Sports Person of the Week
DeAngelis Lighting the Lamp for the Tigers
Junior forward Joey DeAngelis scored 11 goals to go with 13 assists for Hand boys’ ice hockey squad this winter. (Photo courtesy of Joey DeAngelis )
Joey DeAngelis arrived on the Hand ice hockey scene as a sophomore last year, and he’s been scoring goals in droves ever since. Now a junior, Joey has 11 goals and 13 assists as a first-line forward for the Tigers, who have stormed out to a 7-0 start to their season.
Joey has turned in several big performances thus far this winter. He scored two goals in a win over E.O. Smith-Tolland, recorded a hat trick versus the Eastern CT Eagles, and the netted four goals when Hand defeated Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks last week.
“I didn’t have a goal in either of our first two games. I felt like I was letting the team down. I wanted to put the puck in the net,” Joey says. “Then when I got those two goals [against E.O. Smith-Tolland], it really felt good. I just wanted to keep on doing it.”
Joey grew up around the rink and was skating by the time he was four. Joey played with the Greater New Haven Warriors and then went on to compete for the Connecticut Chiefs. In between, he was attending Hand’s games.
“I remember the 2014 state championship game when Hand beat Amity. The crowd at Ingalls Rink was large,” says Joey. “That’s when I decided that I wanted to play hockey for this community and Hand High School.”
Joey joined the Tigers for his sophomore season last year, which was also Brian Gonsalves’s first campaign as Hand’s head coach. Joey posted 15 goals with 17 assists for Gonsalves’s squad as a sophomore.
“I could see that Joey had great offensive skills right from the start. We had some seniors and juniors in front of him, but he got playing time,” Gonsalves says. “Joey instantly became an offensive weapon. He’s now able to impact a game any time he steps on the ice.”
Joey liked what he saw right away after signing up with the Tigers and helped the team have a great year in 2019. Hand set a school record for wins by going 18-5-1 on their way to reaching the semifinals of the Division III State Tournament.
Joey says that playing a challenging schedule has had a big impact on the Tigers’ success in each of the last two seasons.
“Our skillsets last year overall as a team made us a very strong Division III team. And on nights when we played a DII team, we were able to step it up,” says Joey. “We could usually match many of those team’s speed and skill abilities.”
While Joey enjoys scoring goals, he also likes to set up his teammates. This year, Joey is skating on Hand’s first line alongside senior captain Tatum Fitzmaurice and sophomore Jeff Pinover.
“We’ve meshed well together,” Joey says.
Hand has some difficult games coming up on its schedule, including matchups against strong Division II squads like Branford, Guilford, and Cheshire. Joey believes that these games can only benefit the Tigers as they gear up for another playoff push.
“We have probably the strongest part of our season yet in front of us,” says Joey. “It’s a challenge that I looking forward to, and I’m sure that the team is, too.”