No. 4 New Canaan uses quick strike to edge No. 1 Fairfield Prep

DARIEN — It took about 10 seconds to change the game.

No. 4 New Canaan scored back-to-back goals late in the second period to take the lead for good in its 2-1 win over No. 1 Fairfield Prep on Monday night at the Darien Ice House.

“They’re a good team, they have a great goalie,” Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said. “You can’t fall asleep. We did.”

It was the first time that New Canaan has beaten Fairfield Prep since the 1998-99 season.

The teams don’t play often. The last meeting came in the 2010 Division I state semifinals, and the last regular-season meeting came in 2006. Both were Fairfield Prep wins.

“I’m sure there are a lot of alumni that are really pumped up about that,” New Canaan coach Clark Jones said. “I think we should be playing each other every year. It’s two great programs, why not?”

Fairfield Prep had dominated the second period and took the lead on an Aaron Wong goal. That’s when the Rams turned their game up.

“Guys started to finish checks and get in on their defenders hard,” Jones said. “It was a quick one shift and the game changed.”

Eren Geray buried home his own rebound and then John Eccleston finished in front of the net to give the Rams the lead and make goalie Beau Johnson a little more comfortable in net.

“It was pretty relieving that the boys finally lit the lamp and after that we had the momentum,” Johnson said. “After that, we just played with full force.

Johnson stood tall the rest of the way making 30 saves in the win.

“He played great,” Sather said of Johnson. “He did a good job with rebounds and moved well. He handled a lot of traffic.

“I think we had enough shots to win, but just couldn’t get the second one by him.”

Both teams don’t get to rest.

Fairfield Prep will play No. 6 Ridgefield on Wednesday and then No. 2 Darien on Saturday. New Canaan gets No. 3 Notre Dame-West Haven on Wednesday and then No. 6 Ridgefield on Saturday.

“We can’t take a day off,” Fairfield Prep’s Mason Whitney said. “You lose a game like this, you have to get right back into it.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Carter Ellis, New Canaan: The physical senior made his presence known on the ice and assisted on both goals in the second period for the Rams.

QUOTABLE

“That’s crazy. I know we haven’t had the chance to play them a lot. Hearing that number is… wow. I didn’t know it was that far back.” — New Canaan goalie Beau Johnson after he was told that the last time New Canaan beat Fairfield Prep was before he was born.

No. 4 New Canaan 2,

No. 1 Fairfield Prep 1

New Canaan0 2 0 — 2

Fairfield Prep 0 1 0 — 1

Goals: NC — Eren Geray, John Eccleston; FP — Aaron Wong. Assists: NC — Carter Ellis (2). FP — Teddy Gravanis. Goalies: F — Tommy Martin 25 saves; Beau Johnson 30 saves. Shots FP — 31; NC — 28.

Records: New Canaan 1-0-0; Fairfield Prep 0-1-0