Winning back-to-back state championships is sweet enough, but getting the second on home ice is even better.
Long Beach beat Cleve Hill JFK, 5-0, in the state AAU Small Schools Division Championship at Long Beach Arena for its second straight state title. Last season, the Marines won USA Hockey's Pure Division state championship.
"You couldn't ask for a more perfect night," coach Joe Brand said of the title game. "The crowd was great, there was probably close to 1,000 people. We put on a good show for them and made the community proud."
Long Beach entered the tournament as the fourth seed and became the third seed in the semifinals having gone 1-1-1 in pool play.
The Marines played No. 2 Star Point in the semis, who they had tied at 1 in pool play, and "came out with a different gear," to win 8-2 and advance to the final.
"We were humming," Brand said. "We started clicking and shots were finding the back of the net."
With their home crowd out in full force for the championship game, the Marines broke it open late after leading 1-0 midway through the second period. The team scored twice near the end of the second and added two more the third to reach the 5-0 final.
Goalie Harris Pittinsky was named the tournament MVP.