GHS girls hockey team upends Wilton

February 10, 2018

Wilton/Brien McMahon/Norwalk struck first in Thursday’s girls hockey game against Greenwich High, but the Cardinals weren’t about to let the Warriors put a damper on their Senior Night.

Greenwich responded in impressive fashion, scoring six unanswered goals en route to making it a happy Senior Night at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.

Senior forward Riley Ellsworth registered two goals and one assist, while sophomore forward Emma Wingrove tallied twice to help lead Greenwich to a decisive 7-2 victory over Wilton/McMahon/Norwalk in an FCIAC game.

The Cardinals’ record stands at 14-2-1 following the win. They are 11-1-1 in FCIAC play, heading into Monday’s showdown against rival New Canaan at Darien Ice Rink. The Rams are 10-1 in conference play, so first place is at stake in Monday’s 8 p.m. matchup.

“Every time we play New Canaan it is always an exciting game,” GHS senior defender Jennie Piotrzkowski said. “They are a great team and they are always great competition for us. It’s good that we have teams like that in the FCIAC to prepare us for the postseason.”

Piotrzkowski, Ellsworth and goalie Jessie Aselin were the three seniors honored during a special ceremony prior to Thursday night’s game. Ellsworth is in her fourth season as a forward for the Cardinals. An All-FCIAC and All-State team selection, Ellsworth will continue her hockey career at Nazareth College next season.

“Having been here for three other Senior Nights and helping out at most of them, it’s fun that it’s our time now,” Ellsworth said.

Also a member of the Cardinals for four seasons, Aselin was recognized as the team’s MVP her sophomore year. Like Ellsworth, she began playing ice hockey as a 5-year-old.

“I remember being a freshman looking at this day as so far away, so I am surprised with how fast it came,” Aselin said.

Just like Ellsworth and Aselin, Piotrzkowski was on the Cardinals’ squad that captured its first FCIAC championship last season and is a four-year varsity player. She earned First Team All-State and All-FCIAC honors her sophomore and junior seasons.

“Just being out there on Senior Night was really a great feeling,” Piotrzkowski said. “At the same time it was bittersweet, because kind of realized this is our last year with the girls.”

The Warriors (4-11) came out strong in Thursday’s game. Sophomore forward Meghan Lane gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead when she got loose on a breakaway and went top shelf with a snap shot between the circles with 11:35 remaining in the first period. Junior forward Alyssa Laychak, help set up the goal, passing the puck up the ice to Lane.

Greenwich knotted the score on Wingrove’s unassisted tally at the 5:10 mark of the opening period. Sophomore defender Emily Bello gave GHS the lead for good with 2:11 to go in the first period, putting a one-timer past Wilton/Norwalk/McMahon goalie Kayla Cohen. Jennifer Kelly, a junior forward, assisted on Bello’s goal.

“It wasn’t our best start, but once we got into our groove, we were able to get going,” GHS coach Alex Lerchen said. “It was good to see us rebound.”

Said Ellsworth: “We got off to a slower start than we wanted to, with all the pregame festivities and stuff. But after the first couple of shifts, we definitely had a lot more focus and we did what we came here to do. We played the game we know how to play.”

Going top shelf with a shot between the circles, Kelly put Greenwich on top, 3-1, with just nine seconds remaining in the first period. The home team outshot the Warriors, 15-2, during the opening period and continued to generate a lot of shots in the second period.

The Cards held a 15-2 shots-on-goal advantage during the second period and extended its lead to 6-1. Wingrove tallied again, with junior Grace Fahey assisting on her goal, junior forward Hayley Duffy and Ellsworth each added second-period goals for the victors.

Lane’s second goal for Wilton came off a rebound 1:56 into the third period. Senior forward Anna Bean assisted on Lane’s tally.Ellsworth scored in the final period for GHS, which received assists from sophomore forwards Jessica Marzullo and Anna Keaveney.

Aselin made eight saves for the Cardinals. Wilton’s netminder was kept busy throughout, making 36 saves.

“We are all looking forward to playing New Canaan and the postseason and states,” Aselin said. “Our goals are to win the FCIAC title and make it as far as we can in states, hopefully win it.”

Added Lerchen: “I feel good about our game. We play with a lot of speed, we move the puck well and our team defense is really strong. We are primed for a postseason run.”

dfierro@greenwichtime.com; 203-625-4423