It was another quality Saturday for CT High School Hockey. Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven battled it out in an epic tilt, four teams emerged with unblemished records, some struggling squads continued their downtrodden ways while some showed glimmers of hope. Here's a quick snapshot of some of yesterday's action.
- Branford moved to (5-1) on the season with a 4-3 win over Milford Co-op who drops to a disappointing (1-3-1). The Hornets carried a commanding 3-0 led on goals from Tyler Criscuolo and two from Jason Vitale when Will Vitelli gave the Indians some life, scoring with one second left in the second frame. On a third period Tony Pascale goal, the Hornets were able to hold on. Milford really needed this one not only to help record-wise but also in terms of morale. A comeback win against a dynamite Branford team would've been huge. Instead, they are left with one win in five tries and searching for answers.
|NDWH's Wade Conlan stopped 38 shots in a 4-4 tie vs. Prep|
|Shown here against Prep, Hamden's Sam Carignan potted the game winner last night vs. St. Joseph.|
- Both Tri-Town and Housatonic-NW-Wamogo dropped their first games of the year. These early season D3 darlings ran into trouble against fellow D3 opponents. Hall-Southington was able to win a defensive battle against Tri-Town ultimately toppling the previously undefeated co-op 2-1 on goals from seniors Cody Backus and Kevin Cop. Housy fell to Sheehan 5-3. Titan forward Mike Cerrotti led the charge with two goals and an assist while goalie Carly Femniak was stellar in net stopping 24. This was expected. I don't think anyone had these two at the top of their D3 rankings at the beginning of the season so no one expected them to run the table. Both will qualify for the D3 tourney and can do some damage but for now they may have been the beneficiaries of a light early season schedule. This is more so the case with Housy as Tri-Town has already notched two wins over D2 squads. Housy is back at it in a winnable game against Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug next time out while Tri-Town has a daunting task in Newtown.
- East Haven is now 7-0. They landed at this mark by defeating rival West Haven 6-2 on Saturday. Matt Longobardi notched a hat trick, junior Mike Falanga added two goals and an assist and senior Tom Delucia turned aside 26 of 28. This is the Easties second win over a D1 team and their first against a team ranked in the CTHSHockey D1 Top 10. Folks, while I still hold firm in the belief that East Haven does not have the horses to win a D1 state title, I do believe this is the best East Haven team the state has seen in quite some time. Falanga would be elite on any team he played on while Longobardi and senior Tristan Goodwin are the perfect complement to his on ice exploits. Monitor the Easties closely. They will likely be 8-0 heading into a pivotal matchup with NDWH next Saturday. I will be picking the Knights in that game but wouldn't be surprised at all if these Yellow Jackets figure out a way to sneak out the win.
- The ND Fairfield Lancers won a very important game over a quality New Canaan foe. An AJ Lucatino overtime tally was the difference in this one as the Lancers won 3-2. Both teams have shown they can be very good. New Canaan's three losses (Hamden, Darien, NDF) are nothing to laugh at and both teams should be in it at the end. With the win, the Lancers now have some certain momentum to carry into their huge Thursday night game at Webster Bank Arena with Fairfield Prep. They have the pieces to win that game, it's all about how Head Coach Steve Hetherman chooses to use them.
- D2 power East Catholic topped D1's Glastonbury 4-2 yesterday at Champions, a score I accurately predicted. This isn't a knock on the Tomahawks who are likely to hang around the middle of a strong D1 pack. This is more a pat on the back for East Catholic, a team who's only a year removed from losing in the D2 state championship. They have all the pieces, a cast of talented forwards led by Alex Manner who notched a hat trick Saturday, a strong D core and an excellent goalie in Thomas Usseglio. Things don't get any easier for the Eagles, a team who plays the most challenging D2 schedule in the state, with South Windsor, NW Catholic, and Simsbury coming up over the course of their next four games.
- Guilford is a tough team to read. They now sit at a troubling (1-4) but just a few days ago it seemed they started to figure it out with a big win over a quality Yarmouth (ME) team. Well, forget all those good feelings. Yesterday's loss to D3's Stamford, a team who plays a very tough schedule but is prone to giving up a lot of goals, is tough to swallow for the Indians' faithful. We knew this would be a rebuilding year but Guilford could be in trouble with a desperate Milford club coming followed by undefeated East Haven.
- South Windsor notched their first win 1-0 over a tough Northwest Catholic squad. Sophomore goalie Scott Skenyon gave the Bobcats some hope posting a 28 save shutout and a goale from senior Connor Minguy was enough to hold up in this one. NWC will be okay, however. We knew they would take their licks at the D1 level. Is this a game they should've had? Probably. But I think they'll be okay under experienced coach Melanson.
- In a huge rivalry game BCR showed they belong with their first quality win of the year, toppling hated rival Newington-Berlin 2-1 on a Bruce Smith overtime tally. The Twitter world was abuzz yesterday with a ton of chest puffed out in anticipation of this one. In the end BCR gets the last laugh. The two meet again and it will undoubtedly be a thriller.
- Xavier is probably glad they won't see the Ridgefield Tigers again any time soon. A week after the Tigers beat the Falcons 4-2 in a consolation game of the WH Xmas Tournament, they did it again, beating Xavier 4-0 this time. Patrick Sheehan-Delany stopped all 23 shots he faced while Callan McCormick potted two in the victory to move Ridgefield to (3-2) on the year. The Falcons fall to (2-3), 2-1 when not facing the Ridgefield Tigers.
|Trinity Catholic looks to be celebrating a lot this season.|
- New Milford (4-1) looks like a revitalized squad after a 2-1 loss to Hand. They drubbed a down and out BBD (1-5) 7-1 yesterday thanks to multi-point games from Steven Berry (2 G, 1 A), Cole Case (3 A), Logan Doud (3 A) and Blaine McMahon (2 G). Not to be lost in the blow out shuffle was the performance of Nick Capriglione in net. The senior stopped 28 of 29 IceCat shots.
- Newtown improved to (3-1-1) with a 4-0 win of D2's Watertown-Pomperaug (0-4). Senior Jonathan Lovorn potted two goals and assisted on another. He now has five goals through two games since joining the Nighthawks and could easily be approaching top D3 player territory. Senior Patrick McLoughlin stopped all 22 shots he faced.
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