With wrestling and indoor track now complete, Notre Dame is down to three winter sports teams still competing. Basketball won its first-round state tournament game, hockey reached Ingalls Rink, and swimmers fared well at Class M Trials.
Hockey — The hockey team exorcised a lot of demons when it beat the Darien Blue Wave, 3-1, on Saturday to advance to the semifinal round of the Division I state tournament. Darien ended Notre Dame’s season twice in the last three years and had beaten the Green Knights twice in the regular season.
Employing a neutral zone trap, Notre Dame stymied a strong Darien offense and rode the hot goaltending of Connor Smith to the upset win. Zachary Schroder broke a 1-1 tie late in the second period and Ian Hayden iced the win with an empty netter. Mike Card got the Green Knights on the board with a tip-in goal in the first period. Notre Dame used a pair of goals from Hayden in a 6-3 opening round win over Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe on March 5. Notre Dame played NW Catholic on Wednesday in the semifinal round.
Basketball — Beating a team three times in one season isn’t easy, let alone four. But that was the task handed the Notre Dame basketball team when it played Hillhouse in the second round of the CIAC Division I state tournament on March 6 at Shelton High School.
Victors in the three previous tries, the Green Knights used a strong start, a suffocating first-half defense, and a 17-point effort off the bench from Jaiden Kimbro in their 57-36 win over the Academics to advance to the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2016. After Kimbro’s 17 points, Notre Dame was led by Carrol’s 13 points. Laput added 12 and Raines nine for another balanced scoring attack. The win advanced the Green Knights to the quarterfinal round where they played Immaculate this past Monday.
Swimming — Nine Notre Dame swimmers as well as three relay teams took to the Cornerstone Pool in West Hartford on Saturday looking to qualify for the CIAC Class M Championship Meet. Mission accomplished as eight swimmers and all three relay teams swam fast enough to keep their season alive and competed at the season-ending CIAC Class M Championship Meet Monday at Wesleyan University. Better yet, everyone posted their fastest times of the season, which thrilled head coach Mike O’Brien
“Today was an awesome job by the guys who swam,” said O’Brien. “To post their best times shows their dedication all season. There’s still room for improvement which we hope happens in Monday’s meet.”
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