Following a spirited victory against FCIAC rival Darien on Wednesday, the Greenwich High School ice hockey team seemed primed to skate to another win Thursday against non-conference rival Section One East, as it held a two-goal, third-period.
Yet Section One East, a team based out of Brewster, N.Y., featuring players from various schools in Westchester and Putnam County, stormed back, scoring three unanswered third period goals to edge the Cardinals, 4-3, at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
The Cardinals’ record stands at 7-5 heading into Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. game against Conard/Hall at Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford. Greenwich received one goal apiece from senior Lexi Danielson, freshman Nina Coffee and senior Tess Marciano and outshot visiting Section One East, 34-22.
“It was a good game for us until that last period,” Greenwich coach Brooke Heron said. “We controlled the offensive play and we dominated.”
Danielson, a forward, gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead when she scored off an assist from junior linemate Sophie Roth with 6:06 remaining in the first period. Section One East knotted the score at 1-1 on a goal by Adrienne Kantrowitz at the 5:09 mark of the opening period.
The host Cardinals went into the second period with a 2-1 advantage after Coffee put a one-timer past Section One’s goalie, with 35.5 seconds to go in the first period. Freshman Alexis Carino assisted on Coffee’s tally.
In the second period Greenwich seized a two-goal edge. Handling the puck on the left wing, Marciano threw a shot on net that found its way home, putting GHS on top, 3-1. The visitors went on a power play near the midway point of the second period, but the Cards maintained their two-goal lead, thanks to several saves by junior goalie Emma Kunschner.
Things began to turn for the Cardinals in the third period. Section One East closed to within 3-2 shortly after Greenwich killed a power play, with Amelia Ahrens tipping in a rebound at the 10:58 mark of the third period.
Finding herself open deep in Greenwich’s zone, Wallis Kelleher snapped a shot that hit the left post. The puck bounced back to her and she knocked the rebound past Kunschner, making it 3-3 with 5:17 remaining in the final period.
Skating down the left wing, then weaving past a defender, Peyton Wierl tallied for the visitors with 1:13 left in the game, putting Greenwich, behind, 4-3.
“Our ‘D’ zone broke down,” Heron said. “It happens and we’re still working on it. We’re going to use this as ignition for our next game. It doesn’t matter how many goals ahead we are, we have to play in our own ‘D’ zone.”
The Cardinals will look to bounce back against Conard/Hall on Saturday, then hosts St. Joseph/Trumbull Monday at 4:30 p.m.