By KEVIN ROBERTS
Hall-Southington boys ice hockey coach Brian Cannon channeled Smokey the Bear when he talked to his team after a rough 5-4 loss to the Newington Co-op on Jan. 9.
“I asked them what’s Smokey the Bear’s slogan? And one of them came up with it,” Cannon said. “He said ‘only you can prevent forest fires.’”
The forest fires were the mistakes that led to three straight Indian goals in that game at Veteran’s Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford. The goals came in just 64 seconds in the second period and turned a 3-2 Hall-Southington lead into a 5-3 deficit. All three goals came on power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3 situations.
The Warrior-Knights did get a goal back to close to within 5-4, but they wound up losing by that same margin in what was a rough defeat.
“Take the penalties out, we’re more in that game. Make a few smarter plays here and there, we’re in that game,” Cannon said. “We played ourselves out of that game, and it’s too bad.”
Hall-Southington went to Norwich on Jan. 12 desperate for a win, but the Redhawks claimed a 3-2 victory at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. The Warrior-Knights fell to 2-6 with the loss. Hall-Southington has lost two straight games.
Locals lose the lead
JAN. 9—The Warrior-Knights fell behind by two goals early, but caught the Indians at 2-2 by the end of the first period on a pair of Bobby Allan goals. In the second period, Allan completed his hat trick and put Hall-Southington ahead 3-2 with 9:05 left.
The Warrior-Knights appeared headed for another goal, but a roughing penalty wiped out the opportunity with 8:39 on the clock. A Hall-Southington player got tangled with a Newington player, and a penalty was called after the Warrior-Knight player went too far in the eyes of the referee.
“Our guy is looping with the puck to the net, and our guy takes a dumb penalty, pops him in the head, knocks his helmet off,” Cannon said.
A high-sticking penalty at 8:21 gave Newington a 5-on-3 power play. Pat Doherty scored for the Indians with 7:57 on the clock to tie the game. Doherty’s goal was the first in a three-score eruption that occurred in just 64 seconds. All three goals came on power plays, and Newington snatched a 5-3 lead.
“We went down two guys, they scored, then we went down two guys again,” Cannon said.
Hall-Southington pulled to within 5-4 on Sean Roach’s goal with six seconds left in the second period. The Warrior-Knights had a bunch of chances in the Indian end in the final period, but couldn’t score the tying goal. One potential goal was wiped out with 7:27 to play after a wild scrum in front of the goal.
“The net was off and he lost sight of the puck,” Cannon said about the explanation he got from the referee. “I couldn’t disagree with it. That was a hell of a scramble down there.”
Cannon saw Hall-Southington as responsible for the outcome.
“They came in well-prepared for us, as they always do,” Cannon said. “We tended to play right into their hands, and we didn’t make them work hard enough for what they got.”
Michael DiPietro had two assists while Nathan Zmarlicki and Liam Stone added one assist each. Noah Behrens-Gould made 40 saves for Hall-Southington.
Loss to RedHawks
JAN. 12—The Warrior-Knights had a major shot advantage, but the Redhawks took advantage of more of their opportunities and claimed the victory.
Zmarlicki and DiPietro each scored a goal for Hall-Southington (2-6). Allan and Duncan Hollander each had an assist, and Behrens-Gould made 10 assists for the Warrior-Knights.
Steve Turchetta had two goals and one assist for the Redhawks (1-7-1), a co-op made up of players from St. Bernard, Norwich Free Academy, Bacon Academy, Lyman Memorial, Montville and Killingly. Justin Relaz had one goal and two assists, Sam Thompson added an assist, and Spencer Flynn recorded 43 saves for the Redhawks.
The Redhawks led 2-0 after one period on two goals by Turchetta. Zmarlicki’s goal off of Allan’s assist made the score 2-1 with 12:28 left in the second period, and the score was still 2-1 after two periods. Relaz scored an unassisted goal with 12:32 left in the third period to put the Redhawks up 3-1. DiPietro scored off of Hollander’s assist with 5:01 remaining to make the score 3-2, but that’s where it stayed.
Up next: Hall-Southington has two home games this week. The Warrior-Knights hosted the Wethersfield Co-op on Wednesday night. Hall-Southington takes on Northeastern on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. at Veteran’s Rink.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@ SouthingtonObserver.com