East Williston-Jericho hockey still dreams big

East Williston Matthew Bernot, left, celebrates with teammates

East Williston Matthew Bernot, left, celebrates with teammates after assisting on a goal against Oceanside by Lucas Blumenfeld in the second period of Game 2 of the Liberty Finals. (Feb. 15, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

A perfect season and a county championship are worth celebrating, but the East Williston-Jericho hockey squad still has higher aspirations.

EWJ won the Michelino division with a 6-1 victory over Massapequa, Tuesday, in Game 2 of a best-of-three series at the Skating Rink at Bethpage.

The win completed an 18-0 season, but EWJ has its sites set on a state championship.

"Because we got to the semis in states last year, our goal from the beginning has been to win a state championship," EWJ coach Jon Turk said. "But we wanted to back up our undefeated season with a Nassau County championship as well."

In three playoff games, EWJ outscored its opponents 15-2, as goaltender Graham Turk, Jon's son, stood on his head, opening the playoffs with a 5-0 shutout of Bellmore-Merrick in the elimination semifinal round.

In the finals, Turk allowed just one goal in back-to-back games, as EWJ took Game 1, 4-1, before clinching in Game 2.

Graham Turk said he hopes the team's momentum will carry over into the NYSCSH Large School Division state championships, which begin March 1 in Jamestown.

"We're confident coming off this win," Graham Turk told MSG Varsity following Tuesday's victory. "Our main goal coming in to this year was to win states."

On the offensive side, it was freshman defenseman Adam Fox who scored five goals in the team's three playoff games, and forward Matthew Bernot scored twice in the clincher to help lead the way.

EWJ was a newly combined squad this year, which brought together players from Wheatley, in the East Williston school district, and Jericho.

Players like Turk, Bernot and Justin Breslin were on last year's East Williston squad that lost to Oceanside in the Liberty finals and later in the Open Division state semifinals. But combining players from Jericho -- like Fox, his brother and defensive pair Andrew Fox and Anthony Modica -- created the perfect formula for success this season.

"This team has two amazing lines and four defenseman and a goalie that could start anywhere," Jon Turk said. "This year we're hoping that our talent can bring us a little bit further."

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