After topping Guilford in relatively easy fashion earlier this season, one may have expected the same once again when the two teams met Saturday afternoon in West Haven. The Indians never got that memo.
Playing the Westie Sharks tough throughout, Guilford gave West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy a battle, but it was not enough as the Westie Sharks used Brooke McNabola’s late goal to prevail, 3-1, at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. WH/SHA improved to 13-2 with its fifth straight win.
“Guilford is a good team,” WH/SHA coach Erin Blake said. “We had to dig deep for the win. We came together as a team.”
McNabola scored the eventual winning goal with 1:02 remaining in the third period off an assist from Taylor Nowak, before Nowak iced the contest with one second remaining off an assist from Francesca Criscuolo.
Kyleen Crowe was the star of the contest as she stopped 30 of 31 shots she faced. Nowak scored twice for the second straight contest and inched closer to the 100-point mark, notching her 99th career point with two goals and one assist.
“Kyleen (Crowe) was great,” Blake said. “She stood on her head with some of the saves she made. We are coming to end of the season and we will need to dig deep to get all the big wins we are looking for.”
Nowak gave WH/SHA a 1-0 lead in the first period when she scored off an assist from Megan Froehlich. The goal by Nowak was all the Westie Sharks mustered until the third period as Guilford held a 31-23 shot advantage and scored the equalizer with 3:25 remaining in regulation.
Prior to the victory over Guilford, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy train kept rolling along. Behind two goals apiece from Nowak and Mia Celentano, the Westie Sharks won their fourth straight contest and improved to 12-2 with a 5-1 decision over Amity/North Haven/Cheshire last Monday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Crowe was stellar in goal, stopping 32 shots, including 12 in the first period when the Westie Sharks grabbed a 2-0 lead. Crowe then stopped 10 shots in each of the final two periods to preserve the team’s fourth straight win.
Jenna Hunt and Meghan Dupre also contributed offensively as Hunt had three assists and Dupre added a pair of helpers.
The Westie Sharks grabbed an early lead and never looked back as Nowak opened the scoring 4:20 into the game off assists from Jianna Cohrs and Megan Froehlich. Just 1:15 later, McNabola increased the advantage to 2-1 off an assist from Hunt.
WH/SHA took a 3-1 lead in the middle period when Nowak scored the only goal off an assist from Dupre. When Celentano scored her first goal, off an assist from Hunt, 3:56 into the third, WH/SHA built a 4-0 advantage.
Leading 4-1, the Westie Sharks added a goal in the final 14 seconds when Celentano scored off assists from Dupre and Hunt.