Fairfield boys hockey ties Staples-Weston
Published 1:05 am, Friday, January 29, 2010
Goaltending was the difference between tying and winning for Fairfield on Tuesday. The Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe co-op boys hockey team had to settle for a 3-3 tie on the road to the Staples-Weston co-op team despite outshooting Staples, 50-20. The problem for the Mustangs is that they ran into torrid sophomore goalie Alex Skinner, who stole a point for the Wreckers with 47 saves at the Rinks at Shelton. Fairfield moved its record to 3-6-1. Staples is now 2-9-1.
"They played hard and my guys didn't want to play in the first period," Mustang Coach Mark Pettorini said. "Their goalie stood on his head and made so many saves. If you let them linger, they are dangerous."
Skinner said, "Our defense was good for most of the game and it was a matter of staying focused."
Although the Mustangs outshot the Wreckers 14-6 in the first period, Staples ended the period with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of senior captain Danny Carbone's unassisted goal off a breakaway with 7:14 remaining. Skinner's play also frustrated Fairfield.
Junior captain Chris Santello tied it for the Mustangs with 12:56 left in the period.
"The puck was chipped out and popped out to the neutral zone," Santello said. "I knew he was weak upstairs and I tried to shoot it high."
Fairfield continued to control play and outshot the Wreckers 12-9 in the period. However, Staples was able to generate offense and regained the lead, 2-1, with 6:28 to go on sophomore Aaron Liu's goal from sophomore alternate captain Kyle Wehmhoff.
Junior Chris Stern tied it for the Mustangs 1:11 later from Santello and junior Brian Underkofler.
Wehmhoff regained the lead for Staples on a slapshot from senior captain Michael Zaken with 4:10 left. Fairfield then removed freshman goalie Robert Ficaria (10 saves) and replaced him with senior Patrick Cooney (seven saves).
The third period belonged to the Mustangs as they outshot the Wreckers, 16-3. Fairfield owned the final 23 minutes of the game as it outshot Staples 8-1 in overtime to close out with a 24-4 advantage in that span.
If it weren't for Skinner, the Mustangs would have left Shelton with the win. Senior captains Henry Simonds and Sean Kittredge fired shots from point-blank range that Skinner snagged. Stern tried to poke it home but was stymied by Skinner.
"A lot of them like to shoot high," Skinner said. "I tried not to make the first move and I let them make the first move."
Carbone, juniors Luke Andriuk and Ben Brancucci and freshman Liam O'Leary played well defensively and did what they could to make things easier for Skinner. Liu cleared it a few times as well.
"Fairfield played better than us in the third period and overtime," Wreckers junior captain Tali Laifer said. "Alex Skinner played well in net and definitely kept us in the game."
A penalty on the Wreckers with 4:34 in regulation gave the Mustangs an opportunity. With 3:48 to go, Fairfield took advantage and Santello tied it off a sliding pass from Brown.
"I kept shooting on their net and the rebound popped up," Santello said. "It was a good amount of pressure but I knew I could tie it up. I wanted the extra goal to win it but it didn't happen."
Brown had two chances to win it in overtime but Skinner stonewalled him. Santello also had a chance to win it as well, only to be robbed by Skinner.
Fairfield wasn't happy with the result and hopes to turn this into a positive.
"We have an offense that can score down low and I hope to take it into this weekend," Pettorini said.
Santello said, "We haven't been able to string two wins together and to leave here tied is frustrating. We prefer a win but we'll take a tie for now."