Shea Madden certainly won’t forget his first career goal as a member of the Greenwich boys hockey team.
Madden, a junior forward, scored a power play goal, propelling Greenwich past Ridgefield, 1-0, in a key FCIAC matchup at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink on Saturday.
The goal extended Greenwich’s winning streak to three games and raised its record to 4-2. The Cardinals’ other two wins during its streak came against New Canaan.
“A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting at 1-2 and things did not feel so great,” Cardinals coach Jack Duffy said. “We’re trying to implement some new things and stay true to the basic things we are doing.”
With Greenwich on a power play, Madden tallied off a rebound, while the Cardinals put plenty of traffic in front of the net with 1:11 remaining in the second period. Senior forward Thatcher Danielson was credited with the assist on Madden’s goal. Duffy credited sophomore Matthew Trimmer and senior Jack Hutchins for also setting up the goal with their aggressive puck pursuit.
“We gave him the game puck after the game,” Duffy said of Madden. “The team gave a great cheer for him and rallied around him. He is one of the newer guys on the team and has played great part in our success.”
With the victory, Greenwich avenged a 2-0 road loss to Ridgefield two weeks ago. As was the case when the Cardinals and Tigers met on Feb. 20, both goalies were outstanding on Saturday. Cardinals junior goalie Charlie Zolin made 35 saves for the shutout win. Tigers senior goalie Matthew Silliman, who the Cards could not solve two weeks ago, was also stellar Saturday, turning away 29 shots.
“It was one of those games where we weren’t firing on all cylinders and I told the boys sometimes good teams win when they don’t play their best,” Duffy said. “These games are tight every night in this league. We played pretty well and we relied a lot on Charlie. We did give up some shots, but Charlie was there standing strong nice and made some nice saves at the end of the game.”
Prior to Madden’s goal, senior Sean Duffy threatened to score from the left wing, but Silliman made a nifty save with 1:40 to go in the second period. Madden followed with the game’s lone goal 29 seconds later. Zolin made a glove save off a shot from junior Eric Pereira from the point with 22.7 seconds remaining in the second period.
In the third period, Ridgefield junior James Ahern and senior Colin Norcross directed shots at Zolin, who was in the zone between the pipes throughout. The Tigers pulled Silliman from goal in the final minute and created a lot of pressure in the Cardinals zone, but supported by defensemen Chris Cataldo and Ben Bates, Zolin kept the visitors off the scoreboard.
Greenwich played without the services of forward John Cataldo (shoulder injury) and saw junior forward Wesley Zolin leave the game early after sustaining an injury on a check that required stiches.
Up next for Greenwich is a Senior Day game against Darien on Tuesday at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink. The puck drops at 4 p.m. The Blue Wave downed the Cardinals, 7-4, in their season-opener on Feb. 10 in Darien.
“We talked about tonight that we have a couple of blemishes on our record,” Duffy said. “We beat one team we lost to tonight and we have the opportunity to do the same thing on Tuesday. “