3rd-period lifts Darien past New Canaan
DARIEN — Just a minute into the contest, it looked like a shootout was possible.
The Darien and New Canaan hockey teams traded goals in the first 60 seconds, but eventually the Blue Wave would pull away to win 6-3 and remain undefeated.
Darien’s Jake Kirby hit from long range just 40 seconds into the tilt, but the Rams’ Tyler Hill stole the ensuing faceoff to net the equalizer.
From then on the game settled down with the Blue Wave and Rams trading another goal apiece in the first. Darien’s came when Carter Joyce connected in traffic in front of the net then New Canaan’s Patrick Hompe converted on a breakaway chance that tied the game at two and would hold all the way through the second period.
The third period was Darien’s time to shine.
“We just picked up our feet and just skated,” Joyce said of the difference in the third. “I think we’re the faster team so we realized that and trusted our speed and our skill to take it to them.”
Darien outscored the Rams 4-1 in the final period; Joyce had a pretty cross to Riley Mullin on a breakaway then 38 seconds later Brandon Cassidy snuck one in from the blue line. New Canaan made it a one goal game on Brooks Gammill’s tally but Darien’s Jack Pardue scored twice in the waning minutes, one on an open net, to seal the victory for the Blue Wave.
“We went to a little different forecheck and capitalized,” Darien coach Chris Gerwig said of the late adjustment. “That was the difference; making adjustments in between the periods may have baffled them a little bit.”
The different look did have a positive effect for the Wave, and Rams coach Pat Gore wasn’t happy with how his team responded.
“Rivalry game, tied going into the third, its inexcusable coming out the way we did,” Gore said. “Forget the execution and the bounces, you have to play a 45 minute game and when you play a game against your rival at home it’s tough to comprehend coming out in the third period like that.”
It isn’t the first time New Canaan’s been down in the early going and came back, but after a game like this that come from behind mentality is something Gore would like to change.
“One of the things we’ve done well in the early season is answering adversity,” Gore said. “We’ve been able to come back but you can’t play like that all the time because you never have a lead and it’s much different playing with a lead.”
After beating Fairfield Prep and New Canaan in two early convincing wins Darien turn its focus to the future where coach Gerwig says he hopes to be playing his best hockey.
“We have gotten off to a good start,” Gerwig said. “But we need to work every day to make sure we’re playing our best at the end of the year.”
DARIEN 2 0 4—6
NEW CANAAN 2 0 1—3
Records: Darien 3-0, New Canaan 1-3. Goals: D—Jake Kirby, Carter Joyce, Riley Mullin, Brendan Cassidy, Jack Pardue 2; NC—Tyler Hill, Patrick Hompe, Brooks Gammill. Assists: D—Joyce. Goalies: D—Will Massie (12 saves); NC—Peter Windas (9). Shots: D—17; NC—17.