After losing its season-opener against Darien, the Greenwich boys hockey team had what coach Jack Duffy said was “a good bounce back game,” Tuesday against St. Joseph.
Indeed, though the Cardinals turned in a strong offensive performance in their first game of the season against the Blue Wave, Tuesday, they were solid on both ends of the ice and it showed in the results. Getting goals from seven players, Greenwich earned its first win of the season, rolling to a 9-1 victory over FCIAC foe St. Joseph at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
“Our team played with a lot of energy,” Duffy said. “We received scoring from a lot of sources, which was great.”
Senior forward Jake Shreders registered two goals and junior forward Liam Matthews tallied twice to pace the Cardinals (1-1). Dylan Kronengold, Will Mairs, Jack Hutchins, John Cataldo and Danny Pratley added one goal apiece to help spark the winning effort. Junior goalie Charlie Zolin made 14 saves in goal for Greenwich, which received stellar play from its group of defensemen, led by Chris Cataldo and Ben Bates.
Though Greenwich put nine goals on the scoreboard, Cadets senior goalie Tyler Stiewing made numerous impressive saves in goal. He finished the game with 29 saves.
“St. Joseph is a team that works really hard and is big and physical,” Duffy said. “We have talked a lot about getting traffic in front of goaltenders. That was our mentality.”
Matthews scored the game’s opening goal, at the 6:19 mark of the first period. Hustling to the puck at the left faceoff circle, Matthews snapped a shot past Stiewing, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Kronengold knocked the puck home off a rebound shortly after the ensuing faceoff, making it 2-0. Finding himself 1-on-1 with the Cadets’ goalie, Shreders showcased his quick release and scored from close in with 57 seconds to go in the first period, putting the home team on top, 3-0.
Applying pressure in the Cards’ zone, St. Joseph closed to within 3-1 on a goal off a rebound 1:35 into the second period. Greenwich’s response was swift though. The Cardinals controlled the ensuing faceoff and Mairs quickly tallied, putting the Cadets back in a three-goal hole 22 seconds later.
“We wanted to come back strong after that goal and we did,” Duffy said. “After the second period, we talked to the boys about pitching a shutout in the third period.”
Duffy’s squad did just that, outscoring St. Joe, 5-0, in the third period. The third-period goals came from Hutchins, off a deflection on a Sean Duffy shot, Shreders, John Cataldo, Pratley and Bates. The goal was the first career tally for Pratley, a junior.
“We are focusing on getting traffic in front and getting rebounds,” coach Duffy said. “Scoring 13 goals in two games has been impressive.”
Greenwich hosts Immaculate on Thursday at 8 p.m. in a non-conference matchup.