By JOHN GORALSKI
Hall-Southington skaters controlled the ice for much of the first period until a tripping penalty left them shorthanded. Enfield scored. The Warrior-Knights dominated the second period, but an opportunistic goal put Enfield ahead by two goals.
On Saturday, Dec. 23, Hall-Southington controlled the pace for the second game in a row, but came away with their second straight loss. The 2-0 shutout left Warrior-Knight coaches scratching their heads.
Goalie Zach Monti made 27 saves. The defense gave up few second chances, and the offense possessed the puck throughout most of the contest. But the team couldn’t come away with a victory.
“It’s distressing to go out there and outplay teams but leave them with enough scoring opportunities to win,” said Hall-Southington coach Brian Cannon. “Here we are after six periods of hockey, and we still don’t have a goal from the forward yet. We’ve only scored two goals so far. We’re in the minus range, and we shouldn’t be there.”
On the other hand, Cannon pointed out that it’s still early in the season, so he’s not overly concerned about the 2-0 start.
“It’s a process. Maybe we have to find some other chemistry and change some lines up,” he said. “We’ve only got 20 games, so experimenting with lines is a little tricky. We don’t have a lot of time, but we’ll sit down and discuss it. We’ll find what the remedy is and what we have to try.”
The locals had their chances with the teams basically deadlocked, 29-28, in shots on net.
Hall-Southington’s best chance to score came with 6:09 remaining in the second period. With Enfield’s goaltender out of position and on his stomach, the Warrior-Knights had four rebounds during a battle in front of the crease. But Enfield’s goalie managed to get in front of every rebound.
“Any one of them could have been put in on the top of the net,” said Cannon. “We made him look good with one-dimensional shots. All we did was square up with him and hit him. We had him out of position, but we didn’t get shots off or we were shooting off our backhand rather than our forehand.”
The co-op will attempt to regroup this week with a home game against Bolton-Coventry-RHAM-Rockville (0-1) before taking the road to face the Redhawks (1-2) at NFA on Saturday. Cannon said that he might tinker with the lineup to try to spark some offense.
“I like the way that the kids have been playing fairly physical. They’re trying. They’re tired. It’s not like they’re out of shape, there’s just not a lot of chemistry right now,” he said. “It’s not time to panic yet, but we have to make some adjustments. We’ll fix it.”
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/12/26/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-dec-29-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.