New Canaan boys hockey team unable to rebound from early hole against St. Joseph
STAMFORD -- Bo Hickey's initial reaction was exactly what one might expect from a coach after a loss: take it out on his team.
"Out of 45 minutes of hockey, we played about 11 minutes," a disgusted looking Hickey said after his New Canaan boys hockey team was beaten 6-3 by St. Joseph Monday night at the Darien Ice Rink.
Then after a few moments, the reality of the situation set in.
"We didn't play well," Hickey added, " . . . but they're a good hockey team,"
St. Joseph is out to win its first Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship and started the regular league season impressively with two goals from high-scoring Christian Keator to help build an early 4-0 lead.
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"I'm really pleased with our effort tonight," St. Joseph coach Marty Crouse said. "We came out slow in our last game against Hamden but tonight we scored two early goals and that helped take something out of them."
Keator, who has 11 goals in his last four games, gave the Cadets (6-2) a 1-0 lead on an unassisted power play goal with 3:55 remaining in the first period. Less than three minutes later, he deflected a slapper by Colin Powell into the net.
"(Keator) has been real productive lately, but he's a factor on the ice whether he scores or not," Crouse said.
"The puck's been getting to my stick, and I've been able to finish my opportunities," Keator said.
Beating New Canaan (2-3-2), which owns one of the more impressive records in the state during the Hickey regime, is always nice. St. Joseph still beams about handing the Rams their only loss three years ago during NC's 24-1 season. The Cadets, along with Darien, Ridgefield and New Canaan are expected to contend for the FCIAC title this season and make a deep run in the state tournament.
When Powell scored 2:20 into the second period and Ryan Corcoran added a goal five minutes later to make it 4-0, Hickey pulled starting goalie Christopher Koennecke and replaced him with Theo Christain. It was a good move by the coach, but not because Koennecke (13 saves) was playing poorly.
"I changed goalies because I just wanted to stop play (and change the momentum)," Hickey said.
Sure enough, 11 seconds later Puck Richardson scored for the Rams.
St. Joseph got a late goal in the middle period by Bryan Canfarotta, but the Rams were in the midst of their good "11-minute" stretch. Harry Stanton, the Rams' leading scorer, potted two goals -- the first with his team shorthanded -- early in the third period making it a 5-3 game.
Troy Deering scored from a difficult angle against Christian (23 saves) with 8:21 left to complete the scoring. Wade Conlan stopped 30 shots for St. Joseph.
St. Joseph 6, New Canaan 3
ST. JOSEPH.............................................2 3 1--6
NEW CANAAN....................................... 0 1 2--3
Records: St. Joseph 6-2, New Canaan 2-3-2.
Goals: SJ--Christian Keator 2, Colin Powell, Ryan Corcoran, Bryan Canfarotta, Troy Deering; NC--Harry Stanton 2, Puck Richardson. Assists: SJ--Powell, Corcoran, Keator 2, Sean Smith; NC--Stanton, Luke Amero 2, Jack O'Rourke. Goalie saves: SJ--Wade Conlan 30; NC--Christopher Koennecke 13, Theo Christian 23.