DARIEN -- Would you ever expect anything less?
Moments into sudden death overtime, Darien senior John Reed scored to stun rival New Canaan 11-10 Saturday afternoon and cap a remarkably even contest from start to finish. Blue Wave attacks Peter Lindley and Colin Minicus each notched hat tricks, as Darien remained undefeated at 9-0, while the Rams (7-3, 6-2 FCIAC) dropped their second straight.
"This was a great game," New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said. "Hopefully everybody here, especially the little kids, saw how special this is and what it's like to play in this type of game and rivalry. We're going to see them again."
Equipped with over a week's worth of film preparation, the Blue Wave utilized a play called "300" to garner the game-winner, as well as a handful of earlier key goals. During the final seconds, Ian Burgoyne found Reed all alone in front, recording his second assist on the day.
"It's just a play that we've been going over a lot in practice," Reed said of his decisive score. "Ian dodged from behind and drew a guy and I was able to cut and stick the shot."
The longtime rivals traded blows for the entirety of regulation, which concluded in a mini comeback by the Rams over the final eight minutes. Following a Darien shorthanded goal, New Canaan's Teddy Dumbauld won consecutive faceoffs with his team down two scores. Sophomore Kyle Smith took the first possession and successfully struck upstairs, before Max Begoon tied the game on his lone goal of the day at the 5:56 mark.
Minicus responded by collecting his third and final score with 3:27 to go, only to be answered by New Canaan's Justin Meichner one minute later knot the score at 10-10.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Meichner tallied three points in the second frame, guiding the Rams to an eventual 5-4 halftime lead. He finished with a team-best three goals, as did New Canaan captain Harry Stanton, who initiated the afternoon's scoring with 10:56 left in the first half.
Despite a game total of 12 shots, neither goalie allowed anything through during the first quarter.
"Early on, it was just really great defense," said Darien coach Jeff Brameier, whose team began the day No. 22 in the Under Armour/Inside Lacorsse National High School Rankings. "There was a little feeling out going on. Then, you go to things you scouted ¦ and then they got their game going. But we responded."
At the outset of the third frame, Wave goalie Phil Huffard stopped a pair of quick Stanton shots, keeping his team's deficit to one. Moments later, Reed broke through for his first goal on an unassisted effort, tying the game at six.
Clutching to its newfound momentum, Darien netted three of the next four scores for an 8-6 edge. Lindley picked up a point on each of the Wave's late third quarter goals and tallied the second with an extraordinary shot in traffic.
New Canaan attack Michael Kraus managed to score less than a minute prior to the frame ending, pulling his team within one. But, it was not New Canaan's day.
"New Canaan, they're a great team and it's a big rivalry game, so it's always back and forth," Reed said. "It was just a lot of fun. We got the best of them today."
Darien 11, New Canaan 10
NEW CANAAN 0 5 2 3 0--10
DARIEN 0 4 4 2 1--11
Records: New Canaan 7-3, 6-2 FCIAC, Darien 9-0, 7-0 FCIAC. Scoring: NC-- Justin Meichner 3 goals, 2 assists, Harry Stanton 3 g, 1 a, Michael Kraus 2g, 1a, Max Begoon 1g, 1a, Kyle Smith 1g, Robby Paul 1a, Cole Turpin 1a; D-- Peter Lindley 3g, 1 a, Colin Minicus 3g, John Reed 2g, 1a, Kyle Cornell 2g, 1a, Harry Gillespie 2a, William Hammernick 2a, Ian Burgoyne 2a, Jack Kniffin 1g. Goalies: NC--Trent Nader (6 saves); D--Phil Huffard (10). Shots: NC--32; D--34.