The St. Joseph boys ice hockey team found what had been an almost long-lost high gear on Jan. 29, at The Rinks in Shelton, and that acceleration led to a 9-0 victory over town rival Trumbull.

Junior forward Colin Powell, who switched lines and joined classmates Filippo Petrini and Dom DeRosa, scored five goals, including a stretch of four straight from the second into the third periods.

“Our scoring and our chemistry didn’t seem to be right,” said Cadets’ coach Marty Crouse. “We needed to do something. A change was needed. Colin is a big, strong kid and he’s definitely capable of scoring goals.

The Cadets (4-7) took the play to the Eagles (3-9) all night long in a rivalry where physical play is a continuous commodity.

St. Joseph secured a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from Ryan Corcoran, on a perfect tip-in goal off an initial shot from new linemate Landon Gabriele (7:08), followed by a score from DeRosa, where Powell picked up a helper at 8:14, and another tally by Gabriele which came at 11:02.

The Cadets hammered 16 shots in the stanza at Trumbull goalie Grant Vagnone, while giving up only six.

“We played the way we’ve pretty much played for a good part of this season,” said Trumbull coach Greg Maxey, whose team must now win at least five of its remaining eight games or miss the Division II state tournament for the second year in a row.

“We gave them too much space. We didn’t put bodies on them and we didn’t put sticks on them. We gave them way too much.”

Powell’s first goal of the game came at 5:36 of the second period, when he converted after taking a pass from DeRosa. Petrini also assisted on the goal.

“We’re hoping that this was a break-out night for us,” said Powell, who entered the game with seven goals in the teams’ first 10 games. “Filippo and Dom got me the puck tonight, and I was able to find the back of the net. Once we made it a 4-0 game, we just wanted to keep it going and going.”

Trumbull was able to match the Cadets’ shot total in the second period, where each team had 11 attempts, but St. Joseph goalie Christian Furce came up big.

“He was there when we needed him,” Crouse said. “Even with a 3-0 lead, this game could’ve gone either way. Our rivalry is intense. We are both in the same town and we share the same rink.

“I obviously felt much better taking a 4-0 lead into the third period than I would’ve if it turned into a 3-1 or 3-2 game.

“Maybe this win will carry us some. Maybe people will realize that we beat a pretty good Trumbull team 9-0. I think we made a good statement for ourselves.”

The tension level hit its peak in the third period, where nine penalties were called; five against St. Joseph and four against Trumbull.

Powell scored a short-handed goal at 2:45 making it 5-0 before he lit the lamp three more times. In between, Tom Schaefer had an unassisted score.

St. Joseph finished with 38 shots, while giving up 21 as Furce earned the shutout.

“Our inexperience really showed tonight,” Maxey said. “We did have good chances in the second period and we simply couldn’t make a pass or a shot work. We do have winnable games ahead of us, but time is starting to run out.”