Westhill, New Canaan battle to OT tie
Published 11:56 pm, Wednesday, February 4, 2015
DARIEN -- For two teams, a tie can mean a lot of different things.
Westhill, a Division III team considers Wednesday night's 1-1 final at New Canaan a victory, while the Division I Rams look at it as an step back in their postseason hunt.
"We're a blue collar team," Westhill coach John Santagata said. "We work hard day in and day out; I have no all-stars or snipers out here. My goalie was fantastic tonight, he played unbelievable up until the very last second, but that's our game, we always work hard and don't give up. This is like a win for us."
Westhill goalie Christian Compolattaro let in a Tyler Ferraro rebound just a 1:30 into the game, but from there did his best impression of a brick wall, stopping 42 shots, including two breakaways from Patrick Hompe in overtime, one with 1.1 seconds left in overtime.
"He's been playing very well," Santagata said of the sophomore net minder. "Tonight he was on top of his game; he's getting better and better every game. He works hard at it and I think tonight's a definite confidence booster to play a game like this and come out with that outcome."
Despite markedly less depth than the Rams, the Vikings (6-5-1, 2-4-1 FCIAC) played aggressor much of the night, skating hard and finishing their checks, trying their best to keep a very talented New Canaan team off balance. Westhill's lone goal came late in the second in one of its three power play chances when Misiak Szczepan hit Scott Reville with a cross where he was able to finish.
"To be honest with you for the first two periods I thought they were the better team on the ice," New Canaan coach Pat Gore said of the Vikings. "The results were unfair to them, they pushed the tempo, they were the aggressor, they outplayed us, they outworked us, they were more hungry."
Playing a full game has been something Gore has preached all year, and something he has yet to see his team do. The Rams (8-4-2, 6-1-1) have proven they can skate with anyone, but even by putting 49 shots on goal they were unable to capitalize on a chance for another conference win.
"It's certainly not for lack of talent," Gore said of his team's erratic play. "Every game where we've tied or lost at times we've played phenomenal and other times we've just stood around. Tonight was another scenario where we took too long to get moving; it's frustrating from a standpoint that we know that were better than we're playing, but at the same time you're hopeful come the end of the year when its win or go home maybe well finally put it together."
Gore and the Rams want to earn a home playoff game in the FCIAC playoffs, where he says the competition is wide open, but in order to do so his team needs to realize its potential -- and fast.
Westhill 1, New Canaan 1 (OT)
NEW CANAAN 1 0 0 0--1
WESTHILL 0 1 0 0--1
Records: New Canaan 8-4-2, 6-1-1; Westhill 6-5-1, 2-4-1.
Goals: NC--Tyler Ferraro; W--Scott Reville. Assists: NC--Patrick Hompe; W--Misiak Sczcepan. Goalies: NC--Liam Mooney (15 saves); W--Christian Compolattaro (42). Shots: NC--49; W--19.