New Canaan boys hockey team rules FCIAC
STAMFORD -- With the New Canaan boys ice hockey team able to run four lines of nearly even strength, Rams head coach Bo Hickey knows he can pull away from any given team as the game goes on.
The Rams proved that against Ridgefield on Saturday night.
New Canaan went into overdrive with four goals in the third period of the FCIAC championship game and pulled away from Ridgefield 6-1 at Terry Connors Rink.
"We have some good depth, so we were focusing on going all out for the last 15 minutes because we knew we had the legs to do it," said New Canaan senior captain Sam Stanton, who along with linemate Kris Nugent were named co-MVPs of the tournament.
"We knew we had to put together a good third period, the best third period of our lives basically," added Nugent. "One goal led to the next one and it kind of snowballed."
New Canaan showed its legs at the beginning of the third period when Henry Corcoran scored 1:47 into the period. But the Rams were far from over.
With defenseman Tom Krieger in the penalty box for roughing, the Rams scored a pair of short-handed goals to put the game out of reach.
Stanton struck first after a steal and a pass to Nugent, who shot wide right at goalie Nate Gliedman but saw Stanton redirect it into the net.
Just 1:02 later, at 7:17 in the third, Nugent scored off a steal by Stanton to give New Canaan a 5-1 lead.
"The two short-handed goals by them was a killer," said Ridgefield head coach Sean Gallagher. "They have a good team and a couple of fast players and they had nice goals on both of them."
New Canaan got on the board first 11:03 when junior David Crandall put back a shot by James McGuinniss.
After New Canaan failed to convert on its first power play attempt of the game, Ridgefield answered. Sophomore Terry Guider took a pass from Sean Kelly and beat New Canaan freshman goaltender Christopher Koennecke at 3:13 in the second.
The two-on-one was set up when Sean Wilkinson stole a puck off a New Canaan stick. New Canaan returned the favor 2:41 later.
After Ridgefield failed to convert on a power play, Rams senior forward Tim Robustelli stole the puck in the Ridgefield zone an d fired a shot past Gliedman to give the Rams a 2-1 lead.
Robustelli's goal seemed to flatten the Tigers, and take them out of its game.
"He started everything," Nugent said of Robustelli. "Without that play we wouldn't have scored the rest of those goals. It was definitely a key turning point in the game."
Freshman goaltender Tim Nowacki had 23 saves for New Canaan, and Hickey credited the defense for getting hot and taking pressure off his pair freshman goalies -- Christopher Koennecke being the other -- over the past month of the season.
That and New Canaan's senior leadership, which Hickey said has stepped up all season.
"You couldn't ask for anything more. The goaltenders made the stops, defensively we played as well in the past five weeks than we have in my 15 years, and that says a lot," Hickey said. "The opponents are not getting a lot of shots on us."
RIDGEFIELD 0 1 0 -- 1
NEW CANAAN 1 1 4 -- 6
Goals: R -- Terry Guider; NC -- David Crandall, Tim Robustelli, Henry Corcoran, Sam Stanton, Kris Nugent, Andrew Leslie. Assists: R -- Sean Kelly, Sean Wilkinson; NC -- Stanton 2, James McGinniss, Nugent, Robustelli. Shots: R -- 24, NC 33. Saves: R - Nate Gliedmann (27); NC -- Tim Nowacki (23).