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Ice champs

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Here is one tie these hockey players didn’t mind getting.

When they defeated Ithaca High School 4-1 Sunday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Massena Red Raiders won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Division I state hockey championship. And as if that wasn’t enough, they matched Salmon River High School’s record of winning the most state hockey titles at six each.

Their loss last year in the Division I semifinals left the Red Raiders feeling like they had unfinished business. They took care of business Sunday by taking home another crown and putting themselves in the record book.

“Last year, for us to make it here and lose the way we did in the semifinals was heartbreaking,” senior captain Tyler Young said in a Monday story in the Watertown Daily Times. “But we had a lot of guys coming back, and that loss made us more hungry for this year. This is just unbelievable.”

“Our team was all about bonding this year,” said senior goalie Connor Paquin, who made 16 saves in the game. “We’ve been a family throughout the entire season. That’s what got us here, and that’s what got us a state championship.”

The Red Raiders finished the 2013-14 season with a 19-5-1 record. This is their first state title since 2008.

Mr. Young, who helped set up two goals in the game, was named the 2013-14 NYSPHSAA Division I Hockey Player of the Year. Patrick Manning, a sophomore who scored two goals and had an assist, was named the Division I tournament MVP. The other goals in the title game were scored by junior Dylan Stone and senior Ryan Thomas.

These young men have bright futures ahead of them as hockey players, students and citizens. They will undoubtedly accomplish many extraordinary things in their lives.

And we will always be proud to have witnessed this moment in history. Congratulations to all the players, coach Mike Trimboli, his assistants and everyone at Massena Central High School for making this state hockey championship possible.

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