Hockey stays alive in conference tourney race

Nate Zmarlicki breaks toward the net during a win over Shepaug-Litchfield-Thomaston-Nonnewaug.

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

A pair of losses might have dumped the Warrior-Knight ice hockey team one game below .500 on the year, as they continue to chase for a berth in the CCC South regional tournament. But a win to end the week qualified Hall-Southington for the Division III tournament for the sixth-straight year.

“I think we’re positioned well for the state tournament,” said Hall-Southington coach Brian Cannon. “We’re largely going into the state tournament underrated because of the difficult schedule that we played.”

Loss vs. Farmington Valley

FEB. 13—The Warrior-Knights began the week by hosting Farmington Valley at home on Monday, falling, 4-1, to the Generals. Farmington Valley is currently fifth in Division II.

“Farmington has a couple of skilled kids,” said Cannon. “It’s kind of like Woodstock Academy. If you can contain them, you can put yourself in position to beat them. But the second you lose track of them, the puck’s going to be in the back of your net, and that’s exactly what happened to us.”

Miles Aronow scored Hall-Southington’s lone goal of the game—assisted by Andrew Mitchell—early in the first period. The Generals went on a 4-0 run with a pair of goals in the second and third periods, giving up a pair of goals in a span of 37 seconds.

Zach Monti saved 21 shots on goal. Hall-Southington took 15 shots on goal and committed the only two penalties in the game.

Loss at Watertown-Pomperaug

FEB. 15—A couple days later, the Warrior-Knights dropped their second-straight game after suffering their first shutout, 4-0, of the season at Watertown-Pomperaug. The Indians are currently third in Division II. Watertown-Pomperaug split the first and third periods with a pair of goals in each.

“They’re a better, stronger team than us,” said Cannon. “But I thought our kids played well enough to keep the score down. I wasn’t overly disappointed with our play, and that’s a loss that I can take.”

Monti saved 37 shots on goal. Hall-Southington took 42 shots on goal and committed two of the four penalties in the game.

Win vs. Shepaug co-op

FEB. 18—The Warrior-Knights returned home on Saturday to pull the curtain on the week by qualifying for the state tournament with their seventh win of the season in an 8-1 slugging of Shepaug-Litchfield-Thomaston-Nonnewaug.

Drew Booth (3), Jacob Mohr, Jeremy Fortin, Michael DiPietro, Aronow, and Dusty Kilgore each scored goals in the game. Mohr (3), Aronow, DiPietro, Booth, Fortin, Tyler Matukaitis, Sam Kursman, and Sam Kerrigan contributed with assists.

Monti saved eight shots on goal, and Matt Carlson saved one. Hall-Southington took 68 shots on goal and committed three of the eight penalties in the game.

The Warrior-Knights will close out the regular season next week when they host EO Smith-Tolland (10-7) on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and travel to Bolton-Coventry-Rockville (2-15-1) on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Warrior-Knights must win both games in order to clinch a spot in the CCC South regional tournament. Hall-Southington is currently 7-8-3 overall.

 For this week’s box scores, click here: www.southingtonobserver.com/2017/02/21/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-feb-24-edition/. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.

 

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