Boys hockey: St. Joseph's Brady stars in loss to New Canaan
St. Joseph lost a 4-0 decision to New Canaan at the Darien Ice House on Monday.
New Canaan scored once in each of the first two periods, including a short-handed goal from senior forward Campbell Lewis, and added two goals in the last frame for the final tally.
The game was the first official FCIAC contest for both teams, as the league schedule is getting underway this week.
New Canaan is now 4-4 overall, while St. Joe’s dropped to 0-8.
“Our goaltending has been very solid and we’re working on our morale,” Cadets’ head coach Eddy LeMaire said.
“We’ve got to work on situational play. Our passing is not good, so we’ve got to be better at that. We’ve got to keep the morale at a high level because we’ve got a tough schedule this year.”
It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams, as the Rams won an 8-0 game against the Cadets two weeks ago.
As was the case in the first game, New Canaan generated a plethora of shots, but thanks to the solid play of St. Joseph’s senior goalie Will Brady (38 saves), the scoring total was cut in half.
“Their goalie is very good,” Lewis said. “He blocked a lot of shots and we had a lot of opportunities, but he put on a heck of a show. We had fewer goals (than the first game) but we worked hard and got the win.”
The Rams had a big showing from senior co-captain Gunnar Granito, who bookended the game with the first and last goals. He also set up sophomore Griffin Deane for a third-period goal.
On defense, New Canaan’s senior goalie Dylan Shane made 20 saves for the shutout.
The Cadets were dealing with a short roster, as three players — two captains and starting defenseman — were sidelined with injuries from Saturday’s 5-1 loss against Watertown/Pomperaug.
St. Joe’s had fine play from some younger players, including junior James McLaughlin, sophomore AJ Gerace and freshman Trevor Kellogg on defense.
“A lot of young kids stepped up, filled in holes and did a great job,” LeMaire said. “That says a lot for our JV program and the young talent coming up.”
New Canaan outshot St. Joseph 18-8 in the opening stanza, but the Rams came away with just one goal thanks to the play of Brady in the net.
Granito scored that goal unassisted when he won a faceoff in the right circle, stepped forward and wristed the puck just under the crossbar with 3:42 on the clock.
New Canaan then had penalty problems with two late in the first period and three in the second, but Shane and the defense kept the Cadets off the scoreboard.
The Rams actually doubled their advantage while on the penalty kill, as the persistent Lewis took advantage of a loose puck and a rare miscue by Brady to score a shorty 28 seconds into the second period.
Brady, meanwhile, bounced back and shut out New Canaan for the remainder of the period.
“What I liked was his recovery,” LeMaire said. “He had that one hiccup and then he stopped another ten shots in a row.”
The Rams made it 3-0 midway through the third period when Granito slipped a pass in front to Deane, who one-timed the puck into the net. Granito’s empty-netter with 22 seconds remaining was the final goal.
New Canaan 4, St. Joseph 0
St. Joseph 0 0 0 - 0
New Canaan 1 1 2 4
First Period: NC - Gunnar Granito, 11:18
Second Period: NC - Campbell Lewis (Gavin Reid), short-handed, 0:28
Third Period: NC - Griffin Deane (Granito, Boden Gammill), 7:58; NC - Gunnar Granito, empty net, 14:38
SJ - Will Brady 36 saves
NC - Dylan Shane 18 saves
Shots: SJ 18; NC 40