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New Rochelle Stopped Short of Section 1 Final

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Each time New Rochelle scored, Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville had a rebuttal in a Section 1 Division I ice hockey championship semifinal, Thursday. However, once the second-seeded Eagles took the lead, they continued to add to it without an answer from the third seed.

Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville scored four consecutive goals in a 5-3 win over New Rochelle at the Ice Hutch.

The Eagles, winners of 12 straight, advance to the Section 1 Division I title game, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. at the Holleder Center at West Point. This is the first championship game for the Eagles (19-3). They will play top-seeded and two-time defending champion Suffern. The Mounties blanked No. 4 Mamaroneck, 3-0, in their semifinal.The finalists played once during the regular season, Jan. 10, with Suffern prevailing, 8-0. That was the Eagles’ last loss. Suffern enters the final with three consecutive shutouts.

“It feels amazing, especially being a senior,” said Eagles’ senior Mark Luciano of playing for the title. “The atmosphere playing at West Point is going to be exciting.”Luciano had two goals and an assist and classmate Ian Palfrey added a goal, his 39th of the season, and an assist.

“The feeling is unbelievable, especially where we came from three years ago,” McNamara said. “New Rochelle knocked us out two years in-a-row.”

After Brett Barry, who had a hat trick, gave New Rochelle a 2-1 lead 36 seconds into the second period, the Eagles stormed back with three goals in a span of 5:10.

Palfrey evened the score at 4:04 on a feed from Chris Hagen, who forced a turnover. Senior Joe Blute gave the Eagles the lead for good 73 seconds later. McNamara gathered the puck at the point, eased to his left and put on pass on the far post, where Blute deflected the puck in.

“When you are around the net, James is always going to find you with a pass,” Luciano said.

Luciano increased the lead to three, 4-1, with his second of the game at 9:14.

Senior goalie Lucas Berger was the unsung hero of the second period for the Eagles. After the Barry score, Berger made 13 saves, including many from point-blank range. Overall, he finished with 30 saves.

“The last seven, eight games, Lucas has been playing phenomenally,” McNamara said. “He was making all of the first saves and he allowed us to stay in the game.”

New Rochelle senior defenseman Nick Sioufas has two assists and goalie Greg Feliu made 42 saves.

New Rochelle 1 1 1 -- 3ETB 1 3 1 -- 5

Goals -- NR: Brett Barry 3; ETB: Mark Luciano 2, Ian Palfrey, Joe Blute, Chris Hagen. Assists -- NR: Nick Sioufas 2, Kenny McLean; ETB: Mark Luciano, Frankie Sherding, Ian Palfrey, James McNamara, Chris Hagen, Angus McLean. Saves -- NR: Greg Feliu 42; ETB: Lucas Berger 30.

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