New Canaan girls' hockey team breezes past Staples
SHELTON - The New Canaan Rams girls' hockey team took the ice on Monday night knowing that a victory was assured. After all, they were taking on a Staples squad that was winless and had scored just one goal the entire season. The Rams faced little resistance in their 9-1 drubbing of the Wreckers at the Shelton Ice Rink.
"You see it in a lot of sports where teams play down to the competition and do things they don't normally do," New Canaan coach Rich Bulan said. "For the most part, we did what we were supposed to."
The Rams (11-1 ) were supposed to dominate Staples and they did, quickly.
"Every game we try to start fast, get a goal on the first shift," Persky said. "And we've done a good job of that over the past two weeks."
The floodgates were open. Just 30 seconds later, Holly Burwick cleaned up a rebound in front of the net, and lifted a backhand over the sprawling Staples goalie, giving New Canaan a 2-0 advantage. Mary Robustelli closed out the scoring in the first period when she took a perfect pass from Kellianne Hickey, and flipped it home to give the Rams a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
Just 38 seconds into the second period, the Rams and goalie Britt Gardella lost their chance for a shutout. Olivia Kapell beat the junior goaltender to cut the New Canaan lead to 3-1. It was just the second goal of the season for Staples.
The Rams stormed back with five unanswered goals in the period. At the 1:04 mark, Bea Eppler took a nice pass from Olivia Hompe and the sophomore forward beat Moyer to give the Rams a 4-1 advantage. Corbett Ripley pushed the lead to 5-1 after stuffing home a rebound off a shot by Bianca Schultz.
Then at the 6:33 mark, Ripley was behind the net and set up Burwick with a beautiful pass and Burwick rifled it home, giving the Rams a 6-1 lead. It was the second of two goals on the night for Burwick, who earned high praise from her coach.
"We moved her to center this year and it's paid off," Bulan said. "She played well for us in a lot of spots. I'm always happy with Holly. She just wants to win and she puts in a great effort every game."
Fifty-two seconds after Burwick's goal, Hompe unleashed a blistering wrist shot from near the top of the circle, beating Moyer to give the Rams a 7-1 advantage. It was the 23rd goal of the season for the sensational sophomore forward.
The game marked the return of Kylie Glover, who had missed nearly a month of action with a sprained shoulder. The sophomore forward scored her first goal of the season at the 7:42 mark of the second period, sliding one past Moyer after taking a nice feed from Hompe. Glover closed out the scoring for the Rams in the third period, drilling one home from the top of the circle.
"It feels great to be back," Glover said. "I hadn't actually practiced before this game. Even without practicing I was pretty shocked," Glover added. "Scoring my first two goals of the season was a great way to start."