ND hockey ousts New Canaan
MILFORD -- Trailing by two goals less than two minutes into the second period, Notre Dame-Fairfield goaltender Will Scovil basically said no more.
The sophomore had surrendered two power-play goals, New Canaan was in control of the game and the Lancers were in danger of being a one-and-done in the CIAC Division I tournament. But from that point, Scovil was nearly perfect, stopping 21 of the Rams' next 22 shots as Notre Dame got two goals each from Nick Carloto and Michael Antoniou and rallied to defeat New Canaan 6-4 Wednesday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
"Billy was rock solid," Lancers coach Steve Hetherman said. "I just told him in the locker room that he was the one that righted the ship. Without him ... he's been a pillar between the pipes. We needed him to put down the anchor and say, `That's it, no more.' He's got a good goalie mentality. If one gets in, he's like, `forget it.' He's doing great."
And the Lancers needed him to be great because due to some early penalties -- Notre Dame was whistled four times in the first period, with two coming in the final 12 seconds -- New Canaan netted two power-play goals and led 3-1 just 1:14 into the second period.
Maxwell Begoon and Tyler Hill scored on the power play and the Rams got an even-strength tally from Hill as they looked to avenge an earlier 6-2 loss to the Lancers on Feb. 21. But once Notre Dame calmed down, it became the aggressor. Antoniou scored at 9:58 of the second to pull ND within 3-2 and with 37 seconds left in the second, Carloto scored to tie the game at 3.
"We told the team one shift at a time, you can't score three goals in one shift, let's get one at a time," Hetherman said. "And we got the legs underneath us and we started skating rather than reaching and ... no penalties and then, it's 3-3."
Ryan Gawricki put the Lancers in front 4-3 at 3:35 of the third, but New Canaan's Kyle Mettler beat Scovil at 8:04 to tie things at 4-4. Nothing else would get past Scovil on this night.
"Billy played tremendous," English said. "He played to the best of his ability and beyond. He played so much better than I ever thought he could. He played shutdown hockey."
With Scovil slamming one door, English kicked another one open when he scored with 3:40 to play, coming down the left side and banging home a rebound to make it 5-4 Notre Dame.
"That's unbelievable. That was a pretty play. Pretty," Hetherman said. "He's got great hands, he's one of our better skaters and he did the right thing, he went to the net, the puck came to him and he roofed it."
Scovil made 27 saves for the Lancers, including three key ones in the final minute, as Notre Dame survived a penalty and an empty New Canaan net in the final 1:44.
"Unfortunately, when it mattered the most, we just weren't as aggressive as we should have been and it cost us," Rams coach Patrick Gore said. "I thought until the end, when they got that empty-netter, that we were going to score (and tie the game). I thought overall, we outplayed them, but we didn't capitalize and they did. That's the story of the game. It's not as much who's the better team, it's who capitalizes on their scoring chances."
And on this night, that was Notre Dame-Fairfield.
"We never thought like we were down, we all knew we had to play hard as a unit," English said. "We didn't give up in the corners, we dug down and got the job done."
ND-FAIRFIELD 1 2 3--6
NEW CANAAN 2 1 1--4
Goals: NDF--Nick Carloto 2, Michael Antoniou 2, Tyler English, Ryan Gawricki. NC--Maxwell Begoon, Tyler Hill 2, Kyle Mettler; Assists: NDF--English, Antoniou, Jonny Suporn 2, Carloto 2, Gawricki 2, NC--Hill 2, George McMahon, Mettler, James Francis, Patrick Hompe; Shots: NDF--25. NC--31. Goalies: ND--Will Scovil (27 saves). NC--Liam Mooney (20).