Garden City Wings Ice Hockey Club

Wings Varsity 2009-2010 NassauNewsLive.com February 24,2010 Article by Victoria Frary
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Markopoulos Duo Pace Garden City to Game One Upset of Levittown, 2-1 r
NassauNewsLive.com
Sports - High School Sports
Written by Victoria Frary
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 01:38

It's safe to say the Garden City hockey club has made adjustments to their game over the course of the season, especially when facing regular season champion, the Levittown Ice Falcons. After losing the first four regular season meetings, the Wings battled the Ice Falcons to a 2-2 tie in their final matchup, knowing that if they saw them again they would have more than a fighting chance.

The Wings got that chance Tuesday, and didn't waste it. Garden City defeated the Ice Falcons, 2-1, in the first game of a best-of-three series to determine Nassau County's Liberty Division finals.

Garden City head coach Richard Peck said the Wings' strategy all season has been to make defense their main priority. “We focus on defense first, after that everything else will fall into place.”

Levittown scored with 5:40 left in the first period, but Garden City goaltender David Wax made sure it was the only time the Ice Falcons would beat him. Wax stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced, keeping the Ice Falcons, who averaged just over 5.5 goals per game in the regular season, off the scoreboard in the final two periods.

Spiros Markopoulos went on to score for Garden City in the first minute of the second period, tying the game at one.

"[The team had] the confidence to know we can beat them. We knew after we scored that this team is beatable,” said Peck.

Winger Albert Markopoulos scored off a pass from defenseman Eilias Georgas with just 13 seconds remaining, giving the Wings a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.

The Wings' dynamic Markopoulos duo, who's ability to always find each other with the puck paid dividends for Garden City, agreed that the added hype and intensity of a playoff game motivated them to do whatever it took to win.

Peck stated that after taking the lead near the end of the second period, the team focused their efforts on shutting down the Ice Falcons offense, rather than press for another goal

"It's nice to score," he said. "But if we let up on our defense, we would be giving them the chance to tie the game again."

As for game two, scheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday, also at Bethpage Recreational Center, Peck says he plans on keeping his strategy similar to what worked in game one, and make other adjustments as he sees fit in preparation for a potential championship-clinching game.

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