By KEVIN ROBERTS
Hall-Southington ice hockey entered the past week with its backs against the wall. The Warrior-Knights kept their state tournament hopes alive with two ties sandwiched around a one-goal loss, but with a record of 5-11-2, they will need two wins in their last two regular season games to qualify.
Hall-Southington tied Tri-Town, 4-4, at the Veteran’s Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford on Feb. 11. On Feb. 13, the Warrior-Knights lost to the East Haven co-op by the score of 1-0 in the home regular season finale. Hall-Southington traveled to the Bolton Ice Palace this past Saturday night and emerged with a 2-2 tie against the Northeastern Shamrocks.
The ties against Tri-Town and Northeastern were frustrating, even though they weren’t losses. Wins would have been better for Hall-Southington, even though it is still alive in the hunt for a state tournament berth.
“Even though we’re going out of here feeling pretty good, that didn’t do much for us,” Cannon said after the Tri-Town tie.
“The only thing you can say about getting a tie is we never led,” assistant coach Mike Bilas added.
Hall-Southington trailed, 3-1, before rallying to tie the game, 3-3. Tri-Town went ahead, 4-3, with 10:03 to play in regulation, but the home team got the tying goal with 6:25 to go. Bobby Allan led the Warrior-Knights against Tri-Town with a goal and three assists. Sean Roach had a goal and an assist while Michael DiPietro and Nathan Zmarlicki tallied the other goals. Cody Brew added an assist and Noah Behrens-Gould made 29 saves.
“We shot too many pucks wide, too many pucks high, didn’t get enough on the goal to generate something that might have got banged in,” Cannon said.
In the East Haven game, Hall-Southington played well enough to win but was saddled with a one-goal loss.
“It’s too bad, because the kids played well, they did most of what they could do, but their net attack was too easy for the goaltender to move off of,” Cannon said.
Cannon compared the Warrior-Knight shooting to a pitcher and a catcher playing catch. Hall-Southington fired shot after shot at Logan Hamilton’s glove side, and he caught them. Hamilton wound up with 44 saves. Ryan Egan scored the game’s only goal for East Haven with 5:04 to play in regulation. Behrens-Gould made 24 saves.
In the Northeastern game, Hall-Southington scored the first two goals, both in the second period, and led 2-1 after two periods. The Warrior-Knights wound up settling for the second tie of the week. DiPietro scored the first goal off of a Zmarlicki assist, then Mason Woods found the net off of a Sam Kerrigan assist. Behrens-Gould made 17 saves.
Up next: Hall-Southington was slated to play the Newington co-op on Wednesday. On Saturday, the Warrior-Knights are scheduled to face Cheshire at 5:30 p.m. at Wesleyan University’s Spurrier-Snyder Ice Rink.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com