Fairfield Prep ice hockey beats Notre Dame-Fairfield
The last time the Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-Fairfield ice hockey teams met, the Jesuits were able to put a 9-1 game away before many spectators were able to enter the Milford Ice Pavilion.
The story was a little different on Saturday at Prep's home, Wonderland of Ice.
Prep appeared to put the game out of Notre Dame's reach midway through the game, then had to hang on for a 5-2 victory. Prep raised its record to 12-2 with the win, while Notre Dame fell to 9-5.
The Jesuits stormed out to a 4-0 lead before
the Lancers answered
on a pair of power play goals.
But any momentum Notre Dame built was wiped out when junior goaltender Eric Sugrue tripped a Prep player as he skated through the crease at 9:41 in the third. Moments later, Prep sophomore Tom Worsfold scored a power play goal off a pass from Lucas
Dennison to seal the game.
"It's unreal that you could be that stupid and take such a dumb penalty at such a critical time in the game," Notre Dame Head Coach Mary Roos said. "It was like the nail in the coffin."
Prep junior Don Carnicky made it 3-0 off a pass from Dennison on a Jesuits power play opportunity at the 6-minute mark in the second, and at 8:04,
But a penalty by Prep senior Alex Matarazzo at 11:09, the Jesuits' first of the game, wiped out a power play opportunity set up by a penalty by Notre Dame captain Tyler Schmarr, and gave the Lancers some momentum.
Notre Dame responded with a power-play goal by freshman center Charlie Zuccarini off a pass from senior Steve Hotchkiss to trim Prep's lead to 4-1.
Just 18 seconds into the third period, freshman Christian Blais took care of a loose puck in front of Prep goalie Spencer Sodokoff to make it 4-2 on a power play that carried over from the second period.
Sugrue had 24 saves for Notre Dame, and Sodokoff stopped 19 shots for the Jesuits.
Despite the win, Prep Head Coach Matt
Sather wasn't very pleased with his team's performance.
"I didn't think we outplayed them at all," said Sather, who felt his team was outplayed in the second half of the game. "I was upset with the penalties we took. It allowed them to get back into the game and gain some
momentum towards the end of the second period. I consider us fortunate
to have kept our lead."
Sather felt Prep was a little rusty, since schedule shifts caused by the weather, venue changes and Immaculate dropping its program to form a co-op with New Fairfield has limited the Jesuits to about a game a week lately.
"We haven't played two games in a week for I don't know how long. It's tough to get in a rhythm," Sather said. "Win or lose, it doesn't matter to me. We just want to get out and play."
In the other locker room, Roos said he feels his seniors have not lived up to their abilities, and are being outplayed by the rookies. Roos even said he wished he had a roster full of hard-working players like Zuccarini, because they could be untouchable.
"The young kids are playing hard," Roos said. "If you're a senior, what are you going to do next year? It's good to see that the young guys are stepping up."
Prep hosts Massachusetts powerhouse Catholic Memorial tonight, while Notre Dame hosts Notre Dame-West Haven in a key Division I matchup.