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3 Lasher goals key Wantagh/Seaford's 4th title in row

For Wantagh/Seaford, the four-peat is complete.

A hat trick by Michael Lasher and lockdown defense during the last two periods gave the No. 3 Baymen a 3-2 win over No. 1 Long Beach in the deciding Game 3 of the Nassau Michelino Division hockey championship last night at Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center.

It was Wantagh/Seaford's fourth consecutive title.

Billy Kempner had two assists for Wantagh/Seaford (16-5-3), and was one in a long line of Baymen to echo the same slogan: We've been here before.

"If you look down our bench, we maybe have two kids who weren't on the team last year, so we've all been in that situation before," said Kempner, a senior and team captain.

After giving up only 28 goals in 20 games during the regular season, Long Beach (18-3-3) allowed eight goals to the Baymen in three games in the finals.

"Long Beach has a great defense, they go five deep on the defensive side," Kempner said. "Because they beat us twice and tied once in the regular season, we set up a new system and just frustrated them."

Jimmy Diamond scored with 9:01 left in the first period to give Long Beach a 1-0 lead, but Lasher tied the score at 2:16 23 seconds into a Baymen power play.

Michael Schwartz knocked in a shot 29 seconds into the second period to give Long Beach another lead, but Mickey Wallace centered the puck to Lasher, who scored from just in front of the blue line at 9:22 to tie it at 2.

Lasher scored his third goal with 1:00 left in the second period, serving a shot over a fallen defenseman and to the left of the goalie to give Wantagh/Seaford a 3-2 lead.

"I just played like it's any other game; it's nothing special, I've been here before," said Lasher, a junior.

The Baymen were penalized for tripping with 1:06 left, and Long Beach removed its goalie seconds later to set up a six-on-four advantage. But Wantagh/Seaford remained steady, closing out the game with 29:29 of spotless defense, highlighted by Kyle Rebman's sparkling work in net.

"As young as they are, they've been through this multiple times," coach Bob Kempner said. "They know how to handle this kind of pressure. It doesn't bother them, so they're a step up on the other team. The other team's pressing, but they're just playing hard and they're used to doing it."

Wantagh/Seaford1 2 0 - 3

Long Beach1 1 0 - 2

First period - LB: Diamond (Forkin) 9:01. W: Lasher (Kempner) 2:16.

Second period - LB: Schwartz (Travers) 14:31. W: Lasher (Kempner, Wallace) 9:22. W: Lasher (Onufrey) 1:00.

Third period - No scoring.

Goals allowed - W: Rebman 2. LB: Mignoli 3.

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