GREENWICH — The Greenwich and Fairfield Ludlowe/Warde girls hockey teams made a habit of making each other work overtime this season.

The first meeting of the season between the two squads saw the Cardinals pull out an overtime victory and when the teams faced off Tuesday, once again, nothing was decided in regulation.

Yet thanks to the outstanding play of both goalies, this time there was no victor.

In a defensive struggle, Greenwich and the Fairfield Ludlowe/Warde co-op skated to a tough 0-0 tie at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink. As they’ve shown throughout the season, the Cardinals and Fairfield have emerged as two of the more improved teams in the FCIAC and state.

Following the tie, the Cardinals are 9-1-3 in FCIAC play and 11-2-5 overall — marks that put them as the No. 2 seed heading into the approaching conference tournament and No. 3 in the state rankings. Fairfield Ludlowe/Warde meanwhile, is fourth in the FCIAC with a record of 9-4-1 and has climbed to eighth in the state (14-5-1).

“We are lucky to walk away with a tie,” GHS coach Alex Lerchen said. “We’ll take a tie. I thought we responded nicely after the second intermission. The girls came out fired up.”

Said Fairfield coach Brian DePodesta: “The effort from both teams was fantastic. We lost to them in overtime previously this year and this one was great as well.”

Both goalies stood out. Cardinals freshman Jess Ware made 26 saves in goal, while Mustangs sophomore Sophia Guerrera stopped 19 shots between the pipes. The first period saw Ware make seven saves and Greenwich kill two Fairfield power plays.

In the second period, the Cards were charged with four penalties, forcing it to play plenty of defense. The Mustangs went on a 5-on-3 power play after GHS was whistled for having too many players on the ice and a checking infraction. But Ware kept it a scoreless game, making several saves.

“Our defense stayed very strong,” Ware said. “The fact that we had so many penalties made it tough, but we stayed strong and kept playing, even though we didn’t have the advantage. We had to play a lot more defense than we wanted to, but we played well.”

Said Lerchen: “It’s tough to get into a flow when they’re on a 5-on-3, but killing that 5-on-3 was amazing stuff. Our penalty kill has been strong all season and Jess brought her best, which really helped us out.”

Greenwich defenders Jennie Piotrzkowski (junior), Sydney Orszulak (freshman) and Katie Piotrzkowski (freshman) were busy in the defensive zone, blocking shots and clearing the puck out of harm’s way.

“Our defense was trying to work hard down low,” Jennie Piotrzkowski said. “They were putting a lot of pressure on Jess, who was phenomenal in covering up the rebounds.”

Paced by seniors Grace Flink and Courtney Scheetz, the visitors came out strong in the first two periods.

“We had a lot riding on this game to get into states,” DePodesta said. “We like to start our games from the defense up and try to get as many pucks on net as possible. Greenwich’s goalie was outstanding and our goalie stepped up in a huge way today. She kept us in the game and did a good job of limiting their chances and keeping them to the outside.”

The third period was Greenwich’s best period, as it applied more pressure on Fairfield than it did the first 30 minutes of action. Guerrera made a pad save off a shot from GHS junior Riley Ellsworth with 6:32 remaining in the second period and stopped a shot off the stick of sophomore Hayley Duffy at the 5:30 mark. In the third period, Greenwich’s forecheck became more effective.

“They dumped the puck on us a lot and they got it deep on us, making us skate a little more,” Duffy said. “We definitely got better as the game went on and stepped it up.”

Like Ware, Guerrera was on top of her game throughout.

“Our defenders were very helpful, they did a great job,” Guerrera said. “We were trying our hardest, especially on the power plays. Overtime is really stressful, because if one shot goes in it’s over. I just focus on keeping my hopes up.”

Greenwich, which has clinched berths in both the FCIAC and state tournaments, hosts Simsbury Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“This is the first time we’ve qualified for the playoffs since I’ve been here, so it’s exciting, especially for the older girls,” Piotrzkowski said.

dfierro@greenwichtime.com; 203-625-4423

GREENWICH 0, FAIRFIELD 0

FAIRFIELD 0 0 0 0—0

GREENWICH 0 0 0 0—0

Goalies: Sophia Guerrera (19 saves); G — Jess Ware (26 saves).

Records: Greenwich 11-2-5; Fairfield 14-5-1.