The Levittown Ice Falcons never relinquished 2-1 lead in Tuesday night's rubber game.
The Garden City Wings hockey team faced off against the Levittown-Island Trees Ice Falcons in the league's championship game Tuesday night at
Bethpage Ice Rink.
In a game that followed an epic matchup on the ice between USA and Canada, one could tell in a slightly smaller magnitude that this game
would share the other's intensity.
Both teams showed just as much skill and character, but the Ice Falcons proved their supremacy by defeating the Wings 2-1.
Nothing says playoff hockey like hits and in this contest if there was one to give, it was given. Everything is taken to a higher
level and when it comes to the championship game, everything is left on the ice.
Despite an eventful and action packed first period full of great plays and hits, both teams remained scoreless.
"We played well, it could have went either way," said Wings senior Spiros Markopoulos.
Early in the second period the Wings came out strong and rattled two off the post in the first several minutes of the period,
one by junior Billy Barbaro, the other by senior and alternate captain Tom White.
"We didn't get the bounces," said Coach Brian Johnston. "But, that's hockey."
Ice Falcon goalie Nick Prosimi faced a barrage of shots, but was up to the test steering them all to the corners.
The game took another step up physically during the second as the Ice Falcons, through penalties, paved the way for the Wings' first goal.
"Their player received an interference penalty, and unsportsmanlike," said Johnston. "He grabbed a players stick on the way to the box."
On the power player, senior Spiros Markopoulos lit the lamp with a rocket of a wrist shot, beating the goalie, blocker high.
"You always want the first goal to get the momentum," said Markopoulos.
The Ice Falcons answered almost immediately short handed when a howitzer let loose from the top right hash mark blew past Wings
goalie David Wax.
"If it wasn't for him we wouldn't even be here," said Johnston. "He's the real back bone of our team."
Before the period ended the Ice Falcons struck again short handed, giving them a 2-1 lead on a dirty goalie. It was Wax's first and
only fault rebound of the night. "We just got lackadaisical and that can't happen," said Markopoulos.
In the third the Wings, continuing their huge effort, didn't have much to show for it. The offense never really seemed to gain any
momentum. "It's not what we expected," said Johnston.
Wings coaches Brian Johnston, Rich Peck and Frank Kiernan should be proud of the team's effort Tuesday. Overall it was a well played
and coached effort.
"We didn't deserve to lose," said Johnston, but sometimes you just don't get the bounces.
The Garden City boys' season came to an end one win shy of the championship. They will look to next season with confidence in
knowing that many of their core players will return. With only six seniors departing for college and 13 returning players, the team is in
good shape for a run at the title again.
"We have a strong group coming up from the middle school that should be able to contribute right away," said Johnston.
The Wings celebrate after Spiros Markopoulos scored what would be the only goal of the game