You can throw out the records when it comes to rivalry games. Just ask both the Notre Dame-West Haven and West Haven hockey teams.
In a game played with playoff intensity, second-ranked Notre Dame used some late heroics to defeat cross-town rival West Haven 3-2 in overtime at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Monday evening.
Trailing 2-1, and with constant pressure in the third period, the Green Knights evened the game with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation on a goal by Ryan Cannon, then won with 3:54 left in overtime as Daniel Cusack scored in front off assists from Cannon and James Mascari.
The comeback spoiled what was a tremendous effort by West Haven goaltender Charlie Miller, who finished the contest with 36 saves.
In the end, Notre Dame’s depth won out as West Haven rotated seven forwards and five defensemen for the majority of the contest and lost some steam in the third period.
The Green Knights capitalized when Cannon stepped up from the point and beat Miller through traffic to force the overtime.
The Westies had a pair of chances to win in overtime, but a shot by Ben Carfora was turned aside by Notre Dame goaltender Connor Smith with 4:16 to go, before Carfora rang a shot off the post seconds later.
The intensity showed in the opening period as the two teams combined for 24 shots and went to the intermission even at one. Along with what was going on with the score, the physical aspect of the game was heated up throughout the period.
The Westies were given three power play opportunities, including a five-minute major to Michael Pilato, but the Westies were unable to capitalize.
West Haven did open the scoring in the first period less than two minutes into the contest. Off a pass from senior Michael Kelly, Nico Bruneau fired a shot between the legs of Smith for a 1-0 advantage 1:59 into the game.
The lead held up until 3:46 remained in the period as constant pressure by the Green Knights resulted in a goal by John-Michael Childs through traffic, off assists from John D’Errico and Zach Schroeder.
West Haven had a pair of golden opportunities to take the lead late in the opening period, but a shot by Ben Carfora from the slot was turned aside with a blocker save by Smith with 3:05 remaining, and another from the slot by D.J. Carfora was also denied by Smith, who finished with 36 saves.
The Westies took a 2-1 lead in the middle period. Despite being unable to capitalize on the power play, West Haven scored while short-handed as Nick Boanno created a turnover and beat Smith to the top corner on a breakaway with 8:20 to go in the second period.
The middle period saw several outstanding saves by both goaltenders as Smith denied D.J. Carfora in the slot, stopped Carfora again with a pad save on an odd-man rush with 9:43 remaining, then turned aside Boanno’s breakaway attempt with 6:54 to go.
Miller was equally impressive as he turned aside Bryce Vitale in front, used his blocker to deny Joseph Zuccarini, and saved his best for last by making a diving stop on a shot by Robert Allan with 1:10 remaining. Miller was also helped when Luke Eberhart rang a shot off the post seconds before Boanno’s tally.
Two days after playing cross-town rival Notre Dame in a draining overtime loss, the key for West Haven was how it would respond against another rival in Hamden.
After a scoreless first period, a drained West Haven team watched the Green Dragons score three times in each of the final two periods to defeat West Haven 6-2 at the Lou Astorino Rink in Hamden Wednesday afternoon.
Miller made nine saves in the opening period, but the Westies could not get on the board. Sophomore Ben Carfora had the best opportunities in the first period, but was denied in front with 5:18 remaining, from the left wing 1:37 later, and from the slot with 1:11 to go in the opening period.
Ben Carfora did help get the Westies on the scoreboard less than a minute into the second period as he brought the puck in the Hamden zone, and from behind the net, sent a perfect behind the back pass in front to Bruneau who went top shelf 46 seconds into the second for a 1-0 West Haven lead.
Ben Carfora was denied in front two minutes later and Anthony Peschell had his blast from the slot turned aside by Hamden goaltender Brody Sargolini with 10:14 left in the second.
Unable to build on the lead, West Haven saw Hamden even the contest when Jesse Fracasso went around the West Haven defense and used a backhander to beat Miller with 8:43 left in the second. The Green Dragons then took the lead for good 23 seconds later as Anthony Malonis scored on a two-on-one break.
Hamden’s Tyler Milrad scored the third goal of the second period 2:07 later to give Hamden a 3-1 advantage. The Green Dragons increased the lead to 4-1 just 43 seconds into the third, before West Haven got a goal back.
Ben Carfora was again at the center of the action as he set up Boanno, who roofed a shot to the top corner to get West Haven within 4-2.
The Westies never got closer and dropped their third straight decision since returning from quarantine. Miller finished with 30 saves in the loss.
The season came to a close for the West Haven boys hockey team. Despite a hard-fought effort, the fifth-seeded Westies fell to fourth-seeded Notre Dame-Fairfield 2-1 in a Southern Connecticut Conference/South West Conference Division I quarterfinal contest at the Rinks at Shelton Saturday afternoon.
The loss was West Haven’s fourth straight since returning from quarantine as the Westies could not get back to the form they showed prior. West Haven finished the shortened season 4-7.
West Haven got on the board first in the quarterfinal contest after controlling the first period. With 1:24 left in the opening period, Boanno fed Ryan Bernardi in front and the junior found the back of the net. Joe D’Aurio also picked up an assist on the lone goal of the game for West Haven.
The Westies held an 11-8 shot advantage in the opening period and ad golden opportunities to cash in. Michael Kelly was denied by Notre Dame goaltender Reagin Gallagher with a pad save with 6:25 to go, Boanno was turned aside on a backhander in front seconds later, and a beautiful feed from Ben Carfora to Boanno was stopped by Gallagher with 5:55 remaining in the opening period.
The Lancers flipped the script in the middle period. After Ben Carfora was stopped from in close 1:05 in, Notre Dame took the lead for good with two goals in 4:27, both by captain Matt Newton.
Newton evened the game at one with 5:16 gone by in the period, then, after Gallagher denied D.J. Carfora on a West Haven power play, Newton got by the West Haven defense and scored a short-handed goal for a 2-1 lead Notre Dame never gave up.
West Haven had its chances in the third period and saw the apparent tying goal overturned when it was ruled West Haven was in the crease with 8:27 to go.
Boanno was then robbed by Gallagher’s outstanding glove save with 4:20 to go, and Peschell had his shot from the point turned aside with 36.9 seconds to go in the game.
Miller made 26 saves in the loss for West Haven.
The second-seeded West Haven girls basketball team opened the postseason in impressive fashion with a 47-25 victory over No. 10 Guilford Friday evening in the Southern Connecticut Conference quarterfinals at West Haven High.
The Westies had six players score in a balanced attack and were never in danger in the dominant victory. West Haven had three players in double figures and was led by Kassidy Carrano with 12 points. Amani Abuhatab and Tenique Gates each scored 10 points, while Isabella Fiorillo scored eight.
The Westies took control of the game with 21 points in the first half, including 15 points in the opening quarter. Gates scored six points in the opening quarter, Fiorillo had five and Abuhatab added four.
West Haven turned it on in the third quarter with 17 points. Carrano had six in the quarter, and Abuhatab and Gates each scored four.
The West Haven boys basketball team improved to 9-1 with a 91-62 victory over Career Monday evening in West Haven. The Westies have won four straight games since losing to Notre Dame.
Once again, West Haven received balanced scoring with 11 players in the scoring column. Three players were in double figures and West Haven was led by Eli Blackwell with 23 points, Malcolm Duncanson with 22 points and Wade Sheffield with 14 points. Javaun Calhoun added nine points in the victory, while Randy Alston chipped in seven.
West Haven used a quick start to take control of the game, opening with a 23-6 run. The Westies led 48-21 at the half and never looked back.
For all your West Haven sporting news throughout the year, including game articles by Mike Madera, highlights, photos and more, visit www.westieblue.com.