DARIEN—It is certainly too early in the high school boys ice hockey season to draw conclusions.
But it’s never too early to send a message.
The Hamden High School boys ice hockey team let the FCIAC know the Green Dragons are a force this year as they toppled New Canaan, 12-6, Wednesday night at the Darien Ice House.
The victory over New Canaan comes on the heels of a 6-4 season-opening triumph over Darien last Saturday for Hamden (2-0).
“The big picture is we earned wins over two tough teams. We feel fortunate to be victorious,” said Hamden coach Todd Hall. “We understand there are still things to work on. And still important experience to be gained. We entered the season concerned about scoring goals.”
HAMDEN BURNING OUT THE GOAL LIGHT
The Green Dragons had eight different players score as they led 6-5 after two periods and exploded for six goals in the third period.
Hamden scored on the power play, at even strength and shorthanded.
Senior Tyler Routh — who had a hat trick against Darien — scored three times again Wednesday. Seniors Zach Owens and Jack Gethings each added two goals.
“Offensively, I want them to just play hockey,” Hamden coach Hall said. “Just read and react on offense. Our kids are creating time and space and moving the puck.”
The Green Dragons were dynamic around the net as they put home a number of rebounds from in front of New Canaan goalie Jack Spain (25 saves).
“We graduated about 70 percent of our scoring from last year,” Hamden’s Jack Gethings said. “To see the offense break out like this. It was a great job of coming together and fighting. Six goals in the third period you don’t see that very often.”
SMALL STEP BACK FOR NEW CANAAN
A young New Canaan squad played well last Saturday in a 3-2 road loss to Notre-Dame West Haven.
The Rams’ four forward lines and three defensive pairs never got traction in the second half of the contest.
“The scoring on both sides was a bit like a squirt hockey game. Our defensive decision making was often at that squirt level,” New Canaan coach Clark Jones assessed. “There were too many odd man rushes. It was incredible to watch. Big hits don’t help us. Some kids will have to earn their ice time going forward. We left our goalie out to dry. It became an ugly game.”
Gunnar Granito and Eric Cimino each had two goals for New Canaan (0-2), which was outscored 6-1 in the third period.
“Our focus must be about playing the game the right way. We need to stick to a process,” NC’s Jones said. “Do your job. Don’t worry about anything else. Tonight was a challenge that we didn’t meet. We need everybody to stick to the structure. It’s all about correct decision making.”
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Next up for New Canaan is none other than archrival Darien on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Darien Ice House.
The Blue Wave will also enter at 0-2 after falling 5-2 to Fairfield Prep Wednesday night.
HAMDEN 12, NEW CANAAN 6
HAMDEN2 4 6—12
NEW CANAAN2 3 1—6
At Darien Ice House. Records: Hamden 2-0, New Canaan 0-2. Goals: H—A.J. Luedee, Jack Gethings 2, Zach Owens 2, Tyler Routh 3, Mike Gethings, Mason Boyhen (SH), Eddy Fracasso, Bryce Riccitelli. NC—Gunnar Granito 2, Griffin Arnone, Sam Augustine, Eric Cimino 2. Assists: H—Boyhen 3, Alan Cozzolino, Alex Hernandez, Jack Gethings 3, Fracasso 2, Owens, Mike Gethings, Jack Shane, Luedee. NC—Augustine 2, Seamus O’Hora, Walker Ker, Justin Wietfeldt 3. Goalies: H—Steven Turner (15 saves); NC—Jack Spain (25 saves).