Boys Hockey: Darien blanks Staples Co-Op
MILFORD — The non-league portion of the schedule for Darien couldn’t have gone much worse, as it entered Saturday’s contest with Staples/Weston/Shelton reeling at 1-5.
Darien did just that.
Despite an injury to its best offensive threat and a sophomore goalie making his first career start in net, the Blue Wave defeated SWS 5-0 at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
“We opened up with a pretty formidable schedule without any breaks,” Budd said. “To start out and play New Canaan and Greenwich and Fairfield Prep, it’s a tough schedule. Now we start a different part of the schedule with league games, which are obviously very important, and what I liked about today is I felt everyone did their job very well.”
“We looked good today,” Cohen said of his line. “Everyone did their job, grinding in the corners and getting the puck out in front — so that went well.”
Cohen wasted no time making his mark in the contest.
Just 22 seconds in, the senior-transfer tallied on a perfect feed in front from Sulger. The teams would skate even for the remainder of the first, trading chances until CJ Hathaway scored immediately following a successful penalty kill from Darien with just 19 seconds remaining in the period.
Late-period goals tilted the ice in favor of the Wave (2-5, 1-0 FCIAC) as Cohen tallied his second with just 1:36 to go in period two.
“We talked about if before the game, we struggle with under two minutes to go in the period,” SWS coach Chris Avena said. “We have been giving up goals that are momentum changers and back breakers. We haven’t quite figured out how to stop it and recover from it; we’re struggling on both ends as far as that goes.”
The Wreckers (1-6, 0-2) had three power plays in the contest, two in the first period alone, but were unable to capitalize despite peppering shots on goal in the first two.
“I thought we looked pretty good today,” Avena said of the power-play unit that had gone 0 for 12 in the previous two games. “The first two I especially thought would have given us momentum, we got a lot of pucks to the net. Special teams against a team like Darien can kill you, it’s like turnovers in football.”
The two early advantages weren’t a warm welcome for Darien goalie Henri Pfeifle, but the sophomore was more than up to the challenge, making 23 saves en route to a shutout in his first career start.
Heading into the third period with a 3-0 lead, Budd used the intermission to stress the importance of finishing games.
Darien responded with two more goals; a roller from the blue line off the stick of Henry Congdon and a short-handed strike from Hathaway for his second of the game.
DARIEN 5, STAPLES CO-OP 0
DARIEN 2 1 2—5
STAPLES/WESTON/SHELTON 0 0 0—0
Records: Darien 2-5, 1-0 FCIAC; SWS 1-6, 0-2. Goals: D—Arden Cohen 2, CJ Hathaway 2, Henry Congdon. Assists: D—Thomas Sulger, Alexander Kostrzewski, Will Johnston, Griffin Martens. Goalies: D—Henri Pfeifle (23 saves); SWS—Zack Bloom (34). Shots: D—39; SWS—23.