In a week where the Hall-Southington boys ice hockey team had to play four games in a span of six days, it also included their most important matchup yet, a showdown with the team two spots ahead of them in the Division III standings, Newington Coop.
The results were not what head coach Brian Cannon and his team were hoping for, but the Warrior Knights still entered this week ranked third in Division III, and it would take a lot for them to fall out of the top-five before the regular season wraps up next week. Here is a recap of last week:
Loss to Daniel Hand
Feb. 18 – Daniel Hand got on the board with just under three minutes left, and while no other goals were scored before the first intermission, that goal allowed the flood gates to open. Hand followed up in the second period with five goals, including two from John Gagliardi, leaving the game out of reach for Hall-Southington.
Three of Hand’s eight goals were scored during a power play. Cannon expressed his concern for his team spending too much time in the penalty box.
“We really need to stay out of the penalty box,” Cannon said. “It just seems to be the hallmark of our team. Most high school hockey teams can only be so deep, and when those kids are in the penalty box, it is a real burden.”
Michael Fusciello put the Warrior Knights on the board in the third with an unassisted goal, and Duncan Hollander scored the second, with the assist going to Mason Woods and Cam Perez.
Loss to Newington Coop
Feb. 19 – Hall-Southington had to come right back a day after the loss to Hand to take on the No. 1 team ranked in Division III, Newington Coop. The biggest challenge, according to Cannon, was to figure out how to score against Newington’s stingy defense.
It was scoreless after one period, but Newington outscored the Warrior Knights 2-1 in each of the final two periods to take the 4-2 victory. Kilian Ranger scored two goals for Newington in the win.
Hall-Southington was able to take 29 shots on goal but many were from a distance.
“Newington is tough,” Cannon said. “They gave us a zone that makes it hard to penetrate the net. They are very aggressive on defense. Still, we could have had a better effort and maybe we would have come out on top. I think our teams are pretty even.”
Another OT win over Enfield
Feb. 22 – An overtime goal from Sean Roach gave Hall-Southington its second overtime win of the season over Enfield Coop. Last time the two teams played, the first goal was not scored until overtime. This game was much different.
Both teams were neck-and-neck every step of the way. They were tied at 2-2 after the first period and tied 3-3 after the second period.
“I thought we could have come out with a better effort against Enfield,” Cannon said. “We were a little bit flat to begin the game. Then we finally came out and became what we could and should be. We should have been the same team for all three periods.”
Christian Mohr, Cody Brew, Perez, and Woods were the others to score a goal for the Warrior Knights. Noah Behrens-Gould had 21 saves. Hall-Southington outshot Enfield 42-25.
The Warrior Knights had a rematch at Newington Coop on Wednesday (Feb. 26). They will play EO Smith at home on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. They will end the season on the road next week as they travel to McMahon-Norwalk on Monday (March 3) and to JBWA on Wednesday (March 4).
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at Sports@Southing-tonObserver.com.