By BRIAN JENNINGS
WEST HARTFORD—The Warrior-Knights hockey team were looking for a winning record in overtime games heading into the extra period against Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at Veteran’s Memorial Rink, but Christian Stuart ended that hope with 2:30 left in overtime.
Erich Bender finished with 31 saves, but Hall-Southington fell, 3-2, in their third overtime game of the season.
“It’s the same old story,” said Warrior-Knights coach Brian Cannon. “We didn’t get it done. It was a team that wasn’t particularly better than us. They took a long ride here and ate our lunch for us.”
The Warrior-Knights were trying to recover from a two-game losing skid at home, but the Spartans hit the net first with two goals midway through the first and second period from Andrew Loya to put the home team back on its heels.
Hall-Southington answered back with a goal shortly after in the second period from Jared Florian. Down by a goal in the third period, Caelan Booth tied the game up at 2-2 with 8:30 to go in regulation, sending the game into extra time.
“We couldn’t put the puck in the net,” the coach said. “We had our opportunities. We did put pressure on them, but we didn’t get the puck through to create or take enough shots to raise our percentage in scoring.”
Three days later, Hall-Southington returned to their home rink to, once again, try to stop the bleeding against the Woodstock Academy Centaurs (8-5) after losing three out of four of their six-game home stretch.
Many shots were fired and four goals found the net in the opening period. Once again, the visiting team drew blood first, scoring a goal in the beginning of the period. The Centaurs went on to capture the win, 5-2.
Ocean Curling tied the game up at 1-1 midway through the first period, but the Centaurs answered back with a 4-0 run all the way though to the start of the final period, one of their goals coming with 58 seconds to go in the second period.
“We took a penalty with two minutes left in the first period,” said Cannon. “I thought we were going to be able to walk out of there maybe tying it up, but we gave up a shorthanded goal.”
The Warrior-Knights attempted a comeback in the third period with a goal from Kyler Cubbage with 11:09 to go in regulation. The Centaurs went scoreless in the third period and the comeback from the Warrior-Knights stalled, with a puck missing just off the goal post and a goal waved off because of a high sticking penalty.
The teams combined for 19 penalties in the game with seven of them coming from the Warrior-Knights. Hall-Southington managed 31 shots on goal, but Centaur keeper Tucker Johns finished with 29 saves.
“We left holes open and they have a couple of kids that were able to convert on them when they were given chances, said Cannon. “We were given chances that we didn’t put in the net.”
The Warrior-Knights (4-11) look to get back on track this week in the last of the six-game home stretch against the Wethersfield-Rocky Hill-Middletown Eagles (0-14).
“We’re still leaving way too many opportunities available to the other team,” Cannon said after the latest loss. “We had special teams problems today with not being able to score on power plays and getting scored on in power plays. It’s not the way to do it, but you keep working at it.”