DARIEN -- From the drop of the opening faceoff, the New Canaan girls ice hockey team had one mission in its game on Wednesday night against Stamford-Westhill-Staples.

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.

The Rams fired shot after shot at SWS goalie Claire Parry, eventually breaking the brick wall that impeded them. In doing so, New Canaan sent a message ahead of the FCIAC playoffs with a 5-1 win despite 42 saves from Parry, avenging a 7-3 loss to Stamford last month.

"We've got girls that can shoot the puck, we're really not a bad team once we can put it all together," New Canaan coach Rich Bulan said. "This was big for us in the FCIAC (standings)."

The result comes 24 hours after the Rams nearly upset Darien before falling in the final minutes. New Canaan (10-6-1) is looking to finish the season strong with an eye on the FCIAC and state tournaments.

On another day New Canaan would have hit double digits.

"(Parry) has got to be one of the best, if not the best in the state," Stamford co-coach Eli Williams said. "She continues to be the backbone of this team. She tried to settle us and they just kept coming at us. She keeps getting better and better."

The Rams scored three times in the first period avalanche and tallied 20 shots, nearly as many as they had in the entire game during the teams' first meeting. Catherine Granito gave New Canaan a 1-0 lead 2:24 into the game and the junior sniper and her teammates did not let up from there.

"I think it was leftover energy from last night," Bulan said. "They knew they were that close; every game is a playoff game from here on out."

Goals from Mia Carroll and Emma Leslie gave the Rams a 3-0 advantage after the opening 15 minutes despite Parry's 17 saves. Carroll also added an assist as she controlled the blue line.

"Mia has to be one of the best defenseman in the state," Bulan said. "She can carry the puck, she's a great defender she's got a great shot; her vision is excellent."

Granito added a shorthanded tally early in the second, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meg Fay broke up the shutout with 6:48 left in the second period. New Canaan killed off all four penalties it took.

The Rams controlled the entire third period and allowed just two shots on goal. Emma Rosenstein scored early in the period to seal the win.

"I think this was a wakeup call for us," Williams said. "Every game from here on out is going to be like this, we're going to have to come to play and we didn't come to play tonight."

rlacey@bcnnew.com, @ryanlacey11

New Canaan 5, Stamford-Westhill-Staples 1

STAMFORD-WESTHILL-STAPLES 0 1 0--1

NEW CANAAN 3 1 1--5

Records: Stamford-Westhill-Staples 13-4, 9-4 FCIAC; New Canaan 10-6-1, 8-4-1 FCIAC;

Goals: SWS -- Meg Fay; NC -- Catherine Granito 2, Mia Carroll, Emma Leslie, Emma Rosenstein. Assists: NC -- Rosenstein 2, Carroll, Lauren Williams. Goalies: SWS -- Claire Parry (42 saves); NC -- Sarah Street (13 saves).