The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team is off to an impressive start with all facets of the game clicking, the Westie Sharks are undefeated early on.
West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy improved to 3-0 with an 8-5 victory over Hall-Conard Monday evening in West Hartford.
Jenna Hunt led the offense with two goals and two assists, Emilee DeGrand had one goal and three assists, Mia Celentano added two goals and an assist, while Megan Froehlich and Taylor Nowak each had a goal and an assist as seven players were in the scoring column. Hailey Alfano made 13 saves in the victory, including six in the middle period.
“Hall/Conard got on the board early first, but what makes me proud is our girls didn’t hang their heads,” West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. “They fired right back and kept the momentum up the rest of game. It was a whole team effort.”
Trailing 1-0, the Westie Sharks evened the contest with 1 minute, 59 seconds remaining in the opening period when Mia Celentano scored off assists from DeGrand and Hunt.
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy put the game away with five goals in the second period. Hunt gave the Westie Sharks a 2-1 lead off an assist from Mackenzie Gardner 1:22 into the second, before Hunt’s second of the period, off an assist from DeGrand with 10:25 remaining gave West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy a 3-1 lead.
“Jenna’s (Hunt) line had 11 points total between the three of them,” Blake said. “(Jenna) started the scoring and Emilee (DeGrand), as a freshman, had her first goal and added in four points. Taylor’s (Nowak) line all scored so each player on our top two lines scored. Brooke (McNabola) played her best game yet, holding down the defensive with Mackenzie (Gardner).”
Leading 3-2, DeGrand scored off an assist from Celentano, and Celentano scored 1:59 later off assists from DeGrand and Hunt for a 5-2 advantage. Froehlich added a tally with 33 seconds remaining in the period for a 6-2 lead.
The Westie Sharks took a 7-2 lead 2:43 into the third when Nowak scored an unassisted goal, before Nowak and Froehlich set up Cohrs with 8:18 remaining for an 8-3 lead.
The West Haven/Sacred Heart girls hockey team improved to 4-0 with its second consecutive 8-5 victory over Hall-Conard Saturday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Nine players were in the scoring column, including Froehlich with three goals and two assists, and Celentano and Nowak with two goals apiece. Jianna Cohrs and Meghan Dupre each had a pair of assists in the win for the Westie Sharks.
West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy took a 4-0 lead in the opening period. Jenna Hunt got things going 2:06 into the contest off assists from Froehlich and Dupre, before Froehlich scored off assists from DeGrand and Brooke McNabola 5:48 later.
Froehlich scored again 26 seconds later off an assist from Cohrs for a 3-0 lead, before Celentano scored off and assist from Dupre for a 4-0 advantage.
Hannah Davey made nine saves, including five in the opening period, and Hailey Alfano made four in the win for the Westie Sharks.
Five games into the regular season, West Haven coach Steve Harris loves the way his team is playing. Five wins in five games is a great start.
The Westies showed plenty of grit in their latest victory. Playing without some key players due to injury and illness, West Haven improved to 5-0 with a 6-1 victory over North Haven Thursday evening at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
Seven different players were in the scoring column and Jared Pliszka continued his hot start with 15 saves as the Westies were in control from the start. Mike Alfano and Ben Carfora led the offense with two goals apiece, Nick Boanno and Richie Greene each had a goal and an assist, while Kevin Moriarty added two assists in the victory.
“Tonight, we had to use our depth,” Harris said. “Everyone contributed. We had guys out with injuries and sickness, and everyone stepped up.”
The Westies took a 2-0 lead in the opening period and never looked back. Carfora took advantage of a North Haven turnover and scored an unassisted goal 6 minutes, 31 seconds in.
Pliszka needed to make just three saves in the period, before Greene fed Boanno in front with 3:46 remaining for a 2-0 lead. Moriarty also picked up an assist on the goal.
After Carfora gave the Westies a 3-0 advantage 2:24 into the second off a scramble in front, Pliszka kept the lead at three with nine saves in the middle period, including a point blank shot with 6:17 remaining.
“The biggest thing for us is keeping the shots wide,” Harris said. “We want to keep them at the perimeter. Jared (Pliszka) is playing really well. We want to keep the shots to the perimeter and contain the middle.”
The Westies put the game away in the third period with three more tallies. Alfano had the biggest goals, scoring twice in 33 seconds for a 5-0 advantage.
After a North Haven turnover off the boards, Alfano picked up the loose puck and roofed a shot to the top corner for a 4-0 advantage 2:47 into the third. Alfano then took a pass from Ryan Bernardi and went to the lower right corner for a 5-0 lead.
“The big thing was, after the St. Joe’s game, we wanted to keep the pressure on for three periods,” Harris said. “We wanted to take advantage of the power play and put pressure on. In the last seven minutes of the second period, we got a little sloppy. We regrouped between the second and third periods, and got three in the third.”
Greene capped West Haven’s scoring off assists from Boanno and Moriarty with 11:12 remaining for a 6-0 lead. North Haven scored with 5:49 remaining to spoil Pliszka’s shutout bid.
The win streak to open the season came to an end for the West Haven boys hockey team. Facing a big and fast Branford hockey team, the Westies were defeated 4-2 Saturday afternoon at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
Despite each team taking 34 shots in the contest, Branford was in control from the start, taking a 2-0 lead in the first, and extending the margin to 4-1 after two periods of play.
“We came out flat,” Harris said. “We could feel it even in warmups. We did not see any pep. But, Branford played a great game. They took it to us all three periods. You have to give them a lot of credit.”
Goals by Jack Manware and Blake Kustra gave Branford a 2-0 lead after one period of play, before Kustra and Daniel Farricelli scored in the second for a 4-0 advantage.
Branford goalie Jared Yakimoff was solid in goal for the Hornets, denying 19 West Haven shots in the first two periods, including D.J. Carfora in front with 4:13 left in the first, and Robbie Forleo’s point blast with 7:31 remaining in the second.
Off a perfect pass from Kaden Morgillo, Moriarty was turned aside 14 seconds before he found the back of the net for West Haven’s first goal of the game.
West Haven finally got on the scoreboard with 1:36 remaining in the period when Moriarty scored a power play goal in front off assists from Greene and Morgillo.
Boanno scored off an assist from Ben Carfora in the third, but it was not enough. Pliszka and the Westies suffered their first loss of the season, despite Pliszka making 30 saves.
“It is not easy to take a loss, but a loss like this could help us,” Harris said. “We will see how we regroup from this on Monday.”
The West Haven boys basketball team felt as if it was up to the test entering Friday evening’s contest with cross-town rival Notre Dame. Unfortunately for the Westies, Notre Dame was too much to handle in a 76-66 Notre Dame victory at Alumni Hall at Notre Dame.
The Westies trailed from the first quarter on, falling behind by 10 points after one quarter of play. The Green Knights led 34-24 at the half, and 58-43 after three quarters of play.
Laron Holmes led West Haven with 15 points, Shea Sheffield added 14, and Malcolm Duncanson had 10 points in the loss for West Haven. Zach Laput led Notre Dame with 26 points, Ben Carroll had 13, Kairon Hooks added 11, and Marquise McDuffie scored 10 for the Green Knights.
The West Haven girls basketball team improved to 4-1 on the year with a 49-43 victory over Cheshire Friday evening at West Haven High. After a season-opening loss to Bunnell, the Westies have rolled off four straight victories.
Freshman Amani Abuhatab led the Westies with 20 points, including 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Tenique Gates scored eight points, Sarah Evangelista scored seven, and Jayden Steinman added six in the victory.
The Westies, who drained just a pair of 3-pointers in the contest, trailed 11-7 after one quarter, before rallying to take a 21-18 lead at the half with a 14-7 run.
The Westies were just 1-of-4 from the charity stripe in the first quarter and hit just three field goals, two by Abuhatab and one by Evangelista. In a 14-7 second quarter run, Abuhatab scored eight points, including three field goals. Steinman also hit a pair of field goals in the quarter.
Evangelista drained a 3 in the third quarter and had five points, while Abuhatab scored four points from the field. Gates helped close out the contest with six points in the fourth quarter.
The West Haven/Platt Tech boys swim team fell to Shelton on the road Friday afternoon 103-65. Issac Gorske won the 50 freestyle in 23.90 seconds and Christopher D’Inzio was first in the 100 backstroke in 1 minute, 8.72 seconds.
“The Shelton meet was a challenge for West Haven/Platt with many of our swimmers sick or away on vacation, but the seniors and captains from West Haven and Platt stepped up to the challenge and swam their hardest with Westie Pride,” West Haven coach Kevin Dickson said. “The team will be back together and ready for our next meet this Friday.”
The Westies had five second place finishes. The 200 medley relay team of Brendon Paucar, D’Inzio, Jacob Eairheart, and Shane Taulty was second in 2:04.08, while Eairheart was second in the 200 IM in 2:35.64.
The 500 freestyle saw Anthony Catillo place second in 6:16.30, while the 200 freestyle relay of Gorske, Castillo, Christopher Olsen, and Mustansir Jamalee was second in 1:49.35. The 400 freestyle relay team of Eairheart, Jamalee, D’Inzio, and Gorske also placed second in 4:02.43.