NORWALK — Colin Minicus finished his shots on the offensive end of the field, while teammate Ryan Cornell prevented the opposition’s attempts from being finished on the defensive end during Thursday’s night’s FCIAC boys lacrosse final.

This dynamic duo from Darien helped the Blue Wave add yet another FCIAC boys lacrosse title to its collection Thursday night.

Stopping shots from all angles, Cornell made 15 saves for top-seeded Darien, which received a game-high four goals from Minicus in its impressive 9-5 victory over arch rival New Canaan in the championship game of the FCIAC Tournament before a large crowd at Brien McMahon High School.

Cornell was named the game’s MVP for undefeated Darien (19-0), which captured its third consecutive FCIAC title and a conference-best 15th overall.

“Ryan Cornell had as big a game as any goalie that has come through our program,” said Blue Wave coach Jeff Brameier, whose squad beat New Canaan 10-7 during the regular season. “He made every big save and didn’t make many mistakes when it came to clearing the ball. He was outstanding tonight and he showed why he is the best goalie in the state.”

Cornell said he was primed to rise to the important occasion.

“Once I made the first two saves of the game I got into the zone,” said Cornell, a junior. “They served as a confidence-builder for me and I was dialed in from there. It’s a great feeling to compete in such a big game like that against a great team.”

The Rams (15-4) trailed just 3-2 at halftime, before falling behind 7-2 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

“It was a great game, give credit to Darien, what they have accomplished so far this season has been special,” New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said. “For us, we had our opportunities to score, but the shots did not fall. We had plenty of chances, but Cornell was unbelievable in goal and their defense made it difficult for us to get quality shots. They played really well defensively.”

Jake Kirby tallied twice, while Jack Kniffin, Liam Rischmann and Finlay Collins each had single goals for the victors. The Rams received one goal apiece from Clayton Burt, Jack Hoelzer, Kyle Smith, Andrew Bauersfeld and Nicholas Crovatto.

The game’s first goal wasn’t scored until there was 1:33 left in the opening quarter. Kirby gave the Blue Wave a 1-0 edge, tallying off a strong run to the goal. But the Rams quickly knotted the score. Winning the ensuing faceoff, Crovatto sprinted down the field and tallied just 13 seconds later, making it 1-1.

New Canaan took a 2-1 advantage on Burt’s goal off a pass from Cornell with 9:56 to go in the second quarter. Yet Darien responded, thanks to its transition game. Rischmann scored off a fastbreak at the 8:53 mark and Minicus converted a shot from the perimieter in transiton with 2:46 to go in the second quarter, putting the Blue Wave on top for good, 3-2.

“Chemistry is the key to our transition game,” said Minicus, a senior. “When we have the ball, we will look for anyone to score and everyone knows what to do. Ryan had the best game of his career as a goalie and we really fed off that. Hopefully, we’ll have some more good games in states.”

Junior Drew Morris also had a strong game in goal for the Rams, stopping 10 shots. Kirby’s goal 1:48 into the third quarter gave the Blue Wave a 4-2 lead and Minicus extended it midway through the quarter with a goal off a dodge to the right, putting Darien on top, 5-2.

Minicus struck again, as Darien displayed some precision passing at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter. New Canaan closed to with 7-4 late in the third quarter, but the Darien began the final quarter with a Kniffin tally to pad its advantage.

“The opportunities were there for us, we just didn’t capitalize on enough of them,” said Smith, a senior. “We had some good shots, but their goalie made some big saves. We still have states to look forward to, but we’re not playing these guys again.”

Brameier and Cornell pointed to the fine work the defenders did throughout the matchup.

“Our guys really stepped up defensively,” said Brameier, whose defensive was anchored by senior Mark Evanchick. “They locked up some talented offensive players and rarely got beat for goals. What an outstanding effort by them.”

Said Kniffin: “To win the FCIAC for the third straight year as a senior is awesome. This is what we have worked so hard for all season and what we work hard every season for — this moment.”

david.fierro@scni.com

DARIEN 9, NEW CANAAN 5

DARIEN 1 2 4 2 — 9

NEW CANAAN 1 1 2 4 — 5

Scoring: D — Colin Minicus 4 g, 1 a; Jack Kniffin 1 g; Liam Rischmann 1 g; Jake Kirby 2 g; Finlay Collins 1 g; Kevin Lindley 1 a; Hudson Hamill 1 a; NC — Clayton Burt 1 g, 1 a; Jack Hoelzer 1 g; 1 g; Kyle Smith 1 g; Andrew Bauersfeld 1 g; Nick Crovatto 1 g; Ryan O’Connell 1 a; Goalies: D — Ryan Cornell (15 saves); NC — Drew Morris (10 saves).