Long Beach, Oceanside take series leads in Nassau final
Long Beach came from behind to beat Syosset, 4-2, in Game 1 of the Michelino Finals Tuesday night at Bethpage Arena.
The Marines scored three goals in the third period after trailing 2-1 after the second.
“It was a back-and-forth chess match tonight,” Long Beach coach Joe Brand said. “We got our game going [in the third period] and just found some open ice.”
JT Forkin scored the Marines’ first two goals, Thomas McGovern had the go-ahead goal midway through the third, and Liam Pues added the fourth goal with four minutes left in the game to secure the win.
For Syosset, Corey Hoffman had a goal and two assists and Stefan Lynch had a goal in the losing effort. Syosset coach Richard Goldstein said his team did not play physical enough, but was confident the Braves would bounce back in game two.
“We have to force the play and do the things we’ve done all year,” Goldstein said. “Long Beach fought and battled hard and that’s that. It’s not a one-and-done situation, though, so we live to fight another day.”
Brand said that winning the first game of the series was crucial.
“Every team’s goal in a three-game series is to grab the first one,” Brand said. “We stayed patient and finally in the third period we broke them a little bit.”
Game two of the best-of-three series will be Wednesday night at 9 p.m at Bethpage.
Sailors one win away
Oceanside lost all three of its regular-season meetings with East Williston, but Tuesday night the Sailors won the most important game between these two teams so far.
Oceanside beat East Williston 6-4 in Game 1 of the Liberty Finals at Bethpage Arena, fighting off a Wildcat rally that forced the teams to fight to the finish.
“We skated hard and we played a good team-game,” Oceanside coach Bill Clark said. “Everybody contributed and we took care of business.”
Oceanside jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but East Williston stormed back to tie it at 3 in the second after Russell Rubinson’s breakaway goal sparked a quick comeback to put the game back in contention.
The Sailors though responded quickly, as Doug DiDominica deflected a Brian Hurley shot into the back of the net to go back ahead 4-3 and Joe Mitchell scored one of his two goals to put Oceanside up 5-3 in the third. After East Williston cut the Sailor lead back to 5-4, Oceanside iced the game on an empty-net goal with 20 seconds left in the third period.
“It’s crucial to get the first game,” Clark said. “We’re in the driver’s seat now.”
East Williston coach Jon Turk said his team was “flat” from the start of the game, and although they were able to comeback once to tie the score, their effort was not strong enough to hold off Oceanside’s attack.
“[Oceanside] has some good skaters and we’ve really got to play position hockey to beat them,” Turk said. “We’ve got to be much tighter on defense. We were throwing some blind passes, leaving guys open in front and really chasing them instead of playing position hockey.”
Turk though believes East Williston can turn things around.
“I think we didn’t play one of our better games and we were still close,” he said. “I think we have a much better game in us and I think we’ll get it [in Game 2].”
Clark said Oceanside was also confident.
“There’s a lot of pressure on them but there’s also some on us to finish it off,” Clark said.
“Our boys have worked way too hard to let this go another game. We’re going to treat this like [an elimination game].”
Game 2 is at Bethpage Arena Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m.