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Three local teams crowned Tier II NYS hockey champs Sunday


MASSENA - Three hockey teams from the Massena-Potsdam area are planning major road trips after skating to New York state Tier II championships Sunday.

The Potsdam Ice Storm downed Lysander 2-1 Sunday night in front of a big and boisterous hometown crown at Pine Street Arena to capture the girls’ U16 Tier II state title and earn a trip to San Jose, Calif., for the nationals in early April.

They will be joined on their California vacation by the St. Lawrence Thunder girls’ U14 team in San Jose, and the St. Lawrence Thunder boys’ U14 team are headed to Charlotte, N.C., after winning the bantam Tier II state championship in Amherst.

The Ice Storm trailed 1-0 in the championship game, but a Shannon Casey marker with just over 3 minutes left in the third period gave the Potsdam team another appearance in the national tournament. They will play Maryland on April 3, Princeton on April 4 and Michigan on April 5.

Potsdam had advanced to the championship game with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over Brewster in the cross over game earlier on Sunday.

They downed the Buffalo Stars 5-0, Lysander 6-3 and Webster 8-0 in opening round play.

The St. Lawrence Thunder boys’ U14 team, the silver medalists in the national tournament last season, advanced with a double overtime win over the Rochester Grizzlies in Amherst.

The Thunder had advanced to the title game by downing Adirondack 3-0 in the semi-finals, revenge against the Northern Zone team that had had downed the Thunder in the championship of the sectional tournament.

The St. Lawrence Thunder, sponsored by Massena Minor Hockey, had breezed through the preliminary round. The blanked the Westchester Vipers 5-0, dropped Cheektowaga 5-2 and outscored the Auburn Ice Hawks 11-2.

The St. Lawrence Thunder girls’ U14 team rode a stingy defensive effort to a state crown, surendering just three goals in five games that featured a 1-0 shutout over the Hamburg Hawks in the state championship game, a rematch against A Buffalo-area tean they have defeated in opening round play. The Thunder had advanced to the title game by downing Troy Albany 4-1 in the semi-final contest Sunday.

The Thunder had opened round wins over the West Seneca Wings, 3-1; Suracuse Blazers, 1-0: and Hamburg Hawks 6-1 in a tournament played in Clinton.

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