No. 1 Prep hockey beats No. 3 Hamden,
To Fairfield Prep boys ice hockey coach Matt Sather, there's nothing like a rivalry to get his team back into the swing of things.
"I thought we settled in pretty nicely in the second and third," Sather said. "
AJ Unker had two assists and Connor Henry also scored as Prep improved to 5-2, and 4-0 against teams from Connecticut. The Jesuits went 1-2 on their road trip to Rhode Island in the Mount St. Charles in Woonsocket.
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"Those teams as quick, fast and skilled," Sather said of his team's opponents in Rhode Island. "But there's not the same energy there."
Hamden's Connor Walsh scored the Green Dragons' lone goal as Hamden lost for the first time this year.
And in the first period, Prep looked a step slow against the Green Dragons as Hamden out-shot Prep 14-7 in the first period. Sather credited Wikman with keeping his club within striking distance.
"He kept us in it in the first," Sather said. "He's been doing a great job all year."
But in the second, the Jesuits took a stranglehold on the contest, when, at the 10:36 mark of the period, White took a great feed from Unker at the front of the net, waited and then beat Hamden goalie Andrew Varga.
"I got a great pass from (Unker)," White said. "I saw the goalie come out, but I didn't have to do much because of the great pass from AJ."
Henry scored 26 seconds into the third to put Prep up 2-0. Walsh's goal just 24 seconds later cut Prep's lead in half. The Green Dragons had chances to tie the game in the third, but were thwarted by stellar Prep defense, including Tom Worsfold and Kevin Brown-- who both returned from injury.
"In the third period, I didn't have as many shots as I did in the first two," Wikman said. "And the shots they had were from the outside, and I'll take those."
"They were tough," Sather said of his club's defense.
White's second at 8:49, off a great feed from Nick Bargiello on a two-on-one break, sealed the win.
"That was another great pass," White said. "I was lucky enough to score the goal."
Prep will get not get any break, though. Despite beating "Nutmeg Hockey's" No. 3 team, Hamden, the Jesuits' next contest will be against another rival, No. 2 and undefeated Notre Dame-West Haven, Saturday at Wonderland of Ice at 1 p.m.
"It's what we need," Sather said. "We need to find out who we are, and we find that out by playing great teams."