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Late goal lifts Glastonbury over Darien in Division I quarters

Updated 2:55 pm, Thursday, March 15, 2012

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  • Darien's Nick Bruno (15) takes a shot on Glastonbury goalie Chase Gabor (29) but is denied during the boys hockey Division I quarterfinals at Ingalls Rink in New Haven on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2012. Photo: Amy Mortensen
    Darien's Nick Bruno (15) takes a shot on Glastonbury goalie Chase Gabor (29) but is denied during the boys hockey Division I quarterfinals at Ingalls Rink in New Haven on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2012. Photo: Amy Mortensen

 

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NEW HAVEN -- Just get to overtime.

That's all Darien High School boys ice hockey coach Chris Gerwig wanted.

His Blue Wave squad had exploded for a pair of third period goals to tie Glastonbury in the Division I state tournament quarterfinals Saturday at Yale University's Ingalls rink.

Darien had the momentum. They had the energy.

Get to overtime. Take a deep breath and finish the job.

Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be.

Ethan Holdaway's powerplay blast from the left point with 2:46 left in regulation lifted No. 4 Glastonbury to a 3-2 triumph over No. 5 Darien.

"We made our adjustments. We tied the score on a great play. But the penalty was a tough call at that point of the game," Gerwig said outside a quiet Darien lockerroom following the season-ending defeat. "Once we tied the game, everybody on our side felt we could win."

Instead it was Glastonbury (18-4) that advanced to Wednesday's Division I semifinals at Ingalls rink against No. 1 Fairfield Prep. Glastonbury picked up a 5-4 win over Fairfield Prep to advance to Saturday's championship game against No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven.

And Darien (17-7) is simply going home.

"All season long, this team found a way to comeback and win. And they never quit today," Gerwig said. "I'm so proud of these kids. Especially the nine seniors who had three coaches in four years. Everybody bought into what myself and the coaching staff wanted to do. I'm sorry to see it end this way."

Glastonbury employed a 1-2-2 neutral zone trap, keeping Darien bottled up in the opening two periods.

And the physicality of the Tomahawks' two offensive stars -- seniors Holdaway and Drew Mozzer -- were responsible for the single goals in each period that put Glastonbury ahead 2-0 after two.

"Ethan and I have been playing together since street hockey in the fourth grade. We've been best friends all along," said Mozzer, who scored both goals off Hathaway feeds. "We work hard. We drill together. We're like brothers."

With Darien senior goalie Max Rothston (26 saves) holding Glastonbury at bay with sparkling stops, the Blue Wave tested Glastonbury junior goalie Chase Gabor (23 saves).

Thomas Watters converted a George Gregory feed with 11:33 left to play for 2-1.

Dairen co-captain Nick Bruno buried the puck behind Gabor with 5:34 to go for 2-2.

"We were worried. We saw Notre Dame-West Haven scored four times in the third period to beat South Windsor (4-2) in the first game," Mozzer said. "We needed to call timeout."

"I told the kids to settle down. Get back to our plan," Glastonbury head coach Ken Barse said. "Get the puck and let our magicians do their thing."

Mozzer won the faceoff at the left circle and Hathaway scored Glastonbury's second powerplay tally on a one-timer from the point to snatch away Darien's dream.

"You get shots, especially one-timers, and good things can happen," Glastonbury's Barse said.

"We lost in the quarterfinals last year," Mozzer said. "This year was all about taking those steps further."

Darien -- playing again without defenseman Hank Glick and forward Trent Bergin -- will ponder taking those next steps next season.

Darien made considerable strides this season after finishing the 2010-11 campaign with a mark of 10-9-1.

Darien loses nine seniors to graduation, but Gerwig believes his team is in good shape for years to come.

"We lose nine seniors but this group has laid the foundation," Gerwig said. "We made the FCIAC final. We beat New Canaan three times. There's a lot of talent coming back. And a lot more coming. Our future is bright."

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