After a year away, Gateway alumni reunite for annual black/white hockey game


Sunday January 23, 2022 | 11:01 a.m.

Stefan Biancaniello walked the landscape at Palmer Imaging Ice Arena in Delmont on Dec. 26, and his heart warmed.

After Covid canceled the 2020 Gateway Hockey alumni gathering, Biancaniello hoped things would go back to the way they were.

With more than 40 alumni attending Gateway hockey’s 50th anniversary year kick-off event, Biancaniello said he was pleased to once again be able to help celebrate the organization’s rich traditions.

“It was great to see everyone who came out,” he said.

“We announced it through the current Gateway Hockey Organization, and they did a terrific job of letting people know it was the 50th anniversary kickoff. It was a great participation. »

Gateway hockey first hit the ice in 1972, and in four short years the Gators went undefeated and won the WPIHL Class AA title.

Gateway also won the WPIHL AAA title in 1996.

A centerpiece of each year’s celebration is the recognition of three alumni inductees for their contributions on and off the ice to the Gateway Hockey Alumni Honor Roll.

This year, John Desmond Jr. (1995), Ed Potts (1991) and Jake Breakwell (1992) were honored.

Biancaniello said the Alumni Honor Roll began in 2008 to recognize former players and coaches who, “through their dedication and support of Gateway hockey on and off the ice over time, have contributed to the great legacy that is Gateway hockey”.

The integration process lasts four months each year, from the beginning of April to mid-October. To be eligible, a graduate must be nominated.

Over 40 players and coaches have been inducted into the Alumni Honor Roll. Additionally, the inaugural team from 1972 was inducted in 2012.

The alumni organization also initiated the recognition of several coaches – Dennis Shannon, Mike Sargo Sr., Ray Leith, Sean Biancaniello, Gene Perhac, John Desmond Sr. and Rob Wareham – for their dedication to leading Gateway teams over the years. years.

Of the alumni in attendance, 38 of them played in the Black-White alumni game.

“We had guys on the ice who represented all five decades of Gateway hockey,” Biancaniello said.

“It was a close, competitive and fun game.”

The white team won 8-5 and won the Golden Gator Alumni trophy.

Biancaniello said there will be other events planned throughout the year. The next event will be tied to the Gateway Junior Varsity Team’s Feb. 4 game against Norwin at 6:15 p.m. at Palmer Imaging Arena.

Other coaches will be celebrated, including the current coaching staff led by head coach Shawn Jesih. An official push for the annual Alumni Golf Outings Fundraiser, scheduled for August 6 at Cloverleaf Golf Club in Delmont, will be announced.

“The wheels started turning on that,” Biancaniello said.

Michael Love is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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Catherine J. Martinez