DARIEN -- The New Canaan girls hockey team remained perfect on the season by skating to a 7-1 victory over Greenwich in the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament Wednesday night at the Darien Ice Rink.
Olivia Hompe scored four goals, Catherine Granito notched two and Madzie Carroll scored one to pace the Rams' attack, setting up Round 3 of New Canaan vs. Darien in the FCIAC championship game on Saturday at the Darien Ice Rink at 4 p.m.
"This isn't easy to do; it's just not. These girls deserve everything they get. They work for it," New Canaan coach Rich Bulan said. "They work hard at making sure they're never outplayed or outhustled. Some of those goals we scored were just pure speed."
Five minutes into the game, Hompe scored an unassisted short-handed goal to give her team the lead. Just two minutes later, the Rams doubled their lead when Madzie Carroll sprung Granito into the attacking zone, and the freshman forward scored on a backhand. Granito notched her second goal, unassisted, with 48 seconds remaining in the period for the 3-0 lead going into the second.
"It feels great to be in the FCIAC championship. I think we moved the puck well. It was definitely a team effort and everyone got some ice," Granito said. "On the second one, I came out of the penalty box and Madzie had a beautiful saucer right on my stick and the floodgates opened from there."
Less than two minutes into the second period, Granito got the puck to Madzie Carroll, who found Hompe at the blue line. Hompe rifled a shot for the 4-0 lead. Hompe also scored the Rams' fifth and sixth goals with assists from Mia Carroll and Granito on the fifth and assists by Mia Carroll and Madzie Carroll on the sixth.
"Especially with (Greenwich), they have some good forwards and strong defenders, so we knew we had to come out hard, especially in the beginning," Hompe said. "This is how it was going to be for all our playoff games hopefully, so we just wanted to come out strong."
New Canaan boosted its lead to 7-0 when Granito sent a long pass to Madzie Carroll, who had just exited the penalty box. Madzie Carroll scored on the ensuing breakaway.
Greenwich had a few chances to score early in the game, but attempts by Erin Ferguson and Emily Bacon, among others, proved futile against New Canaan goalie Nathalie Deney, who stopped 12 of the 13 shots she faced.
The Cardinals avoided the shutout when Ferguson scored by jamming a puck home in front of the New Canaan net midway through the third. Monica Stevenson was credited with the assist.
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NEW CANAAN 7, GREENWICH 1
GREENWICH 0 0 1--1
NEW CANAAN 3 3 1--7
Goals: G--Erin Ferguson; NC--Olivia Hompe 4, Catherine Granito 2, Madzie Carroll. Assists: G--Monica Stevenson; NC--Madzie Carroll 3, Catherine Granito 3, Mia Carroll 2. Goalies: G--Dartagan Freccia (27 saves); NC--Nathalie Deney (12), Sarah Klearman (1). Shots: G--14; NC--34.