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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Thoughts and Saturday's Scoreboard

By: Luke Devoe

I'm not going to recap each game because, well, I'd be here for a while.  24 games in the books after yesterday.  I took in Branford and Hand last night at the NIP.  I left with a couple of observations.  Both goalies are stellar talents.  Hand netminder Chase Briggs tended to make the more flashy, dramatic saves but Branford goalie AJ Brink is as dependable as they come.  Branford certainly seems like a team better suited for a long playoff run.  Both teams have top flight talents, Hand with Ben Solin and Dan Braumann and Branford with the Tyler's, Hackett and Criscuolo.  However, Branford's complimentary guys like Tony Pascale, Jason Vitale and Pat Cunningham are much stronger than Hand's secondary players and allow for the Hornets to have a deeper roster capable of going the distance.  Hand is good but Solin and Braumann looked awfully tired last night chasing two goals, seemingly by themselves.  Branford wore down the Tigers with extended in zone stays and a stifling neutral zone presence which thwarted many Hand entries.  Both teams will earn a good seed in the D2 tourney but right now there seems to be some, small separation between the two.

-East Haven moves to 5-0 on the season.  Goalie Tom Delucia has been stellar in net.  The Yellow Jackets haven't really played anyone of any stature but they've positioned themselves well for a strong seed in the D1 tournament.

-Fairfield Prep proved why they are still to be considered very dangerous crushing Franklin (MA) 7-2 yesterday and defeating Mount St. Charles (RI) on their home ice 4-0 yesterday.  They leave the Mount's tournament with a respectable 2-1 record.  

-Tri-Town (3-0) and Housatonic-NW-Wamogo (4-0) are off to blistering starts.  Tri-Town's wins have been a little more impressive with two coming against D2 competition (Wilton and Fermi-Enfield) but, like East Haven, you have to win the games that are put in front of you and that's just what both of theses teams have done.

-West Haven is this week's Hamden.  A squad not many people thought a lot of that went out and impressed.  After a 1-1 opening week where the Westies beat a lowly Greenwich club and were handled easily by Ridgefield things didn't look good around Bennett.  But junior goalie Mike Savino, senior captain Alex Scranton rallied the troops and got the guys to "buy-in."  They trounced an overmatched South Windsor squad 4-0 and scored four unanswered goals to beat a highly regarded Notre Dame-Fairfield team 4-2 yesterday.  The Blue Devils are now (3-1) on the year and won't be an easy out this season.

-BBD is hurting.  The second year D2 squad is now (1-4) after starting the year against five out of state opponents, 3 at home and 2 on the road.  After winning their opener over Byram Hills (NY) 5-2, they've dropped four straight being outscored 28-7 against competition from New York, New Jersey and Maine.  It gets no easier now that they start CT competition with New Milford, North Haven, Daniel Hand and Amity calling.  This rebuilt IceCats roster could be in trouble.

-After an opening night loss, NDWH has won four straight, all in convincing fashion against quality opponents NDF, Simsbury, Xavier and Glastonbury.  The Knights seem to be gelling and captain Matt Dumas just keeps on scoring.  Watch out for them.

-North Haven has quickly emerged as the team to beat at the Division 2 level.  Their only loss was a close one goal defeat to D1's Simsbury.  They've beaten Amity, Branford and Fairfield and have one of the best goalies in the state in junior Andrew Graziano in net.  Captain Vin Fasulo, battling an injury sustained in the Simsbury loss, shrugged it off last week, didn't even consider missing time and was out there competing at a high level.  When asked, Fasulo summed it up simply, "The team is everything."  Talk about some Tribe Pride.

-Cheshire dropped to (1-3) with their heartbreaking 6-4 D2 WH Xmas Tournament final loss to Amity on Friday.  It would be an understatement to say they are the best under .500 team at the D2 level.  This team is dangerously close to looking like last year's team, a team that at the D1 level lost 11 one or two goal games.  The wins will come for the Rams but they have to be able to put games away.  They eagerly await the return of forward Ben Klanica (illness).

-Transfer sophomore defenseman Seamus O'Rourke has been cleared to play and will suit up for Notre Dame-Fairfield in the near future.

Scores via
12:00Wilton0-5East HavenDiLungo Rink
1:00South Windsor0-9St. JosephBennett Rink - West Haven
West Haven D1 Christmas Tournament
1:50Morris Knolls, NJ)10-1Brookfield/Bethel/DanburyDanbury Ice Arena
2:00Fairfield Prep4-0Mt. Saint CharlesAdelard
2:15Trumbull1-6Milford Co-opMilford Ice Pavilion
3:00Notre Dame,Ffld2-4West HavenBennett Rink - West Haven
West Haven D1 Christmas Tournament
3:00Housatonic/Northwestern/Wamogo5-2Eastern CT EaglesConnecticut College
3:20Sheehan5-3St. Bernard/Bacon/NFANorwich Ice Rink
3:30Yarmouth,ME3-4GuilfordEast Haven Ice Rink
3:50Fermi/Enfield/East Granby2-4Tri-TownEnfield Twin Rinks
4:00E.O. Smith/Tolland/Windham3-1WethersfieldNewington Arena
4:00New Canaan1-4DarienDarien Ice Rink
4:45Newington/Berlin/Manchester0-3Bow, NHWhittemore Center, UNH
5:00Ridgefield4-2XavierBennett Rink - West Haven
West Haven D1 Christmas Tournament
5:40Westhill4-0NewtownDanbury Ice Arena
6:00Woodstock Academy2-1Belchertown, MAMullins Center at UM-Amherst
6:00Stamford2-9Suffield/Granby/Windsor LocksEnfield Twin Rinks
6:10Northwest Catholic4-6SimsburyISCC
6:30Branford4-2Daniel HandNorthford Ice Pavilion
7:00Conard2-5Trinity CatholicTerry Connors Rink
7:00Glastonbury1-5Notre Dame,WHBennett Rink - West Haven
West Haven D1 Christmas Tournament
7:45Rocky Hill/RHAM/Middletown1-8Bolton/Coventry/Rockville/Lyman MemorialBolton Ice Palace
8:00Hall/Southington3-4Farmington Valley GeneralsAvon Old Farms
8:30Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe2-5North HavenNorthford Ice Pavilion

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