Greenwich High Boys Hockey Blanked by Darien, 3-0
While it was a well-played game by both teams, the Greenwich High School boys ice hockey team wasn’t pleased with the outcome, as Darien came into a rowdy Dorothy Hamill Ice Rink and blanked Big Red 3-0.
“It was a fun game to coach,” Russel said. “It had an FCIAC playoff atmosphere, so it was good from that point of view. I think getting that first goal would have helped a lot. We had a power play and a couple of chances, but really didn’t get to the net well.
Darien scored twice in the second period and once more in the third to ice the game and hand the Cardinals its first loss of the season.
“They passed harder and went through the lanes quicker with more speed,” Russel said. “We were going a little too much East-West and didn’t get North-South enough at times. We played on the outside a lot. They beat us to the puck. They were stronger and wanted the puck more and brought a more intense style of game than we did.”
Darien was paced by Edward Glassmeyer, who finished with two goals. Thomas Sulger added the late goal to put the game out of reach. Jake Kirby, Owen Collins, Hunter Hazelton, Max Deberadinis and Ben Brown all picked up an assist each for the Blue Wave.
“You can put whatever system you want out there, but at the end of the day, the kids played with a lot of intensity and battled hard,” said Darien High School head coach Mac Budd. “I think, for the most part, we worked hard and won a lot of those battles. We kept it simple when we got pucks to the net and it worked. We have a great goalie and David (Voigt) does a great job handling the puck, which helped our transition game a lot.”
Throughout the first period, both squads had chances to get that early lead. With 8:21 to play in the first, Greenwich’s Matt Davey worked the puck in the Darien zone, skated hard to the net while faking out several Darien defenders, however DHS goalie David Voigt made the glove save.
On a power play chance, Big Red’s Alex Mozian had a point-blank shot at the net with 3:10 to play, but Voigt made the tough save.
Less than 30 seconds later, it was Greenwich goalie Nick Buzzuto’s turn for the stellar save, as Kirby was on the break off a steal at center ice and darted towards the net. Big Red’s Colin Kelly almost caught up with Kirby deep in the GHS zone, but Buzzuto was able to make the quick deflection and kept the game scoreless.
“For a rink that’s small coming in, I thought that we were aware of the rink and playing to the rink,” Budd said. “But think that despite the smaller confines of the rink, we did a pretty good job moving the puck through the neutral zone tonight. I was happy. I thought this was a good effort. Those guys are No. 1 in the state and we had battle after battle after battle with them. So we are happy to come out of here with a victory.”
Early in the second period, Greenwich was the team that came out on fire. With one minute gone by in the period, Kelly fired a shot just inside the blue line to the right of the goalie net. While the shot eluded the DHS defense, Voigt was there for the glove save.
Less than two minutes later, Cal McKinney unloaded a shot to the left of the net, but once again Voigt grabbed the save.
Finally, with 11:59 to play in the second, the Blue Wave broke the tie, as Glassmeyer took the pass from Collins and pushed the puck past Buzzuto for the 1-0 lead.
Glassmeyer and the Blue Wave struck again less than two minutes later, when Hazelton took the puck up ice and dished to Kirby. Kirby’s shot at Buzzuto was saved, but Glassmeyer grabbed the rebound and found the back of the net with 10:25 to play in the second.
“I don’t think we attacked with speed,” Russel said. “We had a couple of guys beat the first man, but we didn’t get guys going through together. We need to come out with a little more authority. We also need to take advantage of some errors. They took advantage of errors and forced errors on us. We didn’t really get into a position to force enough.”
Darien was ready to add more with 1:25 to play in the second, as Riley Mullin gained control of the puck on a steal and had an open look at Buzzuto and the GHS net. However, the Greenwich goalie stood tall and made the huge save to keep things a two-goal game.
GHS started the third with Mike Mozian on a 2-on-1 break with his brother Alex Mozian, but the DHS goalie deflected the shot out of harm’s way with 10:15 to play.
On the day, Big Red finished with 27 shots on goal, while Darien fired off 29 shots. With the loss Greenwich fell to 8-1 on the season, while Darien upped its overall record to 7-1.
While Big Red didn’t have the outcome they were hoping for, Russel said that there were still a plethora of positives to take away from the outing.
“A lot of the guys competed hard and as the game went along competed hard in the corners,” Russel said. “But the biggest positive is that we are starting to understand the nature of the game that we have to play in order to play at a higher and faster level.”
With exam week at Greenwich High School, the boys hockey team isn’t scheduled for another contest until Jan. 27, when they travel to Terry Connors and battle the Westhill-Stamford combined hockey team at 7:50 p.m.
“You’re climbing a ladder here and every step isn’t always up,” Russel said. “Some times you have to go sideways and back a bit. It’s all a part of the process. I think this is an ideal game for us at this point of the schedule. It’s a really important game and take it on, view it and rebuild from here. It was a good game.”