(skip this header)

Darien News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

dariennewsonline.com Businesses

« Back to Article

New Canaan boys hockey tops Ridgefield in OT in FCIAC semis

Published 9:54 pm, Wednesday, March 5, 2014

nextprevious

  • At left, Harry Stanton (#19) of New Canaan scores the winning goal in overtime getting the puck past Ridgefield goalie Patrick Sheehan-Delany as Ridgefield's Shane Luery (#10) defends as New Canaan defeated Ridgefield 3-2 during the FCIAC boys hockey semifinal between Ridgefield High School and New Canaan High School at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Conn., Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time
    At left, Harry Stanton (#19) of New Canaan scores the winning goal in overtime getting the puck past Ridgefield goalie Patrick Sheehan-Delany as Ridgefield's Shane Luery (#10) defends as New Canaan defeated Ridgefield 3-2 during the FCIAC boys hockey semifinal between Ridgefield High School and New Canaan High School at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Conn., Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Photo: Bob Luckey

 

Larger | Smaller
Email This
Font
Page 1 of 1

STAMFORD -- One title reign ended.

And one rivalry got much, much bigger.

In a 55-minute drama worthy of high school playoff ice hockey, senior quad-captain Harry Stanton scored with 5:03 left in overtime Wednesday, lifting New Canaan High School to a 3-2 triumph over Ridgefield High in the FCIAC Boys Hockey semifinals at Terry Conners ice rink.

"We knew this would be a tough game since they beat us (5-4) in the regular season. They're a fast skating team. We're a fast skating team. We matchup so well," Stanton said. "This game could have gone either way."

Indeed. It was a contest of great shots, great hits, great saves, shots ringing off posts, extended pressure on powerplays. In short it was everything the crowd could ask for. And everything one would expect when the league's No. 2 and No. 3 seeds square off.

"It was a game where you live and die with every shot on goal," said New Canaan senior goalie Mac Wright. "And as the game gets into overtime, everybody on both sides is tired. But all the guys on my side really dug deep. When you win you realize there's a lot of time to rest before the finals."

It was an uphill war all evening for defending FCIAC champion Ridgefield (17-5 overall).

The Tigers saw New Canaan's Jack O'Rourke punch home a rebound just 21 seconds into the contest for 1-0.

Then Patrick Hompe added a power-play goal -- from the left circle to just inside the right post -- with 1:22 left in the first period for a 2-0 New Canaan edge.

Ridgefield immediately showed its championship grit as Sam Sarath answered just nine seconds later for 2-1 after one period.

Sarath struck again -- pulling the string after stealing a puck -- for a 2-2 deadlock with 4:11 left in the second period.

From there, the goalies took center stage.

Ridgefield junior netminder Patrick Sheehan-Delany registered 17 of his 39 saves in the third period. Ridgefield committed three penalties in a seven minute span in the third period.

New Canaan seemed to be in the Ridgefield zone for nearly all seven minutes but Sheehan-Delany stood tall, keeping the contest at 2-2.

Both goalies remained strong down the stretch forcing overtime.

"We couldn't stay out of the penalty box," said Ridgefield coach Shaun Gallagher. "New Canaan played so well. Ultimately, they were the ones who took advantage of opportunities."

Indeed. The end-to-end action of overtime finally concluded with 5:03 left.

"Jack O'Rourke won a clean faceoff off the right side and got me the puck," Stanton recounted. "I looked up and their goalie was covering the right side of the net. I faked a shot and went to my backhand. I saw a one inch hole and the puck slid in."

"You know Stanton is such a good goal scorer," Ridgefield's Gallagher said. "I will be happy when I don't have to see him anymore. I tip my hat."

Although Stanton finished the job, New Canaan wouldn't have cashed in without the work of Wright between the pipes.

Mac had the Wright stuff, making 15 of his 28 saves in the third period and overtime.

"Mac kept us in the game. Ridgefield had so many great shots," Stanton said. "Mac simply played out of his mind."

It was a case of redemption in Wright's mind.

"In the regular season loss to Ridgefield I didn't play well," Wright said. "I was focused. We all were hungry all week to beat Ridgefield."

And with the defending champ out, there will be a new FCIAC boys ice hockey titleholder in 2014.

"We have a team motto. `NO DOUBT!' " Stanton said. "From all our seniors down to our freshmen, we are a family. And this family wants a title."

And standing in New Canaan's path is none other than archrival Darien. Darien topped Trinity Catholic in Wednesday's late semifinal.

"I want to play Darien for the FCIAC title," Wright said. "Some kids dream of playing in the Stanley Cup final. When I was age 8, I saw my first New Canaan vs. Darien hockey game where there was a title on the line. At that moment, I knew I wanted to play in that game."

On Saturday, the dream will be a reality.

FCIAC Playoff Semifinals

New Canaan 3, Ridgefield 2 (OT)

NEW CANAAN 2 0 0 1 --3

RIDGEFIELD 1 1 0 0 --2

Records: New Canaan 17-4-1; Ridgefield 17-5.

Goals: NC -- Jack O'Rourke, Patrick Hompe, Harry Stanton (5:03 left in OT). R -- Sam Sarath 2. Assists: NC -- Stanton, Hompe, John McMahon. R -- Patrick Gibson, Alex Fugazy. Goalies: NC -- Mac Wright (28 saves). R -- Patrick Sheehan-Delany (39 saves).

Highlights: No. 3 seed New Canaan will play No. 1 Darien for FCIAC title Saturday at 3 p.m. at Terry Conners rink.

find businesses and local listings