In the first half, they traded goals. In the second half, they traded five-goal runs. Then Syosset used a couple of tricks of the trade to score two goals in 15 seconds before holding off host Port Washington, 11-10, Tuesday in a Nassau Conference A game that sizzled with scintillating plays despite chilly, damp conditions and snow flurries during the final minutes.
Alex Concannon used a solo dodge from behind the cage to break a 9-all tie with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter. Moments later, Michael Elardo scored on a slick feed from Alex Giovinco, who won a long tug-of-war at the faceoff circle to trigger the fast break.
"That's a great team and this was a great game,'' Syosset coach John Calabria said. "I liked the way we kept our composure and did what we had to do at the end when it counted.''
The Braves (3-0) broke a 4-4 halftime tie with a five-goal burst that took only 3:39. Mac O'Keefe started it with a dodge from behind the cage. J.P. Lannig scored in front off a nice feed from Elardo, and Lucas Cotler followed 50 seconds later with an overhand blast from the right wing.
Then sophomore Matt Benus scored goals 1:13 apart for a 9-4 advantage. Benus, who had a hat trick, often gets overlooked in Syosset's offense because of big-time scorers O'Keefe and Concannon, who scored two goals apiece.
"They draw the double-teams and that gives me the chance to look for my shot,'' Benus said. "We keep the ball moving. It's not the first look, it's the best look. All season, the third quarter has been our strong quarter. We usually figure it out by then.''
It took the Vikings (1-1) a little longer to figure out Syosset's defense, but they responded with five consecutive goals of their own, four coming in the fourth quarter to tie it at 9 with 8:31 remaining. Two of Port Washington's goals came only eight seconds apart, and Joey Froccaro (four goals, one assist) had a hand in both.
Playing a man up, Froccaro fired a crisp pass across the crease to Seth Obadia, who buried it inside the near post. The Princeton-bound Froccaro then won the ensuing faceoff cleanly, slipped between two defenders and finished with an overhand blast. Earlier, Froccaro dazzled with a no-look goal, dodging to his right, then firing an over-the-shoulder shot into the left-hand corner.
"Froccaro is an exceptional player," Calabria said. "They're never out of a game when he's out there."