The results were mixed for the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team Monday evening.
Team-wise, the Westie Sharks suffered their first defeat of the year in a 6-5 loss to New Canaan at the Darien Ice House.
On an Individual basis, senior Taylor Nowak recorded her 100th career goal, adding another notch in her list of athletic and academic achievements.
For the Westie Sharks, they battled back from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead, then battled back from a 5-3 deficit to even the game, before falling 6-5. The loss was the team’s first after opening the season with nine straight victories.
Megan Froehlich led the Westie Sharks with one goal and three assists, while Brooke McNabola had two goals, and Jianna Cohrs and Nowak each had a goal and an assist apiece.
There are losses and there are tough losses. Friday evening’s loss to Guilford will go down as one of the toughest losses in some time for the team.
Losing leads of 5-1 and 6-3, the Westie Sharks fell to the Indians, 7-6, in overtime at Harbor Yard. Nowak led the offense with two goals, Mia Celentano had two assists, and Alfano made 26 saves, but it was not enough in the team’s second straight defeat.
Following a two-game losing streak which saw West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy endure a pair of gut-wrenching losses, the team needed a game to start feeling good once again. That game came Tuesday evening against Avon.
With 10 different players picking up points, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy rolled to a 9-2 victory at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven. With the victory, the team improved to 10-2 on the year.
Froehlich led the way with one goal and four assists, and she now has 96 career points. Nowak had three goals, Hunt added two goals and two assists, and Celentano had two goals and one assist.
Alfano picked up the victory in goal as she turned aside 11 shots in a game the Westie Sharks held a 43-13 shot advantage.
With a five-game losing streak in hand, Jared Pliszka and the West Haven hockey team had the perfect remedy. A contest against arch-rival Hamden was sure to get the Westies going.
Behind 28 saves from Pliszka, a strong defensive effort, and an all-around solid performance by the Westies, West Haven snapped its five-game skid with a 3-1 victory over Hamden in front of a capacity crowd at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven Wednesday evening.
“Obviously, it is good to end the losing streak,” Pliszka said. “We had a couple of good practices this week and we were ready to go.”
Pliszka was more than ready in the final minutes, turning aside several quality Hamden scoring opportunities, including a point blank shot by Jack Shane in the closing seconds. The ensuing play saw senior Robbie Forleo fire into an empty net for the two-goal lead with 15.5 seconds remaining.
“He has been amazing,” West Haven coach Steve Harris said of Pliszka. “He is a quiet leader out there. He may not wear a “C” or an “A”, but he is a quiet leader. The kids feed off him.”
For West Haven (6-5), the contest was a necessary victory after five losses followed the handful of victories which opened the season. West Haven was outshot in the opening period, but hard work by the Blue Devils in the middle period produced the first goal of the game.
Senior Richie Greene circled in front and had his shot turned aside by Hamden goaltender Maxx Ricci, who finished with 32 saves in the contest. The rebound came out front where freshman Ben Carfora tucked the puck inside the left post for a 1-0 advantage with 7:52 remaining in the middle period.
“We definitely came out with a lot of fire,” West Haven senior Kaden Morgillo said. “Everyone gave everything they had. We haven’t beaten them in five years. Every player fought and gave 150%.”
The Green Dragons had plenty of scoring opportunities in the middle period, but Pliszka turned aside all eight shots. The senior was at his best when he denied Brandon Sargolini with a pad save in front with 6:49 left in the period, then denied Christopher Dolan with a glove save 37 seconds later.
West Haven increased the lead to 2-0 just 34 seconds into the third period when Kevin Moriarty scooped up a loose puck in front and beat Ricci.
Hamden (7-4) did not go away and less than three minutes later, the Green Dragons were within a goal. With traffic in front, Alan Cozzolino just got enough of the puck to have it trickle by Pliszka with 11:29 remaining off assists from Anthony Malonis and Joseph D’Adamo.
West Haven was not to be denied and forced a pair of two-on-one breaks. Nick Boanno fed Morgillo on the first and Carfora hit Colin Hines in stride on the next, but Ricci came up big each time, keeping the Hamden deficit at one with 5:30 remaining.
“This is a big rivalry,” Harris said. “Most of these kids, the seniors, have never beaten Hamden before. The seniors really stepped it up. We had two great days of practice and it showed.”
West Haven was coming off an impressive victory over Hamden. The Westies looked to carry that momentum into Saturday evening’s contest with East Catholic.
While the Westies jumped out to a two-goal lead, they were not able to seal the contest, allowing the last five goals and falling to East Catholic, 5-2. With the loss, West Haven fell to 6-6 on the year.
The Westies jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Ben Carfora at the 11:43 mark. West Haven increased the margin to 2-0 1:11 into the second period on a tally by DJ Carfora off an assist from Morgillo.
That was all the offense for West Haven as the team’s offense went silent the rest of the way. East Catholic scored the last five goals, including two in a span of 4:58 to even the contest in the second period.
Pliszka added 20 saves in the loss for West Haven.
The West Haven boys swimming team fell to Hamden, 98-83.
“It was a very close meet tonight,” West Haven coach Kevin Dickson said. “We fought up to the last race. We were handicapped by some sick swimmers, but they were still there to cheer on their team.”
West Haven had four first place finishes in the loss. Issac Gorske won the 50 free in 24.2 seconds, and the 100 free in 55.35 seconds. The 200 free relay team won in 1:45.07 with a team of seniors Gorske, Luis Lopez, Christopher Olsen, and sophomore Mustansir Jamalee.
The 400 free relay team won in 4:00.56 with a team of junior Bryan Barrington, senior Christopher D’Inzio, senior Jacob Eairheart, and Gorske.
The Westies had six second place finishes as well. The 200 medley relay team was second in 1:59.08 with a team of Barrington, D’Inzio, Lopez, and Olsen. Lopez placed second in the 200 IM in 2:26.86, and the 100 breast in 1:14.89.
Vincent Militrano was second in the 1M diving with 86.65 points, Eairheart was second in the 100 fly in 1:06.37, and D’Inzio was second in the 100 back in 1:06.73.
The West Haven girls basketball team saw its two-game winning streak come to an end with a 77-58 loss at Sheehan Wednesday evening. The loss in Wallingford dropped West Haven to 6-5 on the year.
Despite having three players finish in double digits, the Westies were unable to stop the offense of Sheehan, which had nine different players in the scoring column.
Freshman Amani Abuhatab led West Haven with 13 points, while fellow freshman Kassidy Carrano finished with 11. Sarah Evangelista added 10 points, while Dealyce Howard had nine.
The Westies drained seven 3-pointers in the contest, with Howard leading the way with three 3-pointers.
West Haven got going quickly on offense in the contest with 15 points in the opening quarter. Evangelista hit a pair of 3-pointers, Abuhatab scored five points, and Carrano nailed a 3-pointer as well.
The Westies went cold to start the second half, scoring just eight points and connecting on just a pair of field goals in the third quarter, one from Abuhatab and a 3-pointer from Howard.
Carrano led a 17-point third quarter with six points, while Abuhatab and Evangelista each scored four.
West Haven improved to 7-5 with a 64-45 victory over Cheshire Friday evening. The road victory saw Carrano lead the way with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.
Abuhatab added 15 points, Evangelista and Davina Mendez each scored five, and Howard and Elena Petrie each scored four.
The Westies trailed 11-7 in the first quarter, before going on a 21-8 run in the second quarter for a 28-19 advantage. Carrano led the way with seven points in the quarter, while Anuhatab added five.
West Haven pulled away in the third quarter and led 47-35 after Carrano scored 10 points in the quarter.
After winning three of four contests, the West Haven girls basketball team knew it was facing a tough opponent in Guilford. A tough third quarter by the Indians proved to be the difference.
Outscoring the Westies by eight points, Guilford turned a one-point lead into a nine-point advantage, on its way to a 54-45 victory over West Haven at West Haven High Tuesday evening.
The loss dropped West Haven to 7-6 on the year, remaining one game shy of qualifying for the state tournament.
Carrano led West Haven with 12 points, Abuhatab added 11, and Jayden Steinman and Howard each had eight points in the loss.
West Haven trailed 13-8 after one quarter of play, before rallying to get within 23-22 at the half.
The Westies only got to the free throw line 11 times, converting six attempts.
The West Haven boys basketball team squared off against rival Notre Dame Friday evening. As was the case in the first meeting, the Westies trailed early, before mounting a furious comeback which fell just short in a 67-61 defeat against the Green Knights at West Haven High.
The Green Knights led by as many as 20 points in the second half and by 17 with just over five minutes to go in the game, before a 16-4 run got the Westies within 64-61 with 56.5 seconds to go following a 3-pointer by Shea Sheffield.
The Westies had their chances at the free throw line, but could not get closer.
Malcolm Duncanson led West Haven with 29 points.