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Heavy-hearted Mellynchuk leads Sayville to B title

Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 by Newsday Sports

Heavy-hearted Mellynchuk leads Sayville to B title

Dan Mellynchuk played with a heavy heart and a mighty stick Tuesday night.

The Sayville junior midfielder, whose father, Scott - the team's assistant coach - was in South Carolina making funeral arrangements for his grandmother who died Sunday, scored two crucial fourth-quarter goals. The first one tied the score at 7 and the second gave the Golden Flashes a lead they doggedly held onto for a thrilling 12-10 victory over Garden City in the Long Island Class B boys lacrosse final / state Southeast Regional championship game at Stony Brook University.

"Absolutely, it was on my mind," Mellynchuk said. "She was real sick, but it was still upsetting. Especially for my dad. They were very close. It had a big impact on me. Not having my Dad on the sidelines was tough."

Not having their coach, Christian Doller, was tough, too. Doller was ejected for something he said to an official after drawing two flags with 3:41 remaining in the second quarter. He was ordered to leave LaValle Stadium and could not join his team for the on-the-field celebration. The ejection also means that Doller will not be able to coach Sayville in Thursday's state semifinal game against Niskayuna (Section II, 23-0) at Middletown.

Garden City was winning 5-3 at the time of Doller's episode, but the Golden Flashes killed off a non-releasable three-minute penalty that Doller incurred and that may have been a turning point.

After Mellynchuk scored unassisted with 8:31 left for an 8-7 lead, teammate Doug Meehan found the net with a spectacular, falling-down rocket. Meehan also converted on a bouncer with 2:30 left for an insurance goal that made it 11-8. He clinched it with his third of the quarter and fourth of the night with 19.3 left after Will Fuller (two goals) and Mike Lind scored to cut it to 11-10 with 1:26 left.

Sayville, in winning its first L.I. championship in its ninth season of boys lacrosse, improved to 15-5. Garden City, in its 75th season playing the sport, finished 16-4 and was led by Tom Gordon's three goals.

"This was about much more than a game," said Meehan, who scored four goals for a second straight game. "Our coach got kicked out on a questionable call. We found out about Danny's grandmother [on Monday]. And he comes up big. We all did. There was so much to overcome and we did it. We wanted this so bad. This is special for the lacrosse program and the entire community."

L.I. CHAMPIONSHIP / SOUTHEAST REG. FINAL

Class B - at Stony Brook University

Sayville 1 2 4 5 - 12

Garden City 4 1 2 3 - 10

Goals - S: Meehan 4, Boos 2, Wallace 2, Mellynchuk 2, Podgurski, Bonacore; GC: Gordon 3, Chiodo 2, Fuller 2, Montgomery, Berkery, Lind; Saves - S: Kaminski 8; GC: Engelke 3.

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