By KEVIN DEVLIN and LISA BALLARD
On Sunday, March 13, the South Boston Youth Hockey League Mite “A” team won the Mite South AAA Blue Valley League Hockey Championship title by defeating Needham in Haverhill, 5-4, in sudden death overtime. Southie made it into the championship tilt by defeating Lexington/Bedford, 8-4, in the semi-finals the day before. Lexington/Bedford was the division’s first place team.
Sunday’s championship game was a fight to the finish with both teams playing their best hockey. South Boston’s Ryan Alexander scored the first goal for South Boston in the first period but the local squad was down 3-1 going into the second period. Southie forward Harry Minucci scored two goals to tie the game up in the second period. Southie took the lead for the first time in the game with the fourth goal, scored by Michael Curry, but then Needham came right back and scored 30 seconds later, to tie it up again, 4-4. The game went into sudden death overtime. And with one minute and 35 seconds left on the game clock, Benjamin Dearden skated down ice with the puck and scored the winning goal.
It was a great effort by the entire team. Goalie Jackson Ballard had a number of key saves behind the solid defensive lines of Joseph DiBlasi, Dimitri Markos, James McFarland and Colin McQuade. The team’s offensive lines, Ryan Alexander, Rocco Blasi, Ryan Collins, Michael Curry, Benjamin Dearden, Samuel Flood, Kate Green, Logan LaBreck and Harry Minucci, played strong and battled until the end.
The coaches presented the players with their trophies after the victory. They agreed it was a great season and are proud of these kids. They felt that this team is what hockey is all about: dedication, unbelievable teamwork and determination.
It has indeed been quite a season for the South Boston Mite “A” team. They won the Mayor’s Cup Championship in January, beating out Dorchester 8-5 in the final game for the title, followed by this impressive victory.
“To see these kids improve week after week and battle all year was fun to watch,” said Coach Dave Ivaska. “The effort every single player gave during practice and skill’s sessions paid off.
“I am grateful to have been able to teach such a great group of athletes,” he added. “I also want to acknowledge the dedication of time and effort of Coaches Steve LaBreck, Chris Ballard, and Charlie DiBlasi. A win just seems so right.”