Perfection: EW/Jericho sweeps Massapequa
Want the recipe for a perfect season?
Combine two partial teams. Mix two offensively talented defenseman. Add a splash of a few powerful forwards and top it off with an MVP-caliber goaltender.
That's exactly what top-ranked East Williston/Jericho did as the Wildcats put the cherry on top by exploding for six goals in the second period in a 6-1 victory over Massapequa in Game 2 of the HSHLNC Michelino Division finals Tuesday night at Bethpage Ice Rink.
The win capped off a perfect season for East Williston/Jericho by finishing 18-0 and completed a two-game sweep of the championship series.
And to think for a moment East Williston/Jericho didn't even know they'd have a full team to compete at the start of the season.
"We kind of put this team together at the beginning of the year not knowing how it was going to turn out," goaltender Graham Turk said. "We were just happy we had a team."
Turk was the backbone of a Wildcats team that only gave up 41 goals all year. And for the first 15 minutes of Game 2, he kept his team in the game against a charged up Massapequa team looking to claw its way back into the series.
"Graham I don’t think has been that tested in the playoffs," said head coach Jon Turk. "The nice thing is when we needed him most he was there in the first period and kept Massapequa off the board and gave the kids a chance to get back in it."
After one period of play both teams were scoreless. And East Williston/Jericho had Massapequa right where it wanted them.
"I said look, we played the worst period of hockey in the playoffs and look at the score, it’s 0-0," said Coach Turk. "If you can keep it scoreless then you can get into another gear and just turn it on. I told them to open it up and usually when we get that first goal everything follows."
Everything did follow, and then some.
Just 1:39 into the middle frame Matthew Bernot took a centering feed from the corner and gave East Williston/Jericho a 1-0 lead. Just 21 seconds later Zach Talve pounced on a rebound off Massapequa goaltender Dana DeMartino's pads to give the Wildcats a quick 2-0 lead.
It also chased DeMartino from the net and gave Thomas Calcagno his second share of action in two nights.
The switch infused some energy in the Chiefs as Robert Croes beat Turk with a backhanded chip to cut the deficit in half just less than three minutes later.
It would be the last time Massapequa would find the back of the net as a missed opportunity on a 3-on-1 rush turned into an East Williston/Jericho 4-on-1 break leading to Adam Fox's fifth goal in three games for the 3-1 lead.
It was a turn of events that Graham Turk knows could've changed the momentum of the game.
"A couple of bounces went the other way and we could have been on the end of this," Turk said. "Give credit to Massapequa, they fought hard and pulled off that crazy upset against Long Beach. We’re looking forward to seeing them in states."
The Wildcats added three more goals in the final minute and a half of the second period, including tallies by Bernot and Talve as well as Justin Breslin to seal things.
Both teams now head to the NYS Amateur Hockey Association state tournament in Jamestown, NY on March 1-3, and the Wildcats are looking forward to taking its perfect season upstate.
"We’re confident coming off this win," said Graham Turk. "Our main goal coming in to this year was to win states."
Contact Tom on Twitter @MSGV_TLiodice.