from Mitchell Milbauer. Although the Tigers tied the game up just 15 seconds into the second period on a Matt DiCicco score, Brian Jacobs responded with a goal off another assist from Milbauer to give the Titans a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, thanks to the efforts of Livornese and the RTH defense.
“[Mamaroneck] was trying to come straight across the middle and our guys did a great job of getting in the way of that,” Livornese said. “They also did a great job at the blue line.”
According to Livornese, the early-season win was made more important by the fact that the Tigers ousted the Titans from the playoffs in 2013, beating Rye Town-Harrison 9-0.
“The older guys, the returning guys, were talking about the way we got beat last year,” Livornese said. “This was definitely bigger than any game we’ve had this year.”
With the win, the Titans improve to 5-4 on the year and get set to take on a tough White Plains team on Jan. 8, after press time. The Titans will look to build on their impressive win over the Tigers as the bulk of their Section I schedule looms.
“This was definitely a huge boost for our momentum,” Livornese said. “But we’re going to have to keep on working hard if we want to keep winning.”