The venue was different, but the scenario was the same when the New Canaan and Greenwich girls ice hockey teams met for the second time this week on Saturday night.
In the team’s first meeting of the season on Tuesday at Greenwich’s Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink, New Canaan scored one goal early in the first period, then added a second tally late in the third period, after Cardinals goalie Hannah Goldenberg made a wealth of saves.
In Saturday’s second matchup between the FCIAC rivals, the game followed the same pattern.
New Canaan gained early momentum with a first period goal, then after Morgan Dall registered dozens of saves, added a third-period tally on its way to recording a 2-0 triumph at Darien Ice House.
“Another Greenwich goaltender that played great,” New Canaan coach Rich Bulan said. “Greenwich hung in there again and played with guts.”
With its fifth straight victory, New Canaan upped its mark to 6-1. The Rams, who also beat the Cardinals 2-0 on Tuesday, outshot Greenwich 47-14. Junior goalie Morgan Dall made 45 saves for Greenwich. Senior Blythe Novick earned the shutout in goal for the Rams, who like Tuesday’s game, controlled the puck in Greenwich’s zone the majority of each period.
“She proves all the time what a great goalie she is,” Bulan said of Novick. “The difference this year for us is that we limit the shots, we put a lot of pressure on the other team. When we get it down low, we’re hard to defend. Everybody can skate, everybody knows what their job is.”
Quick to the puck in the neutral zone, the Rams succeeded at getting the puck deep, then applying plenty of pressure in the Cardinals’ zone. Like Tuesday’s contest, the Cardinals were on the defensive throughout.
“We got outmuscled the majority of that game, we didn’t win many puck battles,” Greenwich coach Alex Lerchen said. “We changed our forecheck a little and tried to sustain a little offense. We’re going to have to control the puck on offense a little bit better and try to stop playing so much in our zone.”
New Canaan took a 1-0 lead with 10:14 remaining in the first period. Junior forward Grace Flatow got her stick on the puck off a rebound and knocked it inside the right post, making it 1-0. Kelly Benson and Katherine Rayher were each credited with assists Flatow’s goal.
“We were pushing it on goal, it was really a line goal,” Flatow said. “We were all pushing for it, I kind of went around and jammed it in. All my teammates were there to try to hit it in, so was a great team goal.”
Dall kept it a one-goal game, making 14 first-period saves. Greenwich registered five first-period shots, two of which came from sophomore Caroline Lawrence. In the second period, New Canaan put 20 more shots on goal, with each line threatening to wide the lead. Yet the score remained 1-0, thanks to Dall.
“I think the whole team was in a positive mindset today,” Dall said. “Looking at the scoreboard, it proves that we can skate with teams like New Canaan and Darien. I think we all did a great job. We have a lot to work on, but we’re getting there.”
Said Lerchen: “Morgan was great in goal. She was making the second and third saves throughout the game. She really stepped it up today.”
Greenwich, which was paced by junior Tess Marciano and senior Delaney Roth defensively, went on a power play toward the end of the second period, but didn’t capitalize. In the third period, the Rams added to its lead when junior Maddie Kloud tallied one minute into the period. The goal was set up by Benson, who blocked a Greenwich shot, then moved the puck to Kloud, who skated down left wing, then snapped a shot home for the game’s second goal.
New Canaan is in action again Saturday against Darien.
“I am really excited about our team, we’re playing super well and we have good chemistry right now,” Flatow said. “We’re really good at winning battles and getting it deep. That’s the main thing.”
Greenwich (4-3) hosts Ridgefield-Danbury-Immaculate on its Senior Night on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
“I think we have to keep pushing and keep focusing on improving,” Dall said.