ICE HOCKEY: Romano brothers making their mark

ICE HOCKEY: Romano brothers making their mark

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WALLINGFORD – Sheehan hockey has seen its share of family ties over the years with names like Goodrich, McNamee, Gozzo and Festa appearing on the scoresheet. Now Titans hockey can add Romano to that list.

“We knew them years ago,” Sheehan head coach Dave Festa said. “I got a call early in the fall from their parents saying, ‘Hey, they are thinking about playing for Sheehan and really want to play.’”

Anthony and Joe Romano are twin freshmen making their names known across Division III as the one-two punch in an explosive offense that also includes Tyler Jackson, Joey Richo, Jake Festa and Dayton Allderige. The Titans have scored 17 goals in their first three games.

“They’ve been a great addition to the team right from the get-go,” Coach Festa said. “Great personalities. Good work ethic. Always looking to push the play and push the puck.”

The Romanos emerged as key proponents in Sheehan’s 7-5 win over Woodstock Wednesday when Anthony scored the game-winning goal off of an assist from Joe. Joe tied the game off a feed from behind the net from, you guessed it, Anthony.

“It’s great. We know where each other are always and we have great chemistry,” Anthony said .

Each has tallied at least a point in wins over Woodstock and Masuk this season.

“To play against a team like Woodstock – they really came back and played a character game there to come back and score two big goals in one shift – is a great turning point for our season,” Coach Festa said.

The brothers seem to each other’s whereabouts on the ice at all times.

“They bring that gritty type of play to practice,” said the coach. “They are really pushing the intensity up which makes everyone else around them better.”

The Romanos clearly are excelling early in their high school careers. The question is, how long before they move to a program that will hasten further development?

“As a coach, you want to have success for your kids,” Coach Festa said. “If that means getting them ready in two years and moving them to the next level then that’s what you do. You want what is best for them in their career and their education.”

Recent trends find players leaving for prep hockey or junior programs after their freshman year with Connecticut’s most notable exit being East Haven’s Nick Capone. The Romanos played with him in the Yale program. Capone verbally committed to the University of Maine before his freshman season and now plays for The Salisbury School.

“While they are here, they are setting the tone,” the coach said. “They’ve been a welcome addition.”

If the Romanos stay at Sheehan until after their sophomore season, the two-year window could enable the Titans to make a run at a Division III state championship. The biggest hit graduation will deliver will be on defense – captains Nick Gonsalves and Alex Ficcorilli.

“We have to see where the chips fall,” Coach Festa said. “It’s a long season. A lot could happen, but having the success early in the season and getting that target on our back is a good place to be.”

If you ask the twins about all of this, they will just smile, look down, and say it’s because of their team. They aren’t looking into the distant future. They aren’t worried about what they will do next year, or in five years, or 10. They are thinking about the next game, the next period, the next shift.

As Joe said, “We’re going to score a bunch of goals together for the rest of the year.”

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