FAIRFIELD -- While there's no official designation or ranking for girls' high school hockey in Connecticut, Darien (15-1, 12-0 FCIAC) could very well be the best team in the state.
This was no more evident than last Saturday, when the Blue Wave continued to roll over their opposition with a 6-0 victory at Fairfield, in a game that wasn't as close as the score suggested.
Sophomore Georgia Cassidy notched two goals, while Julia Arrix and Sammy Nielsen each added a goal and two assists. Darien has won 14 straight games since Dec. 23, when they suffered their only loss, a 4-2 defeat to East Catholic.
"We have a really deep bench," said Darien senior co-captain Ellie Bennett, who contributed a goal and an assist. "So you can end up playing three or four lines, which gives us a lot of time to rest. We have a ton of different girls able to score. You don't see one girl scoring four of five goals."
During this winning streak, Darien has outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 93-5 with 10 shutouts.
"We have a really nice team," remarked Blue Wave coach Jamie Tropsa. "We have good senior leadership. We have a big junior class and a big sophomore class, but our freshman class is contributing as well, so it's a really good group of girls to coach."
The Blue Wave's margin of victory would have been much larger if not for the play of Fairfield goaltender Phoebe Cascella, who was constantly under siege and registered 48 saves.
Nearly the entire game was played in Fairfield's end of the ice. The Mustangs (4-8-2, 3 6) iced the puck four times in the first period in an attempt to relieve the pressure.
In fact, the first faceoff in Darien's zone didn't occur until the 2:54 mark of the second period, after the Blue Wave was called for icing.
"(Cascella's) played terrific against us twice," Tropsa said, recalling his team's first win over the Mustangs back on Jan. 11. "We had well over 50 shots (54) and about another 20 wide."
The Blue Wave scored twice in each period with Arrix and Bennett each tallying a goal in the opening 15 minutes.
Cassidy and Amanda Sload scored 27 seconds apart early in the second to give Darien a 4-0 lead, but Cascella blanked the Blue Wave over next 19 and a half minutes. Then, Nielsen and Cassidy tacked on goals in the final frame.
"Whenever we play Fairfield, we always say that (Cascella's) an incredible goalie," Bennett said.
"She just stands on her head and saves everything we throw at her."
Yet, Tropsa believed the Blue Wave could have done a better job cashing in their chances.
"The only thing I did not like is we get a lot of opportunities and don't score on them," he said.
"We have to take better advantage of the good opportunities."
Darien, which already has clinched a berth in the FCIAC playoffs, is back in action on Monday when it hosts Wilton/Norwalk at the Darien Ice Rink at 6 p.m.
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