A lack of scoring opportunities wasn’t the cause of Greenwich High School’s hockey team’s 2-1 loss to Ridgefield on Monday night, as it had plenty of chances throughout the matchup against its FCIAC rival.
Not being able to capitalize on more of their chances was indeed, an issue for the Cardinals in their one-goal defeat against the Tigers at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
Though Greenwich held the shots-on-goal advantage, Ridgefield was one-goal better than the Cardinals on this night, scoring the game-winning goal with 5:56 remaining in the third period, courtesy of junior defenseman Shaun Rigby.
With Ridgefield on a power play following a Greenwich interference penalty, Rigby snapped a shot from just below the blue line, past Cardinals junior goalie Nick Sinisi and inside the left post, putting the Tigers on top in the third period, 2-1.
“We worked really hard for 45 minutes, we had the effort we wanted to see, but we just didn’t get the job done,” Cardinals coach Jack Duffy said. “The shots were in our favor, but Ridgefield did what they had to do to win the hockey game.”
Both squads skated and competed hard throughout in this conference matchup, which saw Ridgefield raise its record to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in the FCIAC and Greenwich drop to 5-8 overall and 2-5 in in the conference play.
The Tigers began their season 1-6, but have rebounded, winning six of their last seven games. On the game-winner, sophomore Ryan McNicholas assisted on Rigby’s goal, moving the puck to Rigby, who converted his open shot.
“Sean Rigby has five or six power play goals this year,” Ridgefield coach Shaun Gallagher said. “Some from different spots, so it’s nice to get the puck to his stick. A lot of credit goes to Gavin White (a senior) on that play, to move his feet and cause the interference penalty. Gavin was also the one who put a front screen on the goalie, so it was a basic hockey play that both kids took care of nicely.”
Greenwich tallied the equalizer with just 25.5 seconds remaining in the second period. Sophomore forward Joe Lewis got his stick on a rebound in front off a shot from sophomore Graydon Raabe, and snuck the puck past Tigers goalie Henry Ertl, evening the score at 1-1. Senior Alex McGarvey was also credited with an assist on Lewis’ goal, which came with GHS on a power play due to a Ridgefield holding penalty.
“We’ve been working a lot on the power play, our power play has been struggling and we’ve been talking to the kids about doing the simple things – getting the puck out to the point, putting a low show on net,” Duffy said.
In the first period, senior defenseman Peter Lewis got a pair of shots on net, along with freshman Boden Farmer, junior Bailey Rozmus, senior Derek D’Angelo and senior Owen Lanzarone. Sinisi saved shots off the sticks of senior Henry Idone and sophomore Angelo Ciminiello in the opening period.
“We played a solid game, but we didn’t do enough to win the game tonight and we have to come out stronger against Notre Dame West Haven on Wednesday,” said Greenwich senior forward/captain Matthew Trimmer, who also created scoring chances for the Cardinals.
As Trimmer mentioned, Greenwich is playing Notre Dame-West Haven tonight at Bennett Rink. The puck drops at 6 p.m.
“I thought the forecheck looked great, but we have to do what we can to get a ‘W,'” Trimmer said of the Cards’ play against Ridgefield.
Like Ridgefield, GHS got off to a slow start this season, but has turned it around. The Cardinals dropped their first five games, but have won five of their last eight games.
The Tigers host formidable Fairfield Prep on Saturday at 8 p.m.
“If the games are tight and you capitalize on a power play, that does make a difference,” Gallagher said. “A lot of credit goes to Greenwich too. They skated hard from the first puck drop all the way to the last buzzer. This game could have gone either way. We are on a good stretch here and we’re going to keep it going.”
After their road game against Notre Dame-West Haven tonight, the Cardinals will travel to Rhode Island, where they will play two games against LaSalle Academy on Saturday and Sunday. They return to FCIAC action Wednesday at Darien.
“We’re in the heart of our schedule right now, we’re close, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Duffy noted. “We are trying to prepare our kids for the next three weeks, so we can be our best during playoff time. Tonight, the team defense was pretty good, when you give up two goals, you’re supposed to win the game.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Winter sports
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