Greenwich’s boys hockey team’s season has been one of peaks and valleys.
After starting the season with a win against Daniel Hand, the Cardinals lost five straight games, then experienced a turnaround, going unbeaten in six matchups, five of which they won. Yet now the Cardinals are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and they hope to reach another peak in their season.
Receiving a hat trick from junior forward Arthur Devillers and two goals from senior forward Graham Kreppein, Darien skated to an impressive 5-0 win over Greenwich in a late-season FCIAC game held at Darien Ice House on Wednesday night.
Following the loss, Greenwich’s record stands at 6-9-1 overall and 3-5 in FCIAC play. The Blue Wave, meanwhile, raised their record to 8-5-1 overall and 5-2 in the FCIAC.
Leading 1-0 Darien scored a goal late in the second period, then registered three more in the third period, turning a close game into a convincing win.
“I just told the boys, it really feels bad right now, 5-0, but with 30 seconds left in the second period it was 1-0,” GHS coach Jack Duffy said. “It was a good hockey game. You give up one at the end of the second period, it’s tough to come back from. But still, it’s a 2-0 game and then we gave up a few quick ones in the third period, which took the wind out of our sails a little bit.”
Putting three strong, consistent periods together has been a challenge for the Cards in their defeats so far this season.
“We played two good periods of hockey, but we need to play three good periods of hockey, that’s what it takes,” Duffy said.
Senior goalie Chris Schofield made 12 first-period saves for Darien, which killed a Greenwich power play just prior to the midway point of the period. Randall Feda, Brendan Frost, Danny Pratley and Nate Duffy were among some of the Cardinals that directed shots on goal toward Schofield during an active first period and the Blue Wave netminder was up to the challenging, keeping it a scoreless game.
Kreppein scored the game’s first goal with 1:45 left in the opening period, tallying off an assists from sophomore Tommy Holland and junior Stefan Fusco. The scored remained 1-0 for almost the entire second period, with both teams have scoring chances and power play opportunities.
Cardinals sophomore goalie Nick Sinisi registered 13 saves during the second period and nearly kept it a one-goal game. But Devillers put the home team on top 2-0 heading into the third period.
Digging the puck out along the right boards, Devillers slapped a tough angled shot on goal that found its way past Sinisi to his stick side, giving the Blue Wave a 2-0 advantage with only three seconds to go in the second period. Alek Garabet and Tauson Pfeifle each assisted on Devillers’ first goal.
“It was a great shift, my linemates Alek and Tauson were terrific, I just shot it on net and I got lucky,” Devillers said. “That’s what happens, coach (Mac) Budd always says get pucks to the net.”
Said coach Duffy: “Nick Sinisi, he played well, I think we had some breakdown in front of him, which was tough. We played two solid periods against a good team.”
It didn’t take long for Darien to stretch its lead in the third period. Just 37 seconds into the period Kreppein scored off a rush up the ice, putting Greenwich in a 3-0 hole. Devillers scored off a rebound with an assist going to Pfeifle with 6:48 remaining in the third period and the same combination struck again at the 4:43 mark, with this time, Devillers connecting on a shot from between the circles, giving the Blue Wave a 5-0 lead.
“Coach Budd always talks about the triangle and today we had the triangle the whole time,” Devillers said. “We got a guy in front and a high guy and the opportunities happen. Usually our problem is we don’t finish. We’ve been dominating a lot of games, but today we finished and that’s the difference-maker.”
Schofield recorded more than 20 saves for the shutout win.
“We have the tendency of coming out flat and every game he saves us,” Devillers said of Schofield. “He gives us a chance to come back and win.”
The Cardinals have managed to score only three goals in their last four games – all losses. They’ve been registering a good amount of shots on goal, but haven’t lit the lamp much.
“We have to spend more time in front of the other team’s net,” coach Duffy said. “You have to go in there and pay the price sometimes to score some goals. I thought we had some real good opportunities in the first and second periods and Schofield played really well.”
“One thing that we talked to the boys about before the game is second and third effort and that’s what it’s going to take to get back on the scoring streak,” coach Duffy continued. “It takes big rebounds and get your stick in there and pay the price to get yourselves some goals. That’s what we’re going to need and we haven’t had it the last four games.”
Greenwich will look to get back on the winning track Friday against host St. Joseph.
“It feels pretty low right now, but we have to look forward to the opportunities we have,” Duffy said. “There are three good teams that we’re going to play to finish off the regular season and then we have to get ourselves in shape for the tournament. I think come tournament time we’re going to be a tough out, so that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Winter sports
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