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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday's On-Site Recap

By: Luke Devoe

#6 Ridgefield 5, #5 Hamden 1
Captain Vin Rella added a goal of his own Wed.
Hamden continued their strand of FCIAC opponents with last year's league champion on Wednesday at the Lou.  Ridgefield came calling and when the final whistle blew, left the, at times, loud arena silent.  The Tigers capitalized on some spotty Hamden defense and a goalie off his game.  The Tigers would head into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead and the confidence that they thoroughly outplayed Hamden in the first.  Andrew DeLalla would score his first goal of the season on a rebound to give the Tigers their first lead and eventual game winner and sophomore Alexander Rowella would score the second on a semi-breakaway, five holing Hamden net minder Matt Hoff.  Rowella would impress throughout the game and really stood out for the Tigers.  Hamden was the beneficiary of eight power plays in this one, converting on none.  The Tigers would capitalize on their power play chances and early in the second they did just that when Hoff left a big, ole fat rebound that senior Chris Morrow would dispose of easily giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead early in the second.  Hamden would then get their lone goal just over a minute later when sophomore defenseman Stephen Pantera would release a blast from the point just under the crossbar beating Ridgefield goalie Dusty Rausa.  It would be Hamden's only goal.  Tigers' captain Vin Rella would score on a nice feed from defenseman Ian Ball and Rowella would add his second with an empty netter late.  The game would slow to a halt in the final three minutes as frustration penalties were abundant.  Plain and simple Hamden got beat down in their own barn.  This one was never really close and while I haven't been high on Ridgefield early this year, they've certainly elevated themselves from the Hamdens of the high school hockey world.  The Green Dragons have a lot of solid hockey players, kids that play hard and get fans out of their seats because of their unexpected production.  Hamden needs a few guys to step up and have it not be as unexpected when they produce.  Ridgefield doesn't have a kid like Sean Wilkinson like they did during their miraculous run last year but they have a collective, players that seem to mix well and while at times faceless and interchangeable, they do their job.  These two teams should be way more even than a 5-1 final.  Rausa outplayed Hoff last night, but it's hard to put it all on Hoff where on at least three shorthanded occasions his defensemen failed to get back into the Hamden zone resulting in one on nones that Hoff dealt with on his own.  The Green Dragons have talent.  Obviously sophomore Tyler Carangelo has big expectations placed on him and while I question his play at times, it's unfair to put the hopes of a big hockey town on one kid.  There has to be some other guys stepping up in order for Hamden to be successful.  As for Ridgefield, they just need to keep doing what they do.  Win games ugly, win games with grit and rely on a surprisingly stout senior goaltender who was excellent last evening.  Everyone knew this season wouldn't be as much of a cakewalk as last year, well, for at least one night, they made it look like it was.

PLAYERS WHO STOOD OUT 12/19Dusty Rausa, G, Ridgefield (31 saves, 1 GA, dependable and big when he needed to be in rout of Hamden); Alexander Rowella, F, Ridgefield (2 G, 1 A, Tigers best skater and all around player on Wednesday); Chase Briggs, G, Hand (39 saves in Hand's 3-1 win over Fairfield Co-op); Billy Vizzo, F, NDWH (2 G, 1 A in 5-2 win over Simsbury); Dylan Podbielski, F, North Branford (5 G, including a first period hat trick, quickly become one of D2's best); Mike Falanga, F, East Haven (2 G, 1 A in East Haven's 5-3 win over Trumbull); Avery Clair, F, Glastonbury (Hat trick, 1 A, dominant on the biggest of stages in win over St. Joe's); Ryan Garwicki, F, Staples-Weston-Shelton (5 G in SWS 6-0 win over Masuk); Chris Koenneke, G, New Canaan 39 saves, SHO in New Canaan's 0-0 tie with Darien); Chris Gionfriddo, F, South Windsor (2 G 43 seconds apart led Bobcats to 5-1 win over Fermi-Enfield)

Wednesday's Scores
#1 Notre Dame-West Haven 5, #8 Simsbury 2
#3 Darien 0, New Canaan 0 OT
#4 Xavier 3, Cheshire 1
#6 Ridgefield 5, #5 Hamden 1
Glastonbury 5, #7 St. Joseph 3
#9 East Haven 5, Trumbull 3
South Windsor 5, Fermi-Enfield 1
West Haven 4, Trinity Catholic 2

D2 & D3
Daniel Hand 3, Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe 1
St. Bernard-Bacon-NFA 4, Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks 3
Staples-Weston-Shelton 6, Masuk 0
Branford 8, Stamford 2
Sheehan 3, Joel Barlow 2
Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug 7, Fitch-East Lyme-Ledyard 1
Hall-Southington 5, E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham 4 OT
North Branford 11, Lyman Hall-HK 4
Wethersfield 5, Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middletown 1
East Longmeadow (MA) 4, Windsor-Farmington-Avon 3
Newtown 4, Wilton 2
Watertown-Pomperaug 6, Immaculate-New Fairfield 1

Amity @ North Haven 4:00
#2 Fairfield Prep @ #10 Notre Dame-Fairfield 6:00

D2 & D3
Bolton-Coventry-Rockville @ Tri-Town 4:20
Immaculate-New Fairfield @ Norwalk-McMahon 8:00
Conard @ Guilford 8:00

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