Darien icemen spread out scoring in first FCIAC win
SHELTON -- Darien High School's boys' hockey team got goal-scoring contributions from seven different scorers in a 7-3 win over the Staples-Weston-Shelton team at the Rinks at Shelton on Wednesday night. The team also got more than a dozen saves from two goaltenders as Max Rothston and Hunt Bartram combined to man the crease and help Darien to its first FCIAC win.
The Blue Wave improved to a deceptive 4-5-1, and Staples lost its third straight game to fall to 6-3 overall. This was only the second conference game for the Blue Wave, and the team members were happy to get the `W' under their belts as they get into the heart of the FCIAC season. Darien has lost some tough games to challenging non-conference D-I foes.
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Alex Brown, Brendan Hathaway and Richard Gregory scored first-period goals and Darien held a slim 3-2 lead after one stanza. The Wave seized control in the second on tallies by Curry Harmon, Alex Peter and George Gregory. Hank Glick's third-period goal capped the DHS scoring. Rothston started the game and made 14 saves in the first two periods. Bartram was busy in only one period of action and kicked away 15 shots.
"This was huge. Now we can get on a streak," said Bartram, who pointed out that the team wants to get sharp for a big clash with St. Joseph of Trumbull this Wednesday.
Darien Coach Larry Vieira was particularly pleased with his team's play in the middle period, during which the Wave outplayed its opponent and forced some key turnovers.
"In the second period we forechecked really, really well and we outworked them along the boards -- and we won the small battles," Vieira said. "Staples is well-coached. They've got some very, very explosive players. We're very happy to beat them."
Staples Coach Ralph Unker wasn't happy with his Division III team's lapses at times and noted that a tough D-I team, such as Darien, will make you pay when given the opportunity.
Despite the fact Darien won fairly handily, Vieira sees a lot of room for improvement, especially following what he considers to be the team's best win, a 3-1 victory over Amity of Woodbridge.
"Today we took a little step back and we need to be more consistent," the coach said.
Up next for the Wave is a game against a significantly improved, but still weaker-on-paper, three-win D-III Norwalk-Brien McMahon team this Saturday.
"We want to play each game like we're playing New Canaan," said Vieira, referring to his arch rivals and perennial state title contenders. "We need eight wins to get into the playoffs and we don't care who we're playing."