February 25, 2021


Do it with Food.

Housatonic co-op hockey makes the ideal of a difficult preseason

4 min read

There are hockey pictures, newspaper clippings and a framed hockey jersey covering the partitions of Deano’s Pizza in Lakeville. Previous trophies assemble dust on top of the Coca-Cola cooler.

a man standing in front of a store: Dean Diamond, owner of Deano's Pizza in Lakeville and the coach of the Housatonic co-op ice hockey teamnn

© Lori Riley/Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Dean Diamond, owner of Deano’s Pizza in Lakeville and the mentor of the Housatonic co-op ice hockey teamnn

There is a hockey stick signed by the 2016 Housatonic staff hanging above the glass counter in which the several pizza slices of the day are exhibited.

This is where Dean Diamond, who owns the cafe in Lakeville, can be located 60 or 70 hours a week. In his free of charge time, he coaches the Housatonic co-op ice hockey workforce, which has players from Housatonic Regional, Northwestern, Wamogo, Litchfield and Torrington.

That is difficult sufficient in a ordinary calendar year, but this year is anything at all but typical. Housatonic’s property rink is typically at the Hotchkiss School but the rink is closed to exterior groups because of to COVID-19. Diamond has been shelling out a whole lot of time striving to uncover ice time for his team and is preparing on getting some methods outdoors.

a group of people riding skis on top of a building: Coach Dean Diamond (back row left) and his Housatonic co-op ice hockey team last year.

© Lori Riley/Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Mentor Dean Diamond (back row remaining) and his Housatonic co-op ice hockey crew past yr.

“I was thinking about accomplishing it final Sunday but it was 10 levels,” he said. “I did not want the youngsters obtaining frostbite.”

Diamond was equipped to get some exercise time at the Global Skating Heart in Simsbury, which is more than an hour absent. The group has experienced two methods there (their very first scheduled observe was snowed out) and has two a lot more this 7 days.

The large university ice hockey time begins Monday Housatonic’s very first match is Saturday.

“We’re scrambling,” Diamond said. “It’s heading to be late nights – we’ll go out there for a 9:20 follow, get household at 11:30 at night.”

The rest of the time, the team will head outdoor to follow, at a rink at Trotta Discipline in Salisbury Sunday, possibly at an out of doors rink in Goshen, it’s possible at Twin Lakes, in which his in-regulations have a dwelling.

“They have a little dock, the little ones can set their skates on on the dock,” he claimed. “We’ll make them do some extensive sprints – conclude of the lake and again.

“They’re hardly ever going to neglect it: Recall the time the coach produced us skate across the entire lake? It’ll be exciting.”

Diamond is also scheduling on some floor hockey techniques at the large school. The group has had Zoom tactics. He’s self-confident they’ll have plenty of methods ahead of their initial game versus Tri-City.

Housatonic has 8 video games scheduled, all absent, from Enfield to New Milford.

The gamers are not fazed they are just delighted to play.

“For me, it has not been extremely unique,” claimed still left wing Zim McAuliffe, a junior at Housatonic Regional. “I utilised to enjoy journey hockey and we’d journey to Enfield. The only factor that’s actually distinct for me is getting dressed in the parking good deal, which isn’t incredibly enjoyable but …”

While the hockey preseason has been difficult because of to the pandemic, business enterprise at Diamond’s pizza restaurant – not like some other restaurants in the condition which have struggled – is booming.

“It’s actually been valuable,” he claimed. “We did takeout. I under no circumstances experienced to shut down. The personal universities [Hotchkiss and Salisbury] have been presently heading on break when this began. Normally March is my slowest time of the year. The working day soon after they still left, they shut everything down and all the New Yorkers who have second residences up right here moved up like the up coming working day.

“March is ordinarily my worst month of the calendar year and it became my best. They’ve been up below at any time since and they buy out all the time.”

Diamond is from Brooklyn, N.Y., his pizza New York-design. He discovered to make it when he worked at King Umberto’s, a celebrated Italian cafe on Lengthy Island.

He and his spouse met at Hofstra, married and moved to upstate New York in which he opened a succession of pizza restaurants. Deano’s has been close to considering that 2006.

Diamond played street hockey increasing up in Brooklyn but hardly ever ice hockey. His three boys did and he coached them in youth hockey, beginning in 1996. He turned the head mentor of the Housatonic group in 2005 and all a few sons played for him, although his youngest daughter Jillian was the manager. Jillian was the only non-hockey player, opting for volleyball.

Every little thing worked efficiently for Diamond when his staff practiced at Hotchkiss he could get by means of the evening meal hurry at the cafe, travel around to the school for follow at 7:45 p.m., finish at 9:15, occur back to the restaurant, make the pizza dough for the following day and shut up.

Now Jillian has to assist near up so Diamond can go to practices.

This calendar year has been all about creating the finest of points. This is what Diamond – whose 15th-seeded staff upset No. 2 seed Newington in the first round of the Division 3 state tournament before the period was shut down – likes to convey to his crew.

“We’ll see what takes place,” he claimed. “There’s no [state tournament]. So my attitude is, ‘Let the little ones perform, it’s a understanding practical experience. Really don’t get worried about the wins and losses. Just get pleasure from the season.’

“As aggressive as I am, you received to put it in viewpoint.”

Lori Riley can be attained at [email protected]

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