Players’ Memories

Mitch Barnfield (goalie, 1977-78 to 1978-79)

“My most satisfying achievement would have to be having been named ECAC Division III Rookie of the Year in 1977-78, but the most memorable was actually my first game in goal as a Roadrunner.”

Ed Chapel (defense, 1973-74 to 1976-77)

“The toughest game we ever played was against the Detroit Police Department. They were just full-grown, large, strong guys and played very physically, in my opinion (and I was a rather small college defenseman). They beat the hell out of us! We did win the game, however, they were large and strong and I remember getting hit harder and beat up more in that game than in any other game I ever played.”

Bob Cipolli (goalie, 1975-76 to 1977-78)

“. . . the FDU game  where Artie let me start,  after some bad showings. In 1976-77 we beat FDU (4-3 or 5-4). I have the black and white photo of the entire team playing “dog pile on the rabbit” right after the buzzer – I was the rabbit!”

“… the first time Ramapo played Navy, all the hype, the “big” Totowa ice rink, and all the fans packing into the place. It was the first time Art put me into a game. Bob Paglia missed his chance for a shutout sometime in the third period and I got to finish the game.”

“. . . the other memory that stands out was the bonfire after Ramapo won the championship in 1976. We burned everything we could that night. The Mahwah Fire Department was called, but decided not to disturb the fire, and let us celebrate. It was the best party I’ve ever been to . . .”

Jimmy Egan (forward, 1975-76 to 1976-77)

“We had just had our first loss -to CCNY in overtime. Everyone was dejected. Then we had to play them a few nights later. In the first period, we weren’t in the game. Between periods, Artie came through the door with his “when are you guys gonna wake up?” routine. I looked at Chuck (Podgurski), and he looked back at me -we started to giggle. But we did wake up. Artie told us we needed to score the first goal, but who was going to get it? “Homer” (Eddie Holm) opened the scoring -I think I assisted -then we just blew them out.”. . . Watching Artie kiss the rock at the bonfire while we all stood around saying “that’s our coach!”

“It wasn’t that we disliked losing (“Super Team”), we actually never had the experience of losing. We kind of had the attitude that we couldn’t lose if we didn’t let the other team score . . . make sure we got the first goal.  We  were  so  good  not  only  because  of   the amount of talent,  but the chemistry we all had from playing together through the years on  other  teams. I came to the team at mid-year. It was difficult for me to find a place because the team was already winning. Eddie Holm and I arrived together -they referred to us as ‘the two missing links.’ Artie paired Eddie (Holm) with Chuck (Podgurski)-the two had played together for years on the Brewers and the Colonials. Where to put me? The first line (“Irish Connection”) was scoring. I played on the third line for a few games, then I played with (Kevin) Mooney and (Dave) Townsend, and right away their production went up.”

Dave  Gritschke  (goalie, 1976-77 to 1980-81)

“I was there for five years, at the time when we went from club to varsity status. I saw things go from a small operation, locally based Metropolitan League, to a full-fledged ECAC Division III big-time program.”

“When I arrived at Ramapo as a freshman, I was a six­ foot, skinny kid from Rahway, N.J., ‘the hockey hotbed.’ But while I was there, I grew as a player and as a person, while the program grew. Hockey at Ramapo really instilled in me the interest that I still have today.”

“I remember the first time we beat Fairfield. It was their home opener, at noon on a Sunday.  We were sup­ posed to be the patsies, and they were going to open the season with a win. We had other ideas. We could do no wrong that day-someone was watching over us to help us get the win. I remember being outshot by some ridiculous amount.  Gary L’Heureux scored the overtime winner.  I thought I had a really good game in goal, but I know the posts appeared out of nowhere a number of times. It was one of those games!”

“The trips to the Naval Academy were special. The year we won, we had to beat our opponents (Navy) and the officials. They (the referees) awarded a goal that hit the post and took away a goal that was in the net, and we still won.”

Kevin Kennedy (forward, 1976-77 to 1977-78)

“Excitement! My first multi-goal game … I’ll never forget the County College of Morris game. An 8-1 romp and scoring four goals. To date, the fourth goal puck is still in my sports room.”

“Iona, FDU, Navy, and Delaware.  .. Hard-hitting action packed games  . . . What great rivalries these games turned out to be. I cherished the competition and loved to see Artie keeping us pumped.”

“Pre-game chant . . . E,B,S,F, N,G,C,H,P,F,F,E,C,S-Go Ramapo! My mother up in the stands clapping to the chant!”

“The Program.  .  .  Artie Chill was ice hockey at Ramapo College. He is truly a class act. Thanks for getting us in tip-top shape.”

Bob  Martin (forward, 1977-78 to 1979-80)

“The ’79 Crab Pot . . . well there were two overtime goals, Glenn’s and Mike’s, and Frank put a shot in from   just  over   the   red   line  in   the   tournament finals -a rocket!”

“As a freshman , I  remember  coming  home  from  a practice  with  Russell (Tricoli) and  Mike (Barnfield), and seeing snowmen  on the field at the entrance  to the College. They were far out in the field, so by the time we hiked out to them, we were pretty tired. We tried to push them over, but they were solid. We started to throw shoulder checks at them and with a lot of effort we were able to knock them down. Then we headed back to Russell’s place. A bit later, Ace and Beefy (assistant coaches at the time) caught up with us and asked us about the snowmen.  They were lecturing us about immaturity -some of the same guys who were involved in throwing the sculptures into the lake a year earlier!”

“As a hockey player, I came out of the blue in my sophomore year. I got a hat trick against New Hampshire College at the Iona Thanksgiving tournament, the third goal in overtime. In the overtime, I had just been flattened by an Iona defenseman. The puck went back to Harry at the point. Just as I was getting up, the shot came and hit the goalie in the chest, and the rebound came right to me. I  just swatted it in.”

“In Harry’s senior season, he was having a lot of trouble with his feet. He was always using these corn pads. We were dressing for practice, and we (Russell, Mike and I) were the last ones to be dressed that night. Russ saw Harry’s box of corn pads in his equipment bag. He took out the box, and we each took two. We put them over our eyes, and they made us look like Little Orphan Annie. We came out on to the ice and circled around Harry. In his high, coarse voice, he complained to Russ that he needed the pads f or his feet. Everyone else laughed.”

Harry Maynes (forward/defense, 1974-75 to 1978-79; assistant coach, 1979-80 to 1980 81)

“. . . beating Wagner in OT when we were down by two goals with little time left in the season. In the over­ time, Wagner forward Jack Vanasco had a breakaway on AI Morris (Ramapo’s goalie). I remember not looking. I was waiting to hear the crowd’s reaction.  He’d made the save, and the whistle came-no goal! We came out the next shift and won it!”

“I remember the night my mother died. It was like 10 p.m. on a Tuesday, and we had a game against FDU the next day. I remember my dad saying that I should play because there was nothing else that I could do. I came to the rink that night – everyone was amazed to see me. For the team, it was like an omen. I scored the first goal, and we tore them up.”

Frank McKevitt   (forward/defense, 1977-78 to1980-81)

” … I scored one from the far blue line (Crab Pot Tournament at the Naval Academy). I  was just doing what I was supposed to do -shoot. I just wanted to get it on net, and it went in. I remember the game and the tournament being very high-paced. I felt like I was on the ice every other shift. After the tournament, they were trying to get consensus about who was the MVP. They were going to go with a Navy player, but they chose me.”

Tom Moriarty (forward, 1974-75 to 1975-76)

“The Wagner game comes to mind first, but Artie’s speech on the bus after we lost to CCNY was up there. Artie had the bus driver pull over before we pulled into the lot, and we thought ‘Gee, we’re gonna get it now,’ but all he said was “Just remember how you feel right now after losing.” The bus was quiet. Everybody was pretty down. “Then for the rest of tonight and tomorrow think of how great you’re gonna feel tomorrow night after you blow their f…in’ doors off!”

‘Til tell you what I remember most about the Wagner game. The game was in the third period. Everyone on the Wagner bench was sitting on the bench, hugging and ‘high-fiving’ each other. They thought they had the game wrapped up-it was 5-3 with something like three minutes left in the game. We came back to tie, and won the game. After the game was over, after we dressed and came out of the locker room, some of the Wagner guys were still sitting on the bench in their uniforms, and they weren’t happy.”

Dennis O’Keefe (forward, 1974-75 to 1975-76)

“My greatest memory of Roadrunner hockey is when we beat CCM in the finals, my first year at Ramapo. That was a team that I had captained and played for the year before.  It was a very satisfying win because we had lost to them twice during the regular season. The first game, Harry was injured and didn’t play. The second game we didn’t play well at all, and the game wasn’t close – we got our booty kicked. The two losses were a tough pill to swallow, because when I   went home to the neighborhood, I had to hear it. Having to play them in the finals was tough because we had lost to them so convincingly. However, at that point in the season, we had started to click as a team. CCM had not seen us at our best, and we were peaking at the right time.  We beat them 9-3 at Sport-0-Rama and then beat them at Mennen – I think they were undefeated at Mennen that season-and also it was the first time they had been shut out that season.”

”I’ll tell you what rates as the number one hockey experience I had at Ramapo. I have carried it with me throughout my life, and it has motivated me in my professional career.  We  were  playing  Wagner  in  their arena,  and  in that  game  (third game  of the  playoffs against  them with each  team  having won one  game) they were beating us pretty handily. Harry had all our goals, and we were losing 5-3. Between the rest of us, we probably didn’t have half a dozen shots on net. We got   together   between   the   second   and   third,   and regrouped as a team. We came out and started hitting and hustling, and all of a sudden you could feel the tide change. With about three minutes left, someone took a shot. One of the few times in my life that I didn’t fall, I shot the rebound in. With a minute left in the game,

Rico (Tom Suarez) tied the score at five. In the OT, Harry scored his fourth and won the game. That particular game taught me a very important life lesson; never give up because it’s never over.”

Craig Parnell (forward, 1979-80 to 1983-84)

“I remember going to the Ramapo gym on a Friday afternoon to see if my name was on the list to make the team my freshman year, fall 1979. Well it was. I called my father to share the great news. If I had not made the team, I might not have stayed in school. That year we all received twelve new sticks and got meal money for road trips. All the time, I thought this was the best thing going.”

“Playing Army at West Point as a freshman is a memory I will never forget. The minute I got on the ice, I was checked by four solid Army hockey players. That’s when I knew it was going to be a fun game. We tied Army 2-2 that afternoon.  Afterwards, seeing 7,000 cadets march into the mess hall at West Point where we dined was incredible. The Cadets were calling us hippies because of our long hair.”

“I remember Knobby (Jim Nardello) and myself sitting on the bench for the entire game against Iona (fall, 12-9-79) until the last ten minutes of the third period. We were like two bulls in a pen. Finally, Artie calls us out to play. We started checking everything in sight. The Iona players did not know who was hit­ ting them.  We made  up  with checking  and  hustle what we did not have in talent and  I  know that kind of  play made  us contributing  members  of a  great hockey team that year.”

Chuck Podgurski (defense, 1975-76)

“It’s 8:30, where’s Tricoli and   Barnfield?”  Home games started at 8:35.   Most players were smart enough to arrive a while before, to have time to dress and prepare.  Russ and Mike would come piling in about five minutes before hand. It was amazing how they could get dressed so fast, and still get on the ice for warm-ups. It became a classic line for Artie to say, “It’s 8:30.  Where are Tricoli and Barnfield?”

“Artie had a favorite restaurant in Chinatown.  We were   in the   playoffs, possibly   playing Brooklyn College. After the game, we were going to stop off at the restaurant, so Artie begged us to be on our best behavior. He was practically pleading.  We crossed the bridge from Brooklyn. At the first red light in Manhattan,  the  whole team  jumped out  of the van and  did a Chinese  fire drill in honor  of Chinatown, which probably made Artie a bit nervous about  our going  to  this  restaurant ,  but  we  didn’t embarrass Artie, and the food was good.”

“… One of the years I was coaching, we were driving to Iona for a game. I made the right turn out of campus onto 202, in four to five inches of snow, driving a school van.  The snow was coming down   pretty good. I had a van full of characters. Suddenly, I kind of realized we were caught in a slide and I called out, “brace yourselves guys, we’re talking accident.”

“… I remember Kevin Russell was the eleventh man on a ten-man team, but he really tried hard. He didn’t  have the skills or the talent,  but he was a good defensive  forward  who could go  out  and  mark  his man for a shift, and not  let the opponent score.  In the last game of that season, he scored two goals. You could tell how proud the guys were; because we all knew how hard he worked.”

“Routine 4.”  Occasionally Artie would come into the locker room or a meeting, to speak about team issues. Once he started to talk, Russell would yell out Routine 4 and instantly everyone would put his head down on the table and act as if he’d fallen asleep.”

Todd Siben (team manager, 1977-78 to 1979-80)

“Just about every memory I have of Ramapo hockey has Russell (Tricoli) or Harry (Maynes) in it somewhere.  We were on a bus trip to the RIT Invitational Tournament. The bus driver was a very good-natured fellow, who had brought his wife along on the trip. We had just arrived in the Rochester area, and we were trying to get to the Holiday Inn. In the blinding snow,  the  bus came  up to a  railroad track, and  by law,  the  driver had  to bring  the  bus to a full stop, open  the door,  look and  listen for any  trains,  then proceed  when  he thought  the  tracks were clear. He nudged   the   bus  to the   edge   of  the   tracks   and stopped, and when  he opened  the,  Russ and  a few others   starting   making  noises  like  an  on-coming train. At first, the driver hesitated, but when he realized what they were doing, he laughed, closed the door and drove across the tracks. Now I coach a high school ice hockey team.  Whenever we  go  on  bus trips,  and  find our  bus at  a  railroad  track,  I  laugh while I   quietly  make  “train”   sounds  as  the  driver opens the bus door.”

“Not long after I first got to Ramapo,   I met Harry Maynes at Low Tor Skating Rink. I skated in a pick-up game that   night and   also met   Jim   Barrow (first Ramapo ice hockey coach) and a few other Roadrunners.  One of them told me a story about Harry. It seems that in his sophomore year, Harry was involved with a group activity for a course and one of the others in the group suggested that they meet in the library. Another student, realizing that the library was so large, suggested that they meet on the second floor of the library.  It was questionable that Harry had ever been in the College library, and this was confirmed when he asked, “It has a SECOND floor?”

“Years before Ron Hextall (Philadelphia Flyers goalie) and Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils goalie), Mitch Barnfield (Ramapo goalie) could shoot a puck up the ice and create   a potential breakaway   for a Roadrunner forward. On one of the trips to the Crab Pot Tournament, Navy dumped   the puck on goal and Mitch made a routine   save.  Spotting   Bobby Martin skating  cross-ice  in the  neutral  zone,  Mitch     lofted  a  pass  toward  Martin,  hitting  him  with  the puck. It then landed on the ice ahead of Bobby, who picked up the loose puck, to the surprise of the Midshipmen and the rest of the building; he went in on goal and scored.”

“Perhaps Chuck  Podgurski’s  timing  wasn ‘t all that good,   having  accepted   a  position  as  an  assistant coach  at Iona , while some  of his former  teammates and friends were still playing at Ramapo.  It happened that lona was to play Ramapo at Sport-0-Rama on a Wednesday night in January. Knowing that such a weeknight activity would bring a good crowd of fans from campus, we decided to promote the game with a ‘Banner Night,’ awarding a ‘basket of cheer ‘ to the creator of the best banner.  Two banners were very memorable for me. One said ‘IONA ‘ in large letters and the acronym stood for ‘Idiots on North Avenue,’ where lona College was located.  The other banner was a bit too risque to list in this ‘family’ publication.

Russ Tricoli (forward, 1975-76 to 1978-79)

A group of us, Mike Barnfield , Kevin Haggerty, Gary L’Heureux,  Wayne  Billings,  Pete  Guerci  and  me, were suspended  for  an  incident  on  the  return  trip from  Rochester. Artie said we would have to dress and sit on the bench.  We came home to a back-to­back home game weekend, facing Lehigh and Villanova.   Considering  we  were   without   six  good players,  the  team  played  pretty  well against  Lehigh, but  they   were  pretty   tired.  All this time   we were dressed, on the bench.  Harry was sucking wind, and every time he came by the bench, we asked, “Hank, are you tired?”

Glenn Worman (defense,  1977-78 to 1980-81)

“.  . . Along  with  Artie,  Eve Miceli was  the  voice  of reason which kept  a lot of us from  going  nuts  . . . ”

“.. . I was following the puck into the zone (Crab Pot Tournament at the Naval Academy).  I picked up the puck in the corner, took it around behind the net and tucked it in the short side. I do remember scoring, but I remember more about the next game.  The kicker in the next game was how that building was constructed with the   balconies above.   I  remember  those   guys (Navy fans) staring  down  at  us in the  finals,  and  the entire  place going quiet and  emptying  when  we won. I still have the puck from that goal.  It was definitely the biggest goal I scored in college.”

“The book can’t be complete without ‘… eat bite.’ ”

Tim Walz (forward, 1977-78 to 1980-81)

“We were invited to participate in the Crab Pot Tournament at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Our first game  was on Saturday afternoon, but  we left  Ramapo on  Friday  night  and were going to spend  the  night in the visiting team dormitories on  the  Academy  grounds. The  team  bus arrived  there  around midnight, and  we were  all very hungry,  but there  were  no food  concessions open  on the base, and we weren’t allowed off the Academy grounds. A couple of us decided to find a way to get off   the   grounds, locate   food   and   bring   it back. Barbara Horan (assistant coach Frank Horan’s wife) volunteered to go along.  To  get  off the  grounds,  we found  that  we  had  to  climb  a wall.  We  jumped  the wall ,  walked  until  we  found   a  place   to  buy  food, brought it back, and fed everyone. It was hilarious watching Barbara climb over the wall. We were sitting there, laughing so hard, waiting for the MPs (Military Police) to arrest us, but they never did.”