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boys hockey notebook Trumbull could be a tough out in Division II

January 30, 2019

In small type, the scores stand out: Trumbull boys hockey lost to No. 7 New Canaan 4-3 on Jan. 12, lost late to a well-regarded if scuffling lately Greenwich team 4-2 a week and a half later.

But the Eagles are 5-6 going into Wednesday’s game against Ridgefield.

“(Greenwich) was probably our best effort against a good team,” Trumbull coach Greg Maxey said. “But between those, we had a pretty bad outing against New Milford (a 4-1 loss). We’re kind of struggling with consistency of effort and execution.”

If things do click, Maxey thinks his team can be a tough out in the CIAC Division II tournament, thanks in part to the preparation from their schedule. He thinks the Eagles have talent, if it hasn’t yet produced the quality win they’re looking for.

Senior forward Alex Jackel is the Eagles’ leading scorer, and Nick Marinos, a senior but a newcomer to the program, has clicked with him of late, Maxey said. A sophomore trio of John Guerrera, Owen Finnegan and Jack McLean has at times been Trumbull’s best line.

And junior goalie Alex Tsymbalyuk has done well, shutting out Norwalk/McMahon in the Eagles’ last game, a 5-0 win on Saturday.

“A couple of games, he’s had a little bad luck,” Maxey said.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: North Haven is 1-8-2 just past their midpoint, and coach Chris Avena was hoping things might be a little further along by now.

“I think I’m still learning the personnel of the team, and I think the team is still learning some of the things we’re looking for as far as game play, what we expect,” said Avena, who came from Staples to an Indians team that graduated eight players from a .500 season and had two underclassmen depart for prep school.

“We’re still trying to feel each other out a bit, and it hasn’t gone as quickly as either side hoped.”

There are flashes, Avena said. The team played well in a tie against the East Haven co-op. Its first period against Cheshire on Saturday was good, but penalties got the Indians away from their game, and they lost 1-0.

“I just watched the first period on film,” Avena said. “We did a lot of good things, small, intuitive things.”

But they haven’t turned into goals. He didn’t think the team has scored first since its second game of the year, its only win, 4-2 over Hall/Southington.

The Indians haven’t given up more than five in any game. Senior goalie Danny Godlewski has kept them in games, Avena said.

SOARING: East Catholic won its opening game this year after an 0-20-1 year last season. That made the atmosphere around the Eagles pretty good from the start.

Playing a similar schedule to last year’s, they’re 6-6 with eight games to go, six of them at home in Cromwell.

“The results have been a pleasure,” coach Joey Trenholm said. “A lot of younger kids have got a lot of ice time.

“A couple of key additions combined with the kids seeing a lot of ice time last year, with the effort from everyone: Overall, it’s very satisfying.”

Trenholm noted that, of the Eagles’ six losses, three came by one goal (including an early-season 3-2 loss at No. 3 Northwest Catholic) and two more by one goal and an empty-netter.

“We have to figure out, how do we take that next step?” Trenholm said.

Experience may play a part in that. The Eagles’ usual starting six includes a senior, four sophomores and a freshman.

“To me, it’s all about wanting it,” Trenholm said, “digging a little deeper for something you didn’t know you had.”

They saw a bit of it Friday, when Trenholm said senior Sean Fellows was instrumental in a 4-2 win over Simsbury, rallying the bench after the Eagles blew an early 2-0 lead.

“He got a ‘C’ this year. He keeps everyone motivated,” Trenholm said. “He’s not the leading point- or goal-scorer, but the things he brings to the team don’t show up on the scoresheet.”

TOO MUCH WINTER: Glastonbury-Simsbury, which was scheduled for the open-air rink at Simsbury Farms on Tuesday, was moved indoors to the ISCC on Wednesday at 3:20 p.m.

Shepaug’s visit to Pawling (N.Y.) was also postponed Tuesday, to Friday.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

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