Though the Fairfield boys ice hockey was the lower seed, coach Mark Pettorini would not classify his team's first-round Division II state tournament win as an upset.
Fairfield, the No. 13 seed, walked out of Watertown
with a 3-2 win over No. 4 Watertown-Pomperaug, Tuesday night.
"I wouldn't call it an upset," Fairfield coach Mark Pettorini said. "We were very-well prepared. We knew exactly what we were getting from them, and I don't think they knew what they were getting from us."
Fairfield built a 3-1 second-intermission advantage before holding on for the co-op team's first state tournament win in five years.
"It was a tough rink to play in, their crowd is loud," Pettorini said of Watertown's Mays Rink. "It makes Bridgeport look like a palace."
Fairfield will now play Friday at Ingalls Rink in
New Haven at 7 p.m. Fairfield will face a familiar foe, Branford.
Fairfield split two games with the Hornets-- winning 7-3 on Dec. 22 and falling 3-2 on Feb. 23.
Fairfield will meet a familiar face too in Branford's coach Adolph Brink. Brink was the last Fairfield coach to win a state tournament game-- he guided the co-op team to the state finals in 2008.
Pettorini was Brink's assistant for six years before taking over after the 2008-09 season and believes there is an advantage in familiarity.
"I know what is coming our way too," Pettorini said.
Though his club lacks Branford's state-tournament experience -- the Hornets were a state finalist last year and have reached the DII semis two of Brink's three years --
Pettorini feels his club can compete.
"Are we experienced at Yale? No," Pettorini said. "But, they have that hunger for a state championship."