Greenwich boys hockey outlasts New Canaan
GREENWICH — Monday’s matchup between FCIAC boys ice hockey rivals Greenwich and New Canaan was a back-and-forth battle during the first two periods, with each team trading goals.
But Greenwich had the better of the play for most of the third period, proved to be a huge factor.
Holding a one-goal lead after two periods, the Cardinals extended their advantage in the third period, scoring three straight goals en route to skating to a well-earned 8-5 win over the Rams at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
With their third consecutive victory, Greenwich upped its record to 8-1 overall. New Canaan, which had won five of its last seven games, is 5-6 on the season.
Senior forward Alex Mozian registered a hat trick and one assist, while senior forward Matt Baugher tallied twice to pace the Cardinals’ offensively. Greenwich which scored three power play goals and had two shorthanded tallies, also received one goal apiece from Nic Pelletier-Martinelli and JT Lawrence.
“We showed our firepower today,” GHS coach Chris Rurak said. “Everyone comes out and plays us tough. Defensively, we need to be a little bit stronger, but as the kids keep playing and gaining experience we will improve in that area.”
New Canaan, which was tied 1-1 after the first period and trailed 5-4 after the second, got goals from Gunnar Granito, Quinn McMahon, Griffion Arnone, Ryan Levene and Jack Murphy.
“Our first period was excellent,” Rams coach Clark Jones said. “Our game is to take away time and space, we are a good skating team. But when we get into a penalty-filled game against a team like Greenwich, it’s not the type of game we want to be in. When it was 5-on-5 we were really happy with what we saw from our team.”
The teams combined for 16 penalties. Baugher’s breakaway goal with 1:55 left in the second period gave Greenwich a 5-4 lead. His snap shot from between the circles deflected off New Canaan goalie Dylan Shane’s pads and the puck went over his left shoulder and into the goal, making it 5-4.
The Rams tied the score at 4-4 on Levene’s goal with 4:40 remaining in the second period. His goal came just 10 seconds after the Cardinals took a 4-3 advantage. Off the faceoff, Levene found space and tallied off a rush, evening the score.
At the 4:40 mark of the second period, Columbo found Baugher charging hard to the net and Baugher finished giving the Cards a very brief 4-3 edge.
Tied at 1-1 following an evenly played first period, New Canaan went ahead, 2-1, on a tally from McMahon. Skating between the circles, he beat GHS goalie Ben Nash to his glove side with a wrist shot 1:11 into the second stanza.
“A lot of teams are gunning for us, so we have to be at our best every single game,” Lawrence said. “Everything is going according to plan for us right now. We just have to keep coming out with a lot of intensity each game.
Pelletier-Martinelli knotted the score at 2-2 for the home team, converting a laser from the right faceoff circle with 11:15 left in the second period. Kovalev was credited with an assist on the goal.
Greenwich scored the three first goals of the final period to seize an 8-4 advantage. Pratley’s power play goal made it 6-4, then with New Canaan on a power play Mozian intercepted a pass and scored on a breakaway, giving the home team a 7-4 lead.
“The first period we were a little bit slow, but we stepped it up in the second and third period,” Mozian said. “We definitely have to stay out of the box. Our chemistry is getting up there and we are beginning to move the puck better.”
Said Baugher: “We are a huge third period team, we just have to overcome that first period, that is our weak point. Overall, we are definitely meshing as a team.”