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LI hockey title special for Jon and Graham Turk

East Williston-Jericho goalie Graham Turk squares to a

East Williston-Jericho goalie Graham Turk squares to a shooter during the second period of the Long Island varsity ice hockey championship game vs. Connetquot-Sayville. (March 23, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Graham Turk couldn't help but smile as his father, East Williston-Jericho hockey coach Jon Turk, accepted the Nassau- Suffolk high school hockey championship trophy. A journey five years in the making was coming to an end on a night the team was crowned Long Island champions.

"It's very sweet,'' Jon said. "Here we just established that we are the best team on Long Island.''

Graham, a captain and starting goaltender, stopped 27 shots in his final high school game, a 5-3 win over Connetquot-Sayville Saturday night at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center.

"If I start thinking about it, it's so incredible and emotional,'' Jon said of his son. "I might have put too much importance on the game because it not only was the championship, but it was our last game of me being his coach, so there aren't words to describe what that feels like as a father, forget as a coach.''

Fatherly duties aside, dad was still impressed with his son's performance.

"When he can just be good, and stop the goals that he is supposed to stop, that's what he needed to do,'' Jon said. "It's nice to know that he's back there when the game is getting close and he's not going to let any cheapies in.''

Making sure he was able to give his dad a championship in his last game, Graham was thrilled to be able to go out on top.

"It didn't really hit me until after the buzzer sounded,'' Graham said. "It's been such a special ride that we've had and playing for him has made every moment better. I'm just as happy for him as I am for the rest of the guys . . . Seeing him with the trophy made my night.''

Jon had created the East Williston hockey program when Graham was in seventh grade. Last year, in order to field a full roster, the school merged with Jericho.

"I hope they keep the East Williston and Jericho team together for a few more years,'' Graham said. "It's been a great experience and a great ride.''

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