Hockey: Pelham wins fourth consecutive Section 1 title – The Journal News | LoHud.com
BREWSTER â Even the postgame celebration is well-executed.
Pelham has enjoyed more practice than any team in Section 1 over the last four seasons. The Pelicans wrapped up a fourth consecutive Division II title with a 6-1 win over John Jay on Sunday at Brewster Sports Center.
All of the championships have been memorable, but sometimes the big picture gets a little fuzzy.
âItâs pretty incredible to be part of team that over the last four years has been good enough to win games and win sectional finals,â Pelicans forward Ben Hurd said. âBut thatâs all behind us now and weâre looking forward to regionals and then hopefully, states.â
Pelham is looking for its first NYSPHSAA title.
âThe most amazing thing for me is that in 30-something years of coaching, I never thought Iâd see this day,â Pelicans coach Ed Witz said. âWe have a 22-game winning streak. And to win four straight sectional titles â¦ it shows some serious dominance.
âI donât think our kids realize how amazing and tough it is to win four in a row.â
The last thing a defensive-minded Indians team wanted to do was give up an early goal, but a couple of early whistles had them in scramble mode. Hurd scored on the power play off a nifty setup from Miklakos less than five minutes in.
It got worse before it got better for John Jay.
Thomas Mazarro and CalvinÂ Peters scored in a span of 43 seconds in the final minutes of the first period, making it a 3-0 lead.
âWe like to start fast,â Miklakos said. âI was very nervous before the game, but Iâm nervous before every game. I think everyone was nervous. I know some of us lost some sleep before this game, but it paid off.â
Indians goalie George McMichael battled hard and was rewarded when Sean Blaney scored with 5:21 to go in the second, but Nat Heintz and Gib Smith answered before the period ended.
âThey are the top team in the state and they deserve to be that,â John Jay coach Alex Smith said. âThere was a moment there where we thought we could switch the momentum, but good teams respond and they came back right away.â
Heintz got a second goal with 5:24 left in the game.
âPlaying hockey with your friends, thereâs nothing better, especially when you win,â Heintz said. âWe need three more to reach our goal, but weâve had a lot of fun the whole way. Itâs great to win the section and its always a challenge, but we still need that state championship for coach Witz.â
Next up is a Saturday regional game at the Ice Hutch against Section 2 winner Queensbury at 4 p.m.
Player of the game: Miklakos is either the player who makes the pass that leads to the goal or the player who makes the pass to the player who makes the pass that leads to the goal. Heâs a playmaker who gets the Pelicans in position to finish and he dished out three assists in this one.
Turning point: The Indians mightâve had a shot if they got out of the second period down 3-1, but Heintz and Smith didnât let that happen.
Stat line: Each of Pelhamâs first three goals came from a different line. â¦ McMichael finished was credited with 28 saves. â¦ Justin Ming had 12 saves for the Pelicans. â¦ Ryan Cavanagh had the assist on Blaneyâs goal.
Quotable: âWe canât be stopped right now,â Miklakos said of a line that include Hurd and Heintz.