Out-Fox'ed: EW/Jericho bests Massapequa
As number one seed in the Michelino Division and the only undefeated team on Long Island, top-ranked East Williston/Jericho had to make a loud statement in the Michelino Finals.
Leave it to Adam and Andrew Fox to provide the boom.
The "defensive" combination of the brothers-Fox combined for three goals on the night as they helped lead the top-seeded Wildcats to a 4-1 victory over No. 3-seeded Massapequa in Game 1 of the Michelino Division Finals Monday night at Newbridge Arena.
"Defensive" is such a loose term for the Foxes. Although listed on the roster as defensemen, the Foxes could easily be mistaken as forwards.
"You can't put a value on them, especially when they play a disciplined game," said East Williston/Jericho coach Jon Turk. "No team can match up when you have defensemen that can put up that type of offense."
Adam Fox joked after the game that his brother Andrew can be fooled for the offensive Top 3.
"Some people say (Adam's) a forward, but we just like to help the team and help the offense," Adam said. "But we know defense comes first and that's the main thing. Our last two games we gave up one goal combined."
Defense may come first for the Foxes game, but it was the goals that poured in first Monday night.
Adam provided the opening salvo just 1:50 into the opening period as he fired a slap shot from the blue line past Chiefs' goaltender Dana DeMatino.
Andrew Fox doubled the lead in the second period on the power play off a pretty give-and-go with Matthew Bernot, that saw the defenseman sneak in from the blue and beat back-up goaltender Thomas Calcagno for the 2-0 advantage.
The Foxes offensive flair provides an added scoring force with defensive, lockdown presence, that not many teams in Nassau County, let alone the Island have.
"It adds such a dimension of offense to that attack, and you see it on the power play and when they're playing with our top line," Turk added. "When you need them to play defense, people can't get around them. When they're not yelling at each other, they're having a great time."
Adam added his second of the game with a little over three minutes left in the middle frame, as he jumped in from (guess where) the blue line for a loose puck during a delayed penalty and potted home the rebound for a 3-0 lead.
Matthew Bernot made it 4-0 in the opening minutes of the third period, while Gary Stocker ruined Graham Turk's shutout bid to give Masssapequa its only goal.
East Williston/Jericho will look to close out the Michelino series Tuesday night at Bethpage at 8:30 p.m., however Coach Turk still thinks his team can do more to stay undefeated.
"I think we have to be a little more disciplined and stay out of the box. I think we have to play tighter defensively," Turk said. "Graham made some really good saves when he had to, but they're a quick team, and when you give them an odd-man rush here or there, another night it's going to happen a little differently."
In Turk's case, he sure hopes for more of the same.