It has been a long 11 months for the high school hockey community opening night was welcomed with open arms.
Throw in a good old-fashioned hockey rivalry, and the winter sports season has officially begun. That was the case in West Haven when Hamden and West Haven renewed acquaintances at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in the season opener for both teams.
Behind two goals from senior Nick Boanno a goal and two assists from sophomore Ben Carfora, a goal and three assists from junior D.J. Carfora, and 30 saves from senior Charlie Miller, West Haven topped Hamden 5-2 In a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I contest.
After a first period which saw Hamden control a majority of the play, West Haven turned the tide in the second period, scoring twice to take a 3-1 lead.
Ben Carfora gave the Westies their first lead of the game when he took a pass from his older brother D.J. Carfora and beat Hamden goalie Ben Bielen with 4:51 gone by in the second period.
West Haven kept the pressure on, holding an 11-5 shot advantage in the second period, and took a 3-1 lead when Boanno raced down the left wing and beat Bielen to the top right corner with 7:37 remaining in the middle period. D. J. Carfora and freshman Jason Alling assisted on the goal.
Hamden’s best scoring opportunity came with just over seven minutes remaining in the second, but West Haven’s Miller turned aside a sharp shot by junior Anthony Malonis.
The Green Dragons cut into the West Haven lead when Bryce Riccitelli scored an unassisted goal 3:53 into the third, but West Haven bounced right back.
West Haven needed just 1:16 to once again take a two-goal lead when D.J. Carfora scored off an assist from Ben Carfora. The Westies capped the scoring 1:13 later when Boanno scored his second of the game off assists from Nico Bruneau and Anthony Peschell.
Hamden controlled the pace in the opening period despite the two teams playing to a 1-1 tie after 15 minutes.
The Green Dragons put the pressure on early as Riccitelli and Bode Becker each had shots turned aside before Jesse Fracasso buried a rebound between the legs of Miller. Kellen Sargolini and Aidan Ragusa each assisted on the opening tally with 4:26 gone by in the opening period.
The lead lasted only 1:19 as West Haven put the pressure on and scored when Mike Alfano roofed a shot past Bielen with 4:45 gone by in the game. Ben Carfora and D.J. Carfora each assisted on West Haven’s first goal of the season.
Hamden held a 14-8 shot advantage in the opening period, but West Haven had two quality shots turned away when D.J. Carfora was turned aside in front with seven minutes to go and Bruneau had his re-directed shot denied as well.
After a solid team effort to open the season against Hamden, the West Haven boys hockey team was looking to duplicate the effort against Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe Wednesday evening. That effort never came.
Falling behind quickly and allowing three goals in each period, West Haven fell 9-1 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. With the loss, the Westies fell to 1-1 on the season.
West Haven’s only goal came in the second period down 4-0. Nico Bruneau scored the lone goal for West Haven when he found the back of the net off assists from Boanno and Mike Kelly with 5:07 gone by in the second.
Miller made 30 saves and Javed Ullah made five in the loss for West Haven.
West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty is excited about her team. While relatively young, Moriarty sees plenty of talent in the group.
That talent was on display Wednesday evening when the Westies kicked off the 2021 season against Lauralton Hall at West Haven High. Behind 33 points and 20 rebounds from sophomore Amani Abuhatab and 16 points and 10 rebounds from fellow sophomore Kassidy Carrano, West Haven rolled to a 62-41 victory over the Crusaders in the season opener for West Haven.
Down two players to quarantine, West Haven relied on six players to carry the team. Those players did just that, helping West Haven overcome a 20-13 first quarter deficit. West Haven trailed 28-27 at the half, but outscored Lauralton 35-13 in the second half, including 14-6 in the third quarter, to win by 21.
Freshman Isabella Fiorillo scored five points, including three from the foul line, while senior Sarah Evangelista and Davina Mendez each scored four. Carrano also added three 3-pointers in the contest.
Abuhatab was the difference in the second half, scoring 23 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter when West Haven closed the game on a 21-7 run.
Abuhatab and Carrano each scored five points in the opening quarter, but the Westies trailed by seven points after eight minutes of play. Abuhatan chipped in five more in the second and Carrano drained a 3-pointer to get the Westies within one at the half.
West Haven used a 14-6 run in the third quarter to take a 41-34 lead and never looked back.
The Westies were 15-of-22 from the foul line in the win.
After a solid start to the season with a home victory over Lauralton Hall, West Haven traveled to play Hillhouse. With Hillhouse always a tough team to play against, West Haven was in control for most of the game and posted a 60-46 victory in New Haven Friday evening.
West Haven’s second consecutive double digit win to open the season saw sophomore Carrano lead the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Sarah Evangelista added 14 points, while Fiorillo, Abuhatab, and Tenique Gates each scored six in the win. Davina Mendez and Elena Petrie both added five as West Haven had seven players in the scoring column.
Carrano and Evangelista got things started for the Westies in the first quarter as each scored five points and each drained a 3-pointer. Abuhatab had four points in the opening quarter. Carrano added six in the second quarter, Evangelista had five, and Gates added four as West Haven scored 35 points in the opening half.
After a slow-down in offense in the third quarter, West Haven put the game away in the fourth. Carrano scored seven in the final eight minutes, including five from the foul line, while Evangelista added four in the quarter. Carrano finished 8-of-11 from the foul line.
The West Haven boys basketball team was looking to get off to a solid start. The Westies started the season on the right foot with a 52-46 victory over Hillhouse at Neil Cavallaro Court at West Haven High Friday evening.
Eli Blackwell. a transfer from Amistad, led West Haven with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, while Malcolm Duncanson finished with 17 points in the season-opening win. Kyle Kearson added 11 points in the win.
Matthew Gibbs led Hillhouse with 14 points, while Jeff Carmon added seven.
West Haven led by nine points after one quarter and 31-19 at the half. Hillhouse tried to get back in the contest in the second half, but West Haven was able to pull out the victory.
The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team was eager to get on the ice to start the 2020-2021 season. Not only were the Westie Sharks looking to wash that vision of an early postseason exit from a year ago away, they also were looking to make a new name for themselves.
Behind 17 saves from junior Grace Nowak and a pair of goals from senior Jenna Hunt, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy opened the year with a 3-0 victory over Notre Dame of Fairfield Saturday evening at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Nowak was returning in goal after suffering a knee injury a season ago.
The Westie Sharks rode the play of Nowak, who had seven saves in the first period, then made 10 saves over the final two periods. With Nowak and the West Haven defense controlling the front of the net, the Westie Sharks had a chance to get going offensively.
After a scoreless first period, freshman junior Maya Boyhen took a pass from senior Jianna Cohrs and gave West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy a 1-0 lead with 3:02 gone in the second period.
That lead would last until the third period when Hunt struck twice. Hunt gave West Haven a 2-0 lead 1:56 into the third off assists from sophomore Anne Plunkett and freshman Geena Montano, before Hunt scored into an empty net with 13 seconds to go with an unassisted tally.
For all your West Haven sporting news throughout the year, including game articles by Mike Madera, highlights, photos and more, visit www.westieblue.com.