The final stretch: Warrior-Knights prepare for postseason

Jeremy Fortin breaks toward the net during a 3-1 victory over Wethersfield-Rocky Hill-Middletown on Feb. 17.

Jeremy Fortin breaks toward the net during a 3-1 victory over Wethersfield-Rocky Hill-Middletown on Feb. 17.

By BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

The physical play continued for the Warrior-Knights (11-6) as they split the week with a home win and a road loss.

With two games remaining on their regular season schedule, Hall-Southington will host Conard (7-9-2) on Saturday, Feb. 27 and E.O. Smith-Tolland (11-4-1) on Wednesday, March 2.

“We still have to get ourselves in better shooting positions,” said Hall-Southington coach Brian Cannon. “We have to recognize things sooner and get the puck to where it’s got to go. We have to bend our knees and be ready. Sometimes we have straight legs and there’s no time to bend them, in order to react.”

Icing the Eagles

Smashing opponents up against the boards and getting after the puck with an ambitious aggression helped the Warrior-Knights notch a 3-1 win over Wethersfield-Rocky Hill-Middletown (4-13-1) at home on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

After a scoreless first period, the Eagles to a 1-0 lead early in the second on a 5-3 power play. Jarod Florian tied the contest at 1-1 with a goal (assisted by Dusty Kilgore) midway through the period.

Early in the third, Jeremy Fortin gave the Warrior-Knights a 2-1 lead on a wrist shot that came as a shorthanded goal. Florian secured the win with his second goal of the game moments later, swooping through the lane to the right side of the goal to set up the wrist shot.

“They came out with some passion and energy, but it wasn’t all directed quite on target,” said Cannon. “I’ve always stressed to them though that I’d rather see aggressive mistakes than passive mistakes.”

The Warrior-Knights totaled 32 shots and seven penalties in the game. The Eagles took 14 shots and committed two penalties. There were six different kinds of penalties in the game, including knee and head contact.

“I think we had a couple [penalties] tonight that were certainly avoidable,” the coach said. “They were a little strange, but both teams were allowed some leash tonight and they used it. I don’t like to see us going to the box quite that much, but if that’s the price of playing aggressive and our penalty kill is up to snuff, then that’s okay.”

In his fourth start of the season, Harry Freda saved 13 shots on goal for the Warrior-Knights. Stephen Vaughan saved 29 shots on goal for the Eagles.

Freezing on road

The Warrior-Knights traveled to the Enfield Twin Rinks on Saturday, where they fell to Fermi-Enfield-East Granby-Stafford, 4-1.

The Warrior-Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Jacob Herz scored a goal (assisted by Caelan Booth, Kevin Carr) in the first period. However, the Enfield co-op team responded with three goals in the second and one in the third.

The Warrior-Knights totaled 19 shots on goal, while the co-op team totaled 33. Adam Faust saved 29 shots on goal for the Warrior-Knights and Sam Roy saved 18 for the co-op team.

The Warrior-Knights are currently ranked fifth in Division III behind N.F.I. (16-2), Woodstock Academy (16-3), Westhill-Stamford (11-6-2), and S.W.S. (11-7). The Warrior-Knights are 3-4 against Division II teams and 8-2 against Division III.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.

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