Girls’ hockey falls short to Darien in CIAC quarterfinal

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Molly Keshin, Editor-in-Chief
@mollykCourant

Coming off of a 2-0 loss in a highly-anticipated matchup against the Greenwich Cardinals in the FCIAC semifinals on February 22, the girls’ hockey team was looking to continue their season in the opening round of States against rival Darien. In the regular season, the Rams fell to the Wave in a 6-0 rout on January 16, and suffered a 4-0 loss to Darien on February 13, and strove to avenge these losses yesterday at Darien Ice House.

Coming into the CIAC tournament, the Blue Wave was also looking to pick themselves up after

Gianna Bruno skates with the puck against Fairfield earlier this season. Photo by Molly Keshin

losing a 2-0 battle to the Greenwich Cardinals in the FCIAC Championship this past Saturday, February 25. With New Canaan ranked seventh and Darien ranked second in the state, the Rams aimed for the upset. However, the girls came up short in a defensive contest, falling to Darien 2-1.

In New Canaan’s previous matchups against Darien, they struggled to hold off the Wave’s strong offensive game and spent the majority of the game defending their own zone. In the state quarterfinal, however, the Rams proved their defensive power, holding Darien to only four shots on goal in the first period. Despite the Rams’ offensive bursts led by junior co-captains Gianna Bruno and Brooke Deane, a power play opportunity off of a Darien checking penalty, and the team’s total eight shots on goal, neither team would score, ending the first period tied 0-0.

The defensive battle would continue into the second period, as the Rams were held to only three shots in the entire period. As for the Blue Wave, they controlled the puck for the majority of the period with eleven shots on goal. However, the period would be a quiet one as neither team had any power play opportunities. With key saves by Rams’ sophomore goalie Kara Fahey, the score would remain 0-0 going into intermission.

Freshman Quincy Connell controls the puck in a game against Fairfield co-op earlier this season. Photo by Molly Keshin

At the beginning of the third period, Darien broke the scoring drought with a goal by Sally Cassidy just 27 seconds into the period to lift the Blue Wave to a 1-0 advantage. Exactly seven minutes later, the Wave would extend their lead as Darien’s Claire Knight would take a shot on goal and as New Canaan’s Kara Fahey tried to cover the puck, Kit Arrix lifted the puck into the net, making the score 2-0.

However, the Rams would not give up, continuing to put the pressure on the Wave defense. With 1:38 left in the game, Gianna Bruno would cut Darien’s lead to 2-1 after tipping in sophomore Jess Eccleston’s shot on goal. Yet, despite pulling out Kara Fahey and leaving an empty net for a 6-on-5 man advantage with a minute left, the Rams could not equalize the score, and the Blue Wave took a 2-1 victory to head into the CIAC semifinals on Thursday, March 2.

The Rams closed out the 2016-2017 season with a record of 11-6-4.

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About Author

Molly is a senior at NCHS and the an Editor-in-Chief on the Executive Council for the Courant. This is her third year of taking journalism, which she wishes to pursue in college.

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