Greenwich struck first in its game against FCIAC hockey rival New Canaan tonight, scoring the matchup’s first goal, but the Rams certainly had an emphatic response.
The Rams seized control of this conference game, scoring the next five goals on their way to another early-season win.
Junior forward Doster Crowell scored two goals to power New Canaan to an impressive 6-2 triumph over Greenwich at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink. The Rams raised their record to 3-1 with the victory, while the Cardinals fell to 0-5. Greenwich entered the FCIAC game off a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Darien in the Winter Classic, held at Greenwich Skating Rink’s outdoor rink on December 29.
The Cardinals, who have experienced trouble generating goals so far this season, led 1-0 after the first period, but the Rams tallied twice in the second period to take the lead for good at 2-1. Coached by Clark Jones, New Canaan broke the game open with a four-goal third period.
“We got outworked,” said Greenwich coach Jack Duffy, whose squad has been limited to eight goals over its first five games. “Tonight, it’s a 1-0 game after one, we played well, we felt good about it, then we just got outworked for two periods and there’s no excuse for that.”
Greenwich played inspired ice hockey during the first period before its home crowd, skating hard, while holding a 10-8 shots-on-goal advantage on the Rams. New Canaan junior goalie Nick Hussar made several nifty saves during the opening period, with GHS applying pressure, then with two minutes remaining in the period, the Cards finished in front.
Senior forward Owen Lanzarone scored on a rebound off a shot from junior linemate Michael Orrico, putting the Cardinals in front, 1-0.
The first period ended with Greenwich holding the momentum, but New Canaan quickly captured it in the second stanza. After Hussar turned away a Greenwich shot, New Canaan moved the puck up the ice, with Crowell and sophomore Lincoln Durfee breaking loose on a 2-on-1 rush. Crowell snapped his shot from close in past Cardinals junior goalie Nick Sinisi, evening the score at 1-1 with 10:41 to go in the second period.
Sinisi stopped several shots after that, but the Rams went ahead for good at the 6:32 mark of the second period. Senior Logan Carlson passed the puck to sophomore James Faucher, who had a lot of space on the right wing. Faucher converted his shot, making it 2-1. Durfee was also credited with an assist on the goal.
Three penalties put GHS on the power play during the second period, but it couldn’t capitalize and the Rams maintained their advantage.
Then, with 10:42 remaining in the third period, a tripping infraction put the Cardinals back on a power play, but instead the Rams added on to their lead.
Sophomore Elliot Kropf worked hard to dig the puck off the boards and slid a pass to Carlson, who converted a one-timer, giving the visitors a 3-1 edge with the short-handed goal at the 9:18 mark of the final period.
“The mentality on a power play is you have to outwork the other team,” Duffy said. “Penalty killers, their mindset is to outwork the power play. You’re aware you have to be extra focused. If the power play is not focused, you are going to get outworked and that’s the kind of stuff that happens.”
Carrying the momentum, New Canaan then scored twice during a 43-second span, as freshman Tony DelCarmine tallied and sophomore Brayden Robie scored off a pass from behind by junior Gavin Fitzpatrick, giving the Rams a 5-1 cushion with 5:02 left to play.
“We had a good first period,” Duffy said. “We have to build on that first period and we just didn’t do it. In the first period, we were playing well, we were playing loose and skating hard. Then we faced some adversity in the second period and when you are 0-4, it’s hard to overcome that adversity. That’s what we have to concentrate on now, overcoming adversity.”
Handling the puck from the defensive zone to New Canaan’s zone, Cardinals senior defenseman Peter Lewis tallied with 3:07 to go, bringing his team to within 5-2. The Rams added an empty-netter, however, with Crowell completing his two-goal game, with 1:59 remaining.”
Hussar made 27 saves in the winning effort, while Sinisi finished with 22 saves. Roemus, Derek D’Angelo, Lanzarone, senior Will Duncan and senior Gage Bria and freshman Boden Farmer each registered three shots on goal for the Cardinals, who host non-conference opponent Hamden on Saturday at 1 p.m. Like Greenwich, Hamden is off to a slow start with an 0-5 record.
“We have to play our best and we have to get a ‘W’ soon,” Duffy noted. “There’s a lot of bumps in the road, we have to right the ship. We have to go back to the drawing board, work hard and get out of this slump.”