Mar 232014

IMG_4523A hat trick by Daniel Hand’s Ben Solin (25) broke a 4-4 tie in the CIAC Division II State Championship game against Amity on Friday night and earned the Tigers the 2014 Title.

Our Amity Spartans have played their hearts out this season and they were ready to give coach Gary Lindgren his third state championship win – the last one was in 2010.

Historically this season, the Spartans come into the third period strong and can really work some magic even with just a few seconds left on the clock, but that just wasn’t the case this week at Ingalls Rink.

Everyone wants to be the first to score, and in this game, Daniel Hand had that honor.

At 3:04 in the first period Solin, assisted by Dan Braumann (17) got the first goal past Amity’s goalkeeper Brian Mosher (30).

Solin raced down the ice and made a solo shot into the net at 6:29 and six minutes later at 12:31Dan Healey (20) scored on a power play assisted by Braumann and Solin.

With a first period score of 3-0, one might think that it was all over for the Spartans.

But wait! just 16 seconds into the second period Adam Shea (5), assisted by Dalton Luciani (28) got Amity onto the board.

At 3:45 Shea, assisted by Brett McNeil (8) and John Uscilla (15) narrowed the margin 3-2.

That proved too close for comfort for Daniel Hand, so less than a minute later at 4:39 Mike Belliueau (26) scored with an assist by Solin.

Amity kicked it into high gear with McNeil getting a goal on an assist by Ryan at 11:50 and with less than 30 seconds left in the period Kevin Ryan (9), assisted by Luciani and Uscillla tied the score 4-4.

The Tigers did not seem to tire and clawed their way back onto the ice in the final period. The Spartans came out with a vengeance working hard to break the tie, or at least bring the game into overtime.

It did look like it might go into OT but then Solin performed his hat trick off an assist from Jeff Rider. Giving Hand the lead and leaving Amity to either tie the game with 1 point or win it with 2. The Spartans tried hard but could not get the puck past Hand goalie Chase Briggs.

This was a heart-breaking conclusion to an amazing season for the Sprartans, but they knew going into it that one team was going to win and one was going to lose.

Sure it would have been awesome to bring home the title, but these boys should be proud of themselves for the way they conducted themselves on the ice during the game and afterward during the award ceremony, applauding for their opponents as they received their medals.

Orange Live and the fans thank you boys for an entertaining and very exciting season. Brian Mosher proved his worth as one of the best goalies out there and the three Irishmen, Shea, Ryan and McNeill never let the fans down. It was great seeing Keating Seymour back out there after recovering from a broken collarbone.

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