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New Canaan boys hockey team settles for tie against North Haven

Updated 2:47 pm, Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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  • New Canaan Rams goalie Chrisopher Koennecke watchs in vain as a shot by Vin Fasulto finds the mark in a 2-2 overtime tie against North Haven in Darien on Tuesday afternoon. The goal was the first of the game. Photo: J. Gregory Raymond / Stamford Advocate Freelance;  © J. Gregory Raymond
    New Canaan Rams goalie Chrisopher Koennecke watchs in vain as a shot by Vin Fasulto finds the mark in a 2-2 overtime tie against North Haven in Darien on Tuesday afternoon. The goal was the first of the game. Photo: J. Gregory Raymond

 

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DARIEN -- The New Canaan boys hockey team gained a point in the standings following a 2-2 tie against North Haven on Monday evening, but that was small consolation for the Rams.

Generally speaking, New Canaan felt as though it should have found a way to skate off of the Darien Ice Rink with a victory.

"It's definitely disappointing. We had 20 shots in the third period and just couldn't bury any," New Canaan's Henry Stanton said. "(New Canaan goalie Chris) Koennecke played really well and we just didn't put any in for him. It's definitely a disappointing tie. We didn't get our shots and we didn't crash the net too hard."

New Canaan's domination in shots (52-13) and time on the attack was rendered irrelevant by North Haven goalie Andrew Graziano, who stopped 50 of the 52 shots he faced, including 10 in overtime.

"Our goalie kept us in it. I was proud of the way we played. We've been struggling to play three periods and to also play the overtime and come out with the tie, I was happy with that," North Haven coach Thomas Roche said. "Our goalie played exceptional."

In the eight-minute overtime period, several Rams made a bid for the game-winner, but Graziano turned away shots from Stanton, Parker Lewis and John O'Rourke, among others. As a result, the Indians boast a win and a tie in their last two contests after starting the season 0-2.

"The lines are starting to work together. I think we're on a roll," Roche said. "If we can play like this, we should come out ahead."

North Haven struck first and took a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the opening period. Tyler Ludee's shot from the right faceoff circle was stopped by Koennecke, but the rebound bounced into the center of the ice for North Haven's Vin Fasulo, who gave his team its only lead of the contest.

Four minutes later, New Canaan's Henry Stanton gained possession in the neutral zone and lifted the puck over the stick of a North Haven defender to spring himself into the attacking zone. According to Stanton, the puck took a fortuitous bounce on his game-tying goal.

"I beat my guy wide and saw Jack (Howard) cutting to the net, so I threw it in front," Stanton said. "I kind of got a lucky bounce when it hit off the defenseman's pad and went in."

The second period was more of the same for both squads, as the ice seemed tilted in the direction of the North Haven zone. Just 2:26 into the period, Patch made a backhand pass to set up teammate Davis Bruch, who scored just out of the reach of Graziano. Lewis also notched an assist on the play.

"I came down, picked up the puck and didn't have an open shot because the goalie was covering most of the net. I put it across when I saw Bruch there. Not much the goalie can do about that one," Patch said. "I felt like we were slow out of the gate. When we play teams that are slower than us, we play down to their level and that really hurts us."

Just 2:31 later, North Haven got the equalizer, which was set up when Christopher Lion forced the Rams to turn the puck over in their own zone. Lion passed across the crease to Karl Anderson, who knotted the game at 2-2.

Both teams had their chances at the potential game-winner in the third period, but Koennecke and Graziano refused to budge. New Canaan defenseman Stephen Mettler was able to break up a potential 2-on-1 in the third period, and Koennecke would later make a save on a 3-on-1.

Up next for the Rams is a home clash with Byram Hills, NY at the Darien Ice Rink on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

jchik@bcnnew.com Twitter: @jchik17

NEW CANAAN 2, NORTH HAVEN 2

NORTH HAVEN 1 1 0 0 -- 2

NEW CANAAN 1 1 0 0-- 2

Goals: NC--Henry Stanton, Davis Bruch. NH--Vin Fasulo, Karl Anderson. Assists: NC--Stephen Mettler, Ben Patch, Parker Lewis. NH--Tyler Ludee, Christopher Lion. Goalies: NC--Chris Koennecke (11 saves); NH--Andrew Graziano (50). Shots: NC--52; NH--13.