Sports

On Sunday, March 22, the Great Neck Bruins Midget Major team won a New York State Championship. The championship tournament began Friday, March 20 in Cicero, NY. The Bruins had their first game against the host, Cicero Chill, Friday afternoon. Scoring would prove to be no problem for the Bruins as they scored 7 goals, including a hat trick from Jon-Paul Dimarco, behind the Chill goaltender en route to a 7-4 victory.

Saturday morning the Bruins kept the scoring going against the Valley Youth Hockey Association. The Bruins would roll to a 10-4 victory with hat tricks from Dimarco and Mike Cupolo. With this win the Bruins secured a spot in the semifinals before playing their third game. Saturday night the Bruins had their toughest game of the tournament against the Jamestown Lakers. The Bruins gave up a tying goal with 1:25 left in the third period. Determined to win John Defeo and John Mendicino worked the puck down into the Lakers' zone and toward the front of the net. With 25 seconds remaining in the game Dimarco found the puck and poked it into the back of the net for his third goal of the game and the win.

Sitting in first place in their division the Bruins would have to face their dreaded rivals the Westchester Mariners in the semifinals Sunday morning. These two teams had already met five times this season, which included a Bruins win in the Hudson Valley Hockey League championship game. As with the previous three meetings the game remained close with a lot of back and forth action. With Alex Serina in net and Zach Hutwagner, Noah Todaro, Chris Geradri, Vinny Ruggiero, and Matt Brady in front of him the Bruins would hold a 4-3 lead midway through the third period. Then with just under five minutes left the Bruins would secure a victory with a Defeo goal off a beautiful feed from Mendicino. Before the final horn the Bruins would get an empty net goal from Mendicino catapulting them into the finals Sunday evening.

The finals would see the Bruins taking on the Jamestown Lakers for a second time this tournament. Midway through the first period the Lakers scored the opening goal and tried to take the momentum from the Bruins run thus far. However that was the only goal Buddy McGrath was going to give up this evening. With McGrath standing tall, the Bruins simply needed to score goals. The offense would not let him down. Defeo scored two goals and Mendicino added another to give the Bruins a 3-1 victory and a New York State championship.


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