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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday's Recap

By: Luke Devoe

PLAYERS WHO STOOD OUT 12/12: Christian La Croix, F, ND-Fairfield (2 G, 1 A in ND-Fairfield's overtime loss to Darien; Vinny Genoreli, F, East Catholic (Hat trick in East Catholic's 7-1 win over North Branford); Austin Hansen, F, West Haven (WH's rock, Hansen  had 2 G, 1 A in the Westies WH Holiday quarterfinal 3-2 win over Cheshire); Luiz Dibble, G, Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (26 saves, 1 GA in BBD's 2-1 OT win over Amity); Brendan Hathaway, F, Darien (Hat trick, 1 A in Darien's 5-4 OT win over NDF); Tyler Carangelo, F, Hamden (2 G, 1 A in Hamden's 4-1 victory over St. John's-Shrewsbury); Matt Longobardi, F, East Haven (Another monster game, Hat trick, 2 A in East Haven's 6-0 win over Westhill); Kyle Thibault, F, ND-West Haven (Quickly emerging as a MVP for the Knights, 2 G in NDWH's 3-1 win over Ridgefield); Karl Anderson, F, North Haven (2 G, 1 A in North Haven's 5-2 win over Guilford); Zach White, F, Milford Co-op (Factored in on all five Milford goals in 5-0 win over Wilton, 2 G 3 A); Eddie Bates, F, Bolton-Coventry-Rockville (2 G, 2 A in BCR's 6-1 win over Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middletown); Zac Bouve, G, East Haven (19 saves in 3rd career SHO in Easties 6-0 win over Westhill).

NDWH's Kyle Thibault against Westies last year at Bennett.
Could we see an all-West Haven final in this year's tourney?
My Reaction: Due to a rather serious family issue, I was unable to be at any rinks yesterday.  My plan was to head to Bennett, but I will be there on Thursday and Saturday.  It does appear, at least right now, that Fairfield Prep is those most imposing team in the state.  Notre Dame-West Haven keeps winning games and until they are unseated they will stay atop our rankings.  In a battle of probably the weakest two teams in the WH Holiday tourney, the Westies turned back a late Cheshire comeback.  Xavier dominated St. Joseph and showed that they may have some staying power this year.  In the day's best matchup Notre Dame-West Haven, again, found a way to win, topping a pesky Ridgefield squad 3-1 and Glastonbury showed that they're still viable dismantling rival South Windsor 7-1.  While many are claiming that NDWH is not as good as their (4-0-0) would indicate, they just keep winning.  Kyle Thibault has emerged as a legitimate high end talent taking some pressure off the Vizzo-Zullo duo.  Xavier doesn't seem to have any standout, all staters on their squad but they certainly can turn over their lines without much trouble.  Thursday's semifinals feature a matchup of two teams who on paper are far apart.  West Haven is just getting by while Xavier is finally looking like the type of team everyone expects them to be every year.  In the other semi we see a rematch of last year's D1 title game with Notre Dame-West Haven taking on a Glastonbury squad trying to still find an identity without the stud power of Mozzer and Holdaway.  They are realizing this is going to be a group effort this year.  Chase Gabor is fine in net and is not a problem area and it appears forward Avery Clair will not be relied on to provide all the offense.  Saturday was a good example of this.  Six different Tomahawks scored including Tommy Caporal, Pat Conley (2) and Will Lindlauf scoring their first career goals.  This is a good sign moving forward for them.  Outside of Bennett rink on the D1 slate, Hamden shrugged off a beat down at the hands of Ridgefield and laid a beat down of their own on Mass power St. John's Shrewsbury, beating them 4-1.  Senior goalie Matt Hoff was one second away from a shutout in that one.  In the day's best game the Darien Blue Wave allowed three third period Notre Dame-Fairfield goals and ended up needing Brendan Hathaway's hat trick goal in the extra period to avoid the upset and defeat the Lancers 5-4.  ND-Fairfield were a five minute major away from playing quite competitively with Prep and were assessed another five minuter in this one.  If they could limit those mistakes they have plenty of fun players to watch including junior Christian La Croix and sophomore Jon Suporn.  The goaltending matchup in this one was way more entertaining than a 5-4 score would indicate.  In the loss Stone Denbok turned aside 35 for the Lancers continuing his stellar play and in victory Blue Wave netminder Mike Collins turned away 39.  East Haven moved to (4-0-0) as well after a 6-0 victory over Westhill.  Yes, their schedule is soft to start but they aren't exactly winning these games close.  Matt Longobardi is on fire with another huge game (five points).  Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury moved to (3-0-0) on the D2 front in their first year at that level with a 2-1 overtime win over Amity, a team many had penciled into the D2 final.  BBD, a tough out at the D3 level last year are as good as you can get at the D2 level.  East Catholic also moved to (3-0-0) but after two one goal wins, finally shellacked an opponent beating North Branford 7-1.  A surprising final out of D2 has to be Branford losing 7-3 to Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe.  Taking nothing away from the co-op as they will have a fine year, but I expected a lot out of Branford this year, even a trampoline year to give them a shot at D1.  That said, they are still (2-1-0) and should be in it to win it.  Newington-Berlin moved to (3-0-0), we know they're good.  The D3 team that interests me is Bolton-Coventry-Rockville who's moved to (3-0-0) and is outscoring their opponents 13-2 through the three games and boasts senior netminder Cam Earle, one of state's little known talents.  As of right now nine winless teams (min 2 games).  Cheshire is (0-4-0) at the D1 level.  Trumbull (0-3-0), Tri-Town (0-4-0), Stamford (0-4-0), Trinity Catholic (0-4-0), Westhill (0-2-1) are winless at the D2 level with Fitch-East Lyme-Ledyard (0-4-0), Joel Barlow (0-2-0) and Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middletown (0-3-0) winless at the D3 level.  On the positive side there are 11 undefeated teams (min 2 games).  At the D1 level they are NDWH (4-0-0), Darien (3-0-1), East Haven (4-0-0), and Fairfield Prep (3-0-0).  In the D2 ranks they are East Catholic (3-0-0), Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (3-0-0), Northwest Catholic (2-0-0), and Watertown-Pomperaug (2-0-0).  Finally D3 has three undefeateds, Newington-Berlin (3-0-0), Hall-Southington (3-0-0) and the aforementioned Bolton-Coventry-Rockville (3-0-0).  This week I will be at Bennett Thursday for the continuation of the West Haven Holiday Tournament where in the consolation round, Cheshire will take on St. Joseph and Ridgefield will face South Windsor.  In semifinal number one West Haven takes on Xavier and in the other semi NDWH faces Glastonbury.  On Friday, I will be heading to Ingalls Rink in New Haven to see Guilford host Yarmouth (ME) and on Saturday, I'll be back at Bennett for the final day of the WH Tourney!  Check back on Monday for our Elite 8 Predictions, Tuesday for our D1 Player of the Week and Wednesday for our Top 10!

Saturday's Scores
West Haven Holiday Tournament
West Haven 3, Cheshire 2
#4 Xavier 4, #7 St. Joseph 1
#1 ND-West Haven 3, #6 Ridgefield 1
Glastonbury 7, South Windsor 1
New Canaan 4, Greenwich 2
East Haven 6, Westhill 0
Hamden 4, St. John's-Shrewsbury (MA) 1
North Haven 5, Guilford 2
Darien 5, ND-Fairfield 4 OT

D2 & D3
Conard 2, Trinity Catholic 1 OT
Milford Co-op 5, Wilton 0
Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury 2, Amity 1 OT
E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham 4, Immaculate-New Fairfield 2
Northwest Catholic 4, Windsor-Farmington-Avon 1
Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo 6, Norwalk-McMahon 1
Fermi-Enfield 6, Tri-Town 5 OT
Lyman Hall-HK 5, Joel Barlow 1
Newington-Berlin 3, St. Bernard-Bacon-NFA 2
Newtown 4, Trumbull 2
Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe 7, Branford 3
Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks 2, Stamford 0
East Catholic 7, North Branford 1
Staples-Weston-Shelton 10, Fitch-East Lyme-Ledyard 2
Bolton-Coventry-Rockville 6, Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middletown 1
Hall-Southington 3, Wethersfield 2

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