Third Time Not the Charm: New Canaan Falls to Notre Dame–West Haven



There’s an old cliché in sports about how tough it is to beat a team three times in one season.

That said, cliché became reality for the New Canaan Rams boys hockey team.

The 7th-seeded Rams could not pull off the season hat trick over Notre Dame–West Haven as they dropped a 2-0 decision to the #2 Green Knights Saturday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena. The loss eliminated New Canaan from the state tourney, ending their season.

“Today the better team won, very simple thing,” New Canaan head coach Bo Hickey said after the game. “We had some opportunities and couldn’t convert. They had some opportunities and obviously it was good.”

The Green Knights were led by goalie Wade Conlan, whose 27 saves earned a rare shutout over an often-explosive New Canaan squad. Conlan was matched save-for-save by New Canaan goalie Mac Wright until Notre Dame’s Ryan Lynch scored a power play goal to break the 0-0 tie with 8:12 left in the 3rd. Matt Dumas added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds in the game to ice the victory. Notre Dame moves on to the semifinals where they will face #3 Fairfield Prep.

The Rams came into the game having won the two previous meetings against the Green Knights this season by 4-3 and 3-2 decisions. Despite the 0-0 score that held through most of this game, both teams had multiple scoring opportunities throughout the contest.

Dumas had a breakaway shot sail wide of Wright–who also finished with 27 saves–in the 1st. The Rams constantly peppered Conlan with 15 shots in the opening frame, but were unable to find the back of the net.

In the 2nd, Conlan slid up the crease with a poke-check to stymie a breakaway attempt by New Canaan’s Harry Stanton. Moments later, Conlan stopped New Canaan’s Parker Lewis on another breakaway, preserving the deadlock as the teams moved toward the final period.

After Lynch put the Green Knights up, New Canaan looked poised to answer, as Davis Bruch moved in on Conlan from the left wing. But the Green Knight goalie was able to stop Bruch’s wrister from point-blank range.

“I thought he played real well,” Hickey said of Conlan. “I thought he played outstanding as a matter of fact. Very few times we’ve been shut out in my years at New Canaan.”

With the loss, New Canaan’s season ended with an overall record of 19-5-1, a record many preseason prognosticators would not have expected from the eventual FCIAC Champs.

“I really thank everybody for the effort they put in this year,” Hickey told “Nobody gave us much of a chance in the state of Connecticut, and we straightened out Darien a week ago. And it wasn’t like it was a 3-2 game, it was 5-2, so we leave with our heads up.”



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