ND-West Haven beats Darien in OT
DARIEN — Headed into overtime against Darien, the Notre Dame-West Haven hockey team was frustrated.
It had outshot the Blue Wave 42-8 in regulation, had three power plays —including a five-minute major — and had spent the majority of the game in the offense zone.
All with nothing to show for it.
Just over two minutes into overtime however, the Green Knight’s Ian Hayden would change that.
The sophomore forward converted on a rebound in front of the net, and NDWH defeated Darien 1-0 at the Darien Ice House Saturday night.
“We were battling hard the whole game,” Hayden said. “The last shot was just lucky for me, it was put out front, it wasn’t even me that set it up, but I put it in.”
Despite controlling play for three full periods, NDWH (9-6-1) coach Tim Belcher had to preach patience to his Green Knights before the OT period.
“Any win on the road is big,” Belcher said. “I don’t care what their record is, they’re a good team, (Darien coach Mac Budd) does a good job and I’m glad we persevered there and got that one in overtime. Our kids were a little frustrated, 42 shots and to not have anything go in until overtime was frustrating. I told the kids it’s a game that you can’t rush, you have to keep to your game plan and I’m glad we got the W.”
Part of that frustration stemmed from the play of Darien (5-10-1) goalie Brendan Bumgardner. The senior netminder recorded 42 saves — including four breakaways — in what was his most complete outing of the year.
“Brendan played a hell of a game tonight,” Budd said. “He played with a ton of confidence and that was a large part of our ability to stay in that game.”
While winless in its last five, including one tie and an overtime loss, Budd feels his team is trending in the right direction — it just needs a couple bounces.
“I see a lot of good stuff,” Budd said. “I feel like we’re making progress and the kids are working their tails off, I feel like we need to get a break here or there. We have some big games coming up the next week and hopefully we start to score some goals and get confidence and head into the postseason feeling good.”
Notre Dame meanwhile, has bounced back to win or tie in six of its last seven contests after starting the year 0-3.
“I think we sort of found ourselves a little bit,” Belcher said. “We were pressing early on, we started 0-3 and when that happens you start thinking, Jesus are we ever going to win a game? I think we were panicking, but we told the kids to settle down and play their game and we just kept playing hard.”
NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN 1,
DARIEN 0 (OT)
NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN 0 0 1—1
DARIEN 0 0 0—0
Records: Notre Dame-West Haven 9-6-1; Darien 5-10-1. Goals: NDWH—Ian Hayden. Assists: NDWH—Michael Bencivengo. Goalies: NDWH—Liam Connell (9 saves); D—Brendan Bumgardner (42). Shots: NDWH—43; D—9.