Darien rolls past St. Joseph in Division I hockey
Published 10:53 pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2015
DARIEN -- As the season grinds forward and legs get heavier with every shift two things set apart the good hockey teams from the great: depth and goaltending -- and Darien has plenty of both.
The No. 2 Blue Wave defeated No. 15 St. Joseph 7-1 Wednesday night in the first round of the Division I state tournament behind five different goal scorers and another strong performance from goalie Will Massie.
"In the third period we turned to each other and said I still don't know who's the first line and who's the fourth line," St. Joe coach JR Bria said of Darien. "I got nothing but good things to say about that team from top to bottom."
Darien (18-2-1) moves on to play No. 7 Ridgefield in Saturday's quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined.
The Blue Wave came out and squashed all thoughts of a post FCIAC title hangover by notching four first period goals from four different scorers: Herbie Hazelton, Carter Joyce, Sam Knowlton and Ben Brown. Brown added another to start the second followed by one from captain Craig Miller and Joyce netted the final strike of the game late in the third.
"It's a great thing to have," Darien coach Chris Gerwig said of his seemingly endless depth. "It's nice we're able to run everybody and give guys time because injuries and sickness happen so to give guys time at this point is great."
Massie, the Blue Wave's senior stopper, has continued to put on a clinic in between the pipes. The net minder recorded 21 saves and has now allowed a total of four goals in his last four contests (three coming to Greenwich in the FCIAC final).
"He has been getting better and better every game and every shift from day one of our season," Gerwig said of Massie. "When you got guys firing at you in practice like our guys can he knows he has to pay attention in practice to get better, and he's done that."
The Cadet's (10-9-1) lone goal came off the stick of Adam Usinger in the third period when he took a one-on-one opportunity and put a backhand over the right shoulder of Massie. It took St. Joe a while to get going, but Bria was happy with how his team worked Wednesday and all season.
"I had a great group of kids that made it easy to come coach every day," said the coach, who's season came to a close Wednesday night. "The coaching staff loved to come coach because the guys on our team were such a good group and listened to us and worked hard for us and it was fun to watch them grow through the season."
Ridgefield, coincidently, was the last team to defeat Darien, beating the Blue Wave by the score of 4-1 on Jan. 12.
"They're a dangerous team," Gerwig said of the Tigers. "We're going to start preparing for them tomorrow; tonight was one small step up the ladder, I tell these guys we can't look further than our next opponent."
Darien 7, St. Jospeh 1
DARIEN 4 2 1--7
ST. JOSEPH 0 0 1--1
Records: Darien 18-2-1; St. Joseph 10-9-1
Goals: D--Herbie Hazelton, Carter Joyce 2, Sam Knowlton, Ben Brown 2, Craig Miller; SJ--Adam Usinger. Assists: D--Thomas Sulger, Jake Kirby, Jay Dickson, Jack Pardue; SJ--Filippo Petrini. Goalies: D--Will Massie (21 saves); SJ--Dylan Batterson (33). Shots: D--41; SJ--22.