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The 12U Lions defeated the NY Cyclones 3-2 to earn a spot in the State Championship
Congratulations to two Nassau County Lions squads, the U12 team and U16 team, as both punched their respective tickets this past weekend and are headed to compete for the State Championship.
Competing as “outside challengers” for a spot in the States, both teams were backed by a boisterous crowd at Cantiague Park on Saturday, as Lions players and parents program-wide came down to support both home teams.
First up, it was the U16 team, led by Coaches Chris Hogan and Chris Braglia, who took on the Greater New York Stars in the Saturday morning matchup. In a hard-hitting and passionately-played game, it was the Lions who were victorious by a 4-2 score. The next day, the U16 Lions traveled to Abe Stark Sports Center in Coney Island for game two of the series, in need of just a tie to advance to States. Along with strong support from the bleachers, the Lions escaped with a 3-1 win over the Stars to advance to the States.
Saturday afternoon, it was time for the U12 Nassau Lions, led by Coaches Pat Braglia, George Barrett and John Keene, to take a shot at the States. Again, the Lions family came out in full-force to support the home team at Cantiague as the Lions faced the tough New York Cyclones who entered the game with a 40-6-2 overall record on the season. The Lions played to a 4-4 tie Saturday, setting up Sunday’s must-win matchup at Sky Rink at the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex in New York City. The Cyclones, undefeated on home ice all season, took a 1-0 lead, but could not hold off the Lions, who pulled ahead to take a 3-1 lead. The Lions held off a late goal from the Cyclones to cut the lead to just one, but held on for the 3-2 victory and land their spot at the State Championship in the 12U Division.
Up next for both teams are seeding games, both set to be held this weekend on Long Island. Come down and support the Lions at either or both of these games as each will determine whether or not the Lions will be the top or second seeded team at States. This weekend’s schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Feb. 23 Nassau U16 Lions vs. LI Rebels at Dix Hills Ice Rink in Dix Hills, N.Y. at 10:10 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 23 Nassau U12 Lions vs. LI Rebels at Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park, N.Y. at 4:15 p.m.
The 16U Nassau Lions were victorious over the Greater New York Stars to earn a spot at the State Championship
The U12 Lions pile on goaltender Joey Braglia after their win at Chelsea Piers sent them to States
U16 Lions players pour off the bench at Abe Stark to celebrate the 3-1 win that sent the team to States
The U9 Lions were an OT winner in the finals of their bracket at the Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament
Eight of the Nassau County Lions travel program teams traveled up to the Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament 2020 on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, and many broke out of their respective brackets, taking home trophies to add to the collection at Cantiague Park.
Capturing championships in their respective divisions, the Mite White, U9, U10 and U13 Lions faced a number of teams from across the nation, some from as far as Cleveland, en route to raising their trophies.
Many of the families attending also took the opportunity to head north over the Canadian border to visit the National Hockey League Hall of Fame, as the Lions players soaked in the interactive experience of the Hall of Fame and took photos with the Stanley Cup, while others dined at the famed Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing.
Alex and Stephen Cowan visit the Hall of Fame in Toronto
The U10 Lions celebrate their victory in the finals of the Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament
Lions Mite Red players Jacob Cheung, DJ Mayo and Nicholas Wang visit Niagara Falls
The U8 Mite White Lions show off the championship medals captured at the 2020 Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament
The Gould Family take a pic with Lord Stanley at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
The U9 Lions skate around with their championship plaque after capturing the 2020 Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament Championship
The U13 Lions were crowned champions of the Niagara Falls Blizzard Challenge Tournament in their division
Nassau County Hockey will be offering its logo apparel via online provider Squad Locker. All orders can be submitted online, using one of two Nassau County Hockey logos, the traditional Lion logo or special apparel commemorating the 50th anniversary of Nassau County Hockey. Click either logo below to begin your Squad Locker experience.