By Jean DePlacido
---- — The Miracle On Ice Youth Hockey Tournament at the Mike Eruzione Center in Winthrop was a very good one for the North Shore Ice Hawks, a team made up of players from several cities and towns in the local area.
Both the Bantam Green and Squirt Red Ice Hawks teams won championships last week in thrilling finals and took home trophies.
The Ice Hawk Bantams found themselves in the Division II title game against a tough Lynnfield/Saugus team that had beaten them five days earlier. The Hawks turned the tables the second time around, relying on strong defense.
Despite having only two forward lines the Ice Hawks came out aggressively, making several strong rushes. Callum Hunt of Hamilton put the Hawks on the board when he slammed home a rebound of a blast from the corner by defenseman Jack Gebhardt (also of Hamilton). Two minutes later Hunt made a nifty cross ice pass to Justin Nadeau of Danvers to put the Ice Hawks up, 2-0; less than a minute later defenseman Henry Smith of Hamilton sent winger Jackson Rice of Manchester in alone for a 3-0 advantage.
Lynnfield/Saugus answered right back, but Hawk goalies Elias Clark-Goldfeld of Hamilton and Will Davis of Essex turned aside many chances with strong support from Gebhardt, Smith, Dan Medeiros (Topsfield) and Mark Roselli (Hamilton).
Lynnfield/Saugus took a 4-3 lead midway through the third period, but the Ice Hawks pulled the goalie in the final minutes and took advantage of a power play situation to score the tying goal with 16 seconds left when Roselli fed Nadeau, who was in front of the net and slammed it home.
It took only 13 seconds in the sudden death overtime period for the Ice Hawks to win, 5-4, on a goal by Rice.
The forward lines of Hunt, Rice and Ryan Nagy of Peabody along with Nadeau, C. J. MacAskill (Saugus) and Ben Gibson (Essex) were outstanding in the victory.
Jack Smith was unable to play in the tournament because of an injury. The Bantams are coached by Scott Przybycien, and Theresa Hunt is the manager. Jody Davis and Pat Roselli helped coach the team in the finals.
The other championship for the Ice Hawks was won by the Squirt Red team over a speedy Medford squad that had beaten them by a goal four days earlier.
Once again, Medford took the lead with two quick strikes in the first six minutes. But Hawks defensemen Max Almeida of Wenham, Lucas Hunt of Hamilton, Kevin Murphy of Hamilton and Jeffrey Halllinan of Beverly broke up numerous scoring threats to keep Medford from scoring further. Then, with only second left in the first period, Hunt sent Hamilton’s Tyson D’Orio up the left wing, and he fired a sharp shot top shelf to cut Medford’s lead to 2-1.
D’Orio picked up his second goal of the game after taking a pass from Lynnfield’s Chris Sazo to tie it up. After Medford regained the lead, the Ice Hawks’ Rafi Santomenna of Hamilton buried a loose puck after a shot by D’Orio to knot it at 3-3, setting up a wild third period.
Hawks’ goalie and tourney MVP Isaac Tawyer of Danvers made several great saves, and Hunt scored the game-winner with defensemen Sazo and Aidan Donovan of Hamilton assisting. Hunt fired a shot between the goalie’s pads and the post to give his team the championship.
Jonathan Keefe of Ipswich played a key role for the winners with several nice rushes while Haden Hale of Gloucester, Donovan and Giovanni Recupero of Ipswich kept the pressure on the Medford goalie. The Ice Hawks coaches are Eric D’Orio and Mike Hale.