Ice hockey: St. Joseph tops Trumbull Eagles, 5-2
St Joseph’s boys hockey team withstood a two-goal Trumbull High rally to tie the game in the second stanza, and third-period penalty trouble, to skate away with a 5-2 victory at The Rinks at Shelton on Saturday.
This FCIAC battle between the Division I Cadets and D-II Eagles, in the eyes of Trumbull coach Greg Maxey came down to some mistakes and on the part of his team and capitalization by the Cadets.
St Joe’s answered a pair of Trumbull net-finders in a span of 46 seconds with two quick tallies of its own, only 1:03 apart, in a goal-filled second period.
It was a 4-2 game heading into the third. Moments after killing off a five-minute major penalty, including a 5-on-3 Trumbull man advantage early in the third, the Cadets tacked on an insurance goal to lock up their first win of the season.
“It feels good. We’re going to enjoy it for the moment,” said Cadet coach Eddy LeMaire, noting that his team had little time before returning to the ice to take on a tough New Canaan squad on Jan. 2.
Fans packed the stands and were lined up around the perimeter of the rink for this all-Trumbull clash, which featured seven skaters scoring goals.
The Cadets improved to 1-3 and the Eagles slipped to 2-2. Both teams had 22 shots on goal.
“They executed a lot better than we did,” said Maxey, adding that Cadet goaltender Ryan Wilson was tough between the pipes, as expected. “He’s a very good goalie. We knew goals were not going to come easy.”
St. Joe’s Will Foldesi scored late in the first period and Andrew Van Etten, assisted by Tom Flynn, made it 2-0 Cadets 4:03 into the middle stanza.
It didn’t take long for Trumbull to respond and effectively make this a new game.
The Eagles got on the board with Matt Mocker scoring at the 6:24 mark — Martin Birnbach and Luke Liebowitz had the helpers — and evened the score with Brady Jensen lighting the lam unassisted 7:10 into the period.
“Then we make mental mistakes and that hurt us,” Maxey said.
The Cadets took the momentum back in a hurry, as Jack Pisani came out of the penalty box and took a long pass from Flynn to break in alone for the go-ahead tally at the 10:49 mark.
St Joe’s doubled its lead when Chris Raccuia scored a goal assisted by Andrew Gilbert and Matt Lally at 11:52. That made it 4-2.
The Cadets had a chance to add to its lead late in the second period, including on a two-on-one shorthanded rush, but Trumbull goaltender Will Guttman kept the Eagles within reach.
A hitting-from-behind penalty on the Cadets only 12 seconds into the third period put the Eagles on a five-minute power play, but just 39 seconds later a minor Trumbull penalty evened manpower temporarily at four aside.
Another Cadet infraction ultimately put the Eagles on a two-man advantage, but St. Joe’s killed it off behind some strong goaltending by Wilson.
Evan Bocchino, assisted by Raccuia, scored five-plus minutes into the third making it 5-2.
“Big kill for us,” said LeMaire, adding that while he was happy with the PK, his team needs to cut down on its retaliatory penalties. LeMaire noted that his team had a couple against Trumbull and some in prior games as well. “We’ve got to correct that.”LeMaire credited the Eagles for being physical. The St Joes coach, added that his team, aside from those retaliation infractions, handled the physical play well.
“I like that we took a lot of hits. They definitely out-hit us and we came back at them,” LeMaire said. “I thought we had a really good battle today.”
“It’s always a physical game,” Maxey added.