By Jano Tantongco
The Kings Park Commack Ice Hockey Club captured its first-ever state championship in the New York State Amateur Hockey Association high school tournament late last month, securing a spot in the upcoming national championships.
Facing off against East Islip for the state title, Kings Park-Commack came away with the 12-3 win.
“I’m going to be honest, before the tournament even started we did not think we would get as far as we did. Just to be in the championship game was so surreal,” Zach James, a senior forward, of Commack, said.
He shouted out fellow seniors, goaltender Colin Tinschert, forward Charles Sikorski and forward Rocco DiConstanzo, for putting their all into the games.
“We have been playing for four years. We’ve been striving to get this for our entire four years, and it’s been hard,” James said. “We gave our entire heart to the whole game, and we came out on top. Honestly, it was the best feeling in the world to win.
“Our coach told us that, from the beginning of the season, he had a mission: that was to get a state championship, and we delivered.”
Head Coach Steven Dorf said the “boys really stepped” up and took their skills on the ice to a different level.
In the final game, Dorf said the team kept up the pace with an early 3-0 lead. By the third period, East Islip managed to keep up, with Kings Park-Commack leading 5-3.
Then, with the introduction of forward Matt Minerva and DiConstanzo onto the ice, they added a spark to the team that quickly proved unstoppable as they broke through.
“They outdid themselves. It was unbelievable,” Dorf said.
Dorf also highlighted junior Luke Desilva, who scored a hattrick in the semifinal match against Ward Melville, which Kings Park-Commack won 5-0. He added sophomore Jacob Kravatz, who stepped up the defense “big time.”
The head coach also said sophomore Nick Ceccarini was “quietly” had a hand in many goals, while defenseman Ryan Trodden, had an “unbelievable weekend.”
Kings Park-Commack will host a banner raising on March 24, 4:30 p.m. at Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park.
The team will compete in the USA Hockey National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 30-April 3.