The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team swept through the state tournament with a 6-0 record, capturing the Tier IV state championship this past weekend. The Westies dominated and outscored their opponents by an astonishing 44-11 margin.
In the opener the Westies were strong from the start, pressuring Avon at all times. DJ Carfora and Nico Bruneau both scored unassisted shorthanded goals to give the Devils a 2-0 first period lead. The special teams continued to excel as Ryan Smith buried a power play goal off a pass from Rocco Plano in the second, before the flood gates opened as the Westies scored six times in the third, highlighted by Nick Boanno’s two goals and Mikey Alfano scoring the last one on an assist from Joe D’Aurio to lead the Westies to a 9-0 victory. Joe Crisci made 17 saves in the shutout.
In game two, it was more of the same. The Devils started quickly with four first period goals. Michael Kelly scored twice, the first assisted by Joey Honcz and the second by Boanno.
The Westies continued the unrelenting pressure in the second as Luca Ubaldi scored two goals of his own. The two goals were followed by a speeding Ryan Bernardi skating past the defense to score unassisted. The Westies coasted home to a 7-1 victory.
In the final game in the preliminary round, the Westies battled Wonderland and jumped to a 4-1 first period lead. Bernardi opened the scoring followed by Kelly, before Ben Carfora netted a goal assisted from Adrien Fielosh. DJ Carfora wrapped up the period with a goal assisted by Andrew Wrzosek. The Wizards made it close late, but the Devils eased home with an 8-5 win.
In the quarterfinals, the Westies jumped all over Central, scoring five goals in the first seven minutes of action. Justin Pniewski opened the scoring, then it was Bernardi, DJ Carfora twice, and Plano. Central tightened up its defense, but it was too little, too late as the Westies cruised to an 8-2 win.
In the semifinals, things started a little slower in a rematch against Watertown. DJ Carfora opened up the scoring off an assist from Ubaldi, before Anthony Peschell scored unassisted, giving the Westies a 2-1 lead after one period of play. Fielosh, Ben Carfora, and Kelly stretched the lead in the second and the Westies skated into the finals with a 7-2 win.
In the state championship game, the West Haven squad battled South Windsor. The two teams fought each other evenly until Ubaldi started the scoring with a shot from the point. Bruneau followed to give the Westies a 2-0 lead.
While South Windsor brought some fight to the game and closed the gap to 2-1 after two periods, the Westies were not to be denied after dominating the tournament. Bruneau completed the hat trick in the third and Carfora closed out the scoring on a goal assisted by Wrzosek and Steven Lewis.
Crisci was tremendous in net all tournament compiling a 6-0 record with a 1.83 GAA.