New Canaan Rams Boys Hockey Falls to Darien


Deadlocked at 2-2 as the puck dropped to begin the final period of Saturday’s showdown with Darien, the New Canaan Rams boys hockey team was positioned to end its two-game losing streak and show the rest of the FCIAC that the defending conference champs were once again the team to beat.

Darien, however, had a claim of its own to stake.

Scoring two goals in a 32-second span in the third, the Blue Wave justified their #1 Division I state ranking by dominating the final period en route to a 6-3 win over their conference rivals at Darien Ice Rink.

“It’s puzzling,” first-year New Canaan head coach Pat Gore told “You’ve got a rivalry game. You’ve got the number-one team in the state. You’ve got a tie game where a bounce can win it for you. It’s not even the execution… a bounce. But we came out in the third period, and there’s no effort in the first two shifts. It’s unexplainable, it’s inexcusable and quite honestly it’s frustrating as a team.”

The Darien goals by Riley Mullin and Tiger Sullivan turned the 2-2 tie into a 4-2 Blue Wave advantage with less than two minutes gone by in the third. New Canaan freshman Brooks Gammill would pull the Rams within one, scoring with 7:49 left in the game. But a takeaway deep in New Canaan’s zone turned into a Blue Wave goal from Jack Pardue and a 5-3 lead with 4:26 remaining. Darien would add an empty-net goal to cap the scoring with 2:13 left in the game.

The loss was the third consecutive defeat for New Canaan, who fell to 1-3 on the season. Darien improved to 3-0 with the win.

“We’ve come out for one period—mostly the second or the third—in every game and laid an egg,” Gore said. “Against these top teams, if you want to contend with them you have to come out strong and match their intensity the whole game.”

New Canaan seemed to be able to do just that, at least early in the game. After Darien opened the scoring just 40 seconds into the contest, New Canaan answered back immediately. After winning the ensuing faceoff, Gammill fed sophomore Tyler Hill who beat Wave netminder Will Massie for a goal, knotting the game at 1 apiece with 14:13 left in the first period.

Darien would answer later in the first, as Carter Joyce beat sophomore Rams goalie Peter Windas with a one-timer for a 2-1 lead with just under 6 minutes left in the period.

New Canaan responded once again, as senior captain Patrick Hompe tied the game at 2 with a breakaway goal with 2:05 left in the first.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the second period, though both had their opportunities with Darien outshooting the Rams 9-8. New Canaan could not convert a power play after Darien’s Nicholas Tuzinkiewicz was whistled for interference.

“The second half of the game we had no puck movement,” Gore said. “ And—especially on a power play—regardless of what you’re trying to do, you move your feet, you move the puck, you create opportunities. We weren’t moving our feet on the breakouts so we couldn’t even move the puck in to gain any pressure to set anything up.”

And although the season is only one-fifth complete, Gore feels as though there’s no time like the present for the Rams to turn things around.

“There’s going to be a lot of self-reflection,” Gore said. “We’ve got eight or nine days off before we play Fairfield. We’re going to find out who really wants it and who really wants to be here.”

New Canaan2013
First Period

*D - Kirby (Romeyn), 14:20
*NC - Hill (Gammill), 14:13
*D - Joyce (Mullin, Romeyn), 5:53
*NC - Hompe (O'Rourke), 2:05

Second Period


Third Period

*D - Mullin (Joyce), 13:42
*D - Sullivan (Foresta), 13:09
*NC - Gammill (Hart), 7:49
*D - Pardue (Kirby), 4:26
*D - Pardue (Kirby), 2:13

Saves: Windas (NC) - 20, Massie (D) - 16

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