Written by Matthew Levine, email@example.com Thursday, 15 May 2014 10:27
In his final Wood Stick Classic, Garden City senior Cody George made a lasting impression, netting a hat trick against his team’s Manhasset rivals.
The rivalry lived up to its billing as the Trojans held on for a 9-8 victory on Saturday afternoon in Garden City. Since 2000, the Trojans (11-2) have won 12 of the last 16 meetings between the teams.“The Wood Stick has always been one of my favorite games to play in. The intensity is just insane, so many people in the crowd and just to beat Manhasset made my senior year 10 times better,” said George, who pushed his goal total for the year to 24.
After trailing 7-3 at the half, the Indians (7-8) surged back led by junior Tyler Dunn, who scored two of his three goals after the interval.
“Coach [Bill Cherry] was pretty upset at the end of the half when we were losing 7-3 and he said ‘You guys have to step up, you have to start playing better’ and I took that to heart and really wanted to step up for the Manhasset program and the town,” said Dunn.
After Dunn’s goal with 6:13 remaining in the fourth cut the deficit to two, sophomore Matt Gavin picked up a rebound and fired past Trojans’ goaltender Dan Dolan with 4:50 left to make it a one goal affair.
Manhasset had a great look to tie the game as Dunn found space on the run, but the senior Dolan made the most crucial of his 11 saves on the day.
“We are looking for those shots on the run and if it is open coach says don’t be afraid to take it,” said Dunn. “Even in those situations you really want to make sure the defense is up and ready, but if they’re slacking you take one to the goal.”
The second quarter proved to be the tipping point in the Trojans’ favor. Garden City scored five times, capping off the half with two goals in quick succession. George netted with 15.9 seconds left on the clock and junior James Sullivan scored five seconds later. Sullivan won the face off and drove towards the cage, beating senior John Young.
George’s third goal of the game, with 6:52 on the clock in the third quarter helped the Trojans settle down. Freshman JP Bastile added his 15th of the season on the Extra Man Offense, the ninth and vital goal for the Trojans with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter after Indians senior Charlie Malhame made it 8-6.
“Goals will just come. I just try to make the right plays on offense,” said George. “I try to look for the ball, I try to create plays and if the ball gets to me and the net is wide open I’ll shoot it. Today, I found the net three times.”
The Trojans couldn’t quite find the same rhythm they did in the first half, particularly in the third quarter noted head coach Steve Finnell.
“We had some bad turnovers in the third quarter and some of our turnovers led to opportunities for them,” said Finnell. “We didn’t do what we did in the first half as well, too many forced and unforced turnovers on offense led to possessions for them.”
Despite the Indians record, Finnel and the coaching staff knew the game against a rival was always going to pose a challenge.
“This is what we expected, we told the kids it would be a one goal game or overtime,” said Finnel.
For Manhasset, who lost another one goal game, will have to pick themselves up after a deflating loss to the Trojans.
“This is a big loss, but we’ve been playing really well,” said Dunn. “In this game we stepped up big. A lot of people, a lot of fans were saying how we were just going to get blown out."