WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Chris Stangarone had a rude introduction to varsity hockey when he was promoted to the White Plains varsity team as a seventh-grader.
Stangarone took a slapshot off of his goalie mask. He quickly shook off the impact and faced the next shot. And Stangarone has been a fixture in goal for White Plains ever since.
The sophomore turned in another excellent game Thursday as White Plains defeated visiting Brookfield/Bethel/Danbury, 4-2, in a high school hockey game at Ebersole Ice Rink.
Stangarone and his teammates are 8-4-1 this season. He owns a 1.91 goals against average, allowing just 25 goals in 13 games. Stangarone owns three shutouts and was at his best in a 3-2 overtime win over 2012 Section 1 Division 1 state champion Suffern.
“That was the best introduction to varsity hockey I could’ve ever had,” recalled Stangarone on his first varsity practice. “I loved playing on that team.”
Current captain and senior Kevin McGee recalled that day. He said the team was taking it easy on Stangarone, at first, because he was a seventh-grader. However, McGee said, once Connor Lawrence ripped a shot off of Stangarone’s mask, they knew they had a varsity goalie.
“Connor said we needed to test him so he was going to skate in close and take a slap shot,” McGee said. “Chris shook it off. It didn’t even faze him. That’s when we knew he was going to be really good.”
Stangarone would eventually earn the starting position as a seventh-grader and later shut out New Rochelle in sectionals. Now in his fourth year on varsity, Stangarone is an assistant captain. Not many sophomores are given this honor, but, McGee said, Stangarone is well-deserving.
“Chris is one of our best players,” McGee said. “His work ethic, attitude and preparation are so good. He leads by example and deserved the A.”
Stangarone began his youth hockey career as a defenseman before volunteering to go in goal to help his team. Stangarone, who was 7 at the time, immediately knew goalie was his position
“It was an adrenaline rush, knowing I can save a lot of pucks,” Stangarone said. “I love being a goalie and I will stick with it the rest of my life.”