The West Haven co-op hockey team was looking forward to the start of the 2022-2023 season. After ending the preseason playing well, the Westies were optimistic entering the season opener against New Canaan.
A lack of offense tempered that enthusiasm.
Scoring three times in the second period, New Canaan, the state’s fourth-ranked team, cruised to a 7-0 victory over the Westies at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Monday evening.
West Haven never got on track offensively, being outshot 44-10 in the contest. The Rams pressured West Haven goalies Javed Ullah and Kiryl Astrovukh from the start, with each coming up with some solid saves throughout.
Ullah was sharp from the start, turning aside all 10 shots he faced in the first period and 12 more in the second.
Marcus Burrows had West Haven’s best scoring chance in the first period when his shot from the right faceoff circle was turned aside by New Canaan goaltender Mason Pickering.
After a scoreless first period, the Rams took control of the contest in the second period, scoring twice in the first 3:11.
Trailing 2-0, Lucas Narvaez was denied with a Pickering pad save with 3:20 left in the second. Doster Crowell, who finished with a hat trick, scored his second of the game with 2:07 left in the second for a 3-0 New Canaan lead.
The Rams added a short-handed and power play goal in the third for a 5-0 lead which the Westies could not come back from.
Astravukh played well in goal for the Westies, turning aside eight shots in the final stages of the third period.
The West Haven co-op team was looking to rebound, but fell to Guilford 8-3.
Thomas Porto led the offense with two goals and an assist, while Yousaf Ullah added a goal and an assist. Astravukh and Javed Ullah combined to make 33 saves, with Ullah stopping 22.
The Westies got off to a good start as Porto scored 2:57 in off assists from Jayden Spreyer and Yousaf Ullah. The Grizzlies evened the game 2:15 later, but after a one-timer by Spreyer was denied, Porto scored on the power play off an assist from Brady Price with 4:59 to go in the first.
The Grizzlies then scored the next five goals to take a 6-2 lead. West Haven again got within three goals as Yousaf Ullah scored with 11:27 left in the game off assists from Burrows and Porto.
The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team got off to a good start with a 4-2 victory over rival Hamden.
Julianna Montano scored twice, including once on the power play, and Julianna Picard had a goal and an assist in the season-opening win. Isabelle Desrosiers made 23 saves in the victory for the Westie Sharks.
Fresh off the victory, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy faced another tough task when it traveled to play New Canaan. The Westie Sharks faced an early deficit, and rallied to tie, before falling on the road to the Rams, 6-3.
New Canaan took a 3-0 lead in the opening period, before the Westie Sharks were able to settle down. After a scoreless second period, WH/SHA picked up its intensity.
Looking for a spark, Tsakonas gave the Westie Sharks exactly what they needed when she scored just 1:44 into the third period off assists from Rachel Harrison and Julianna Montano.
Less than five minutes later, the Westie Sharks were within a goal when Picard scored off an assist from Anne Plunkett. Just 48 seconds later, the game was tied when Ashley Welch scored an unassisted goal.
The rally from the three-goal deficit had the Westies back in the contest, but New Canaan took the momentum away just 20 seconds later with the go-ahead goal. The Rams added another tally 2:40 later, and closed the scoring with 2:19 left in the contest.
Isabelle Desrosiers made 35 saves in the loss for the Westie Sharks.
The team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 9-3 victory over Amity/North Haven/Cheshire. With the victory, the Westie Sharks improved to 2-1 on the year.
Tsakonas and Picard led the way with two goals apiece as seven different players scored, and 11 different players were in the scoring column.
Evelyn Twarowski made 16 saves in the win for the Westie Sharks.
Traveling to East Haven to face Guilford, the girls knew they was in for a tough game.
Behind three goals and an assist from Picard, including the game-winner in overtime, and 35 saves from Twarowski, the Westie Sharks topped Guilford, 4-3.
The Westie Sharks took a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds into the contest when Plunkett scored off an assist from Picard. Guilford evened the game with less than five minutes remaining in the opening period, but the Westie Sharks responded when Picard scored an unassisted goal with 2:48 left in the period.
With the game even at two in the third period, Picard was at it again, scoring an unassisted goal with 1:58 remaining for a 3-2 advantage. Guilford needed just 1:11 to respond to send the game to overtime.
Picard was not going to let her team come away without the victory as her third unassisted goal with 3:20 gone by in overtime gave the Westies the win.
Twarowski was solid in goal, making 12 saves in the first period, 10 more in the third, and four in overtime before Picard’s winner.
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy posted its fourth win in five games with a 10-3 road victory over Hand. The win was also a milestone as it was the 100th for head coach Erin Blake.
Plunkett, Picard and Olivia Twarowski led the offense as each scored twice and added an assist. Harrison, Julianna Montano, Tsakonas, and Ireland each added a goal, while Harrison also had an assist. The Westie Sharks had 10 players in the scoring column.
The last time the West Haven girls basketball team set foot on the court the season ended in a second round upset against Danbury. Nine months later, the Westies got to avenge that loss.
Behind a balanced attack, with nine different players in the scoring column, the Westies rolled to a 50-24 victory over the Hatters in the season opener for both teams.
West Haven scored the first eight points in the contest and never trailed in the opening victory. The Westies led by 12 after one quarter and 32-9 at the half.
Carrano led the Westies with 15 points, Abuhatab had 13, and Fiorillo finished with six in the win.
Scoring 11 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, Goodrich led the Tigers to a 55-40 Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision victory over the Westies.
The win for the Tigers, ranked third in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, helped Hand win its second straight contest to start the year. West Haven fell to 1-1.
The game did not have the offensive firepower expected from the start as the two teams combined for just five points in the opening quarter and 29 in the first half.
The first field goal for the Westies came 44 seconds into the second quarter when Abuhatab drained a 3-pointer for a 5-3 lead. A free throw by Abuhatab and two buckets by Titus gave the Westies a 10-8 lead with 2:25 left in the half.
Hand then took off on a 10-1 run to end the half as Natalie Lucas and Coco Rourke gave the Tigers a 12-11 advantage before a 3-pointer by Lucas increased the margin to 16-11. When Lucy Schwarz drained a field goal, the Tigers went to the half up 18-11.
Lucas finished with 12 points and Carson Miller added 10 in the win for the Tigers.
Abuhatab led the Westies with a game-high 19 points, while Dealyce Howard scored eight and Titus finished with seven.
The season opener for the West Haven boys’ basketball team did not go as planned. Scoring just 14 points in the second half, West Haven fell to Xavier, 58-42.
The Westies, who trailed 31-28 at the half, managed just six points in the third quarter to fall behind by 14 points. West Haven never caught up.
In an evenly played first quarter, West Haven trailed 17-16. Adam Elkharraz hit a pair of big 3-pointers and finished the quarter with seven points, while Jared Butler added five in the quarter.
The two teas continued to battle in the second quarter with Randy Alston knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and Bernett Scott scoring four points for the Westies.
Alston led West Haven with 10 points, while Elkharraz had nine, and Jackson added eight. Butler finished with seven points in the loss.
For all your West Haven sporting news throughout the year, including game articles by Mike Madera, highlights, photos and more, visit www.westieblue.com.