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Massapequa enjoys first state hockey title

Massapequa's Nick Mangone, right, carries the puck up

Massapequa's Nick Mangone, right, carries the puck up the ice against Bellmore-Merrick. (Feb. 16, 2011) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Junior forward Nick Mangone came through for Massapequa in the biggest moments of the state championships. Mangone scored the winning goals in the semifinals and finals, leading the Chiefs to their first state title.

"I still haven't come down from it," coach Tony DeMayo, who has guided the team for 30 years, said. "It's just an amazing feeling."

Massapequa beat Lancaster 3-1 in the state AAU Large Schools Division championship after edging St. Francis (Athol Springs) Club Varsity, 4-3, in overtime of a semifinal game. The Chiefs came from behind in both contests.

In the semifinals, Jake Zimmerman tied the score at 3 for Massapequa on a shot from the point with 1:51 left in the third. Mangone notched the winning tally just 35 seconds into overtime with a low shot through the goaltender's legs from the slot.

"It was just insane," DeMayo said. "Everybody jumped off the bench and on top of [Mangone]. It was great."

Lancaster took an early 1-0 lead in the championship game, but James Jiratano's goal at the end of the first tied the score heading into the second. Mangone scored the go-ahead goal then and Bobby Oldmixon added one for insurance in the third to seal the title."We were just determined. Whether we were up or down, our team consistently played as hard as they could," DeMayo said. "There was never a let down throughout the entire tournament."

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