STAMFORD-- The Stamford/Westhill/Staples girls ice hockey team has spent much of the first few years of its existence taking lopsided defeats against the elite teams of the FCIAC.
The co-op has grown by leaps and bounds since, and got a chance to avenge several of those blowout losses Saturday by issuing one of their own.
Meg Fay scored five goals as Stamford/Westhill/Staples scored seven unanswered goals en route to a 7-2 win over Greenwich night at Terry Conners Rink.
"My first game coaching these girls was against Greenwich and they ran up the score, 13-1, on us," Stamford coach Eli Williams said. "And to have this victory come three years later is incredible. The girls skated their tails off; they've worked so hard and have come so far."
Fay (Staples), scored a natural hat trick in the third period to seal the victory. Her first goal in the frame -- a rocket shot that deflected in off the crossbar -- gave Stamford (2-2) a 5-2 lead.
"I've had a few days off now so the break gave me a lot of momentum," Fay said. "The whole team was positive from the beginning; we had a lot of positive energy in the locker room."
Sara Schectman and Caitlin Brady scored goals for the Cardinals (0-5), who appeared to be heading to their first win of the season. The two-goal cushion was short lived as Fay scored 19 seconds after the second Greenwich goal to cut the deficit in half heading into the second period.
"We knew it would be a challenge; we knew (Stamford) had a strong squad," Greenwich coach Brett Farson said. --We knew this is the strongest team they've had in the history of their program. We just didn't play well after the first period."
Greenwich dominated the first period -- including holding a 10-4 edge in shots -- and could have led by multiple goals heading into the second if not for the efforts of Staples' Casey Bang. Bang stopped three separate breakaways and made several other crucial stops.
"(Bang) definitely kept us in it; she was a game-changer," Williams said. "She had her game on tonight; she was cool, calm and collected with the puck and she made some really good stops for us."
Fay gave Stamford the lead for good with 8:22 left in the second period, skating virtually the entire length of the ice before beating Greenwich goalie Leah Lewis with a high shot. Cassie Miolene added a goal late in the period to give the hosts insurance.
"Our lack of depth really showed up tonight," Farson said. "It's a major part of our game plan to try to overcome it but even so it is difficult to overcome."
The back-to-back wins are the first consecutive wins in the short history of the Stamford program and Saturday's win was just the second against an FCIAC school.
"This was such a big win," Fay said. "We hope this gives us momentum will and I know it will. A 7-2 win like this will help us in coming games; we have a lot of momentum right now."
Stamford/Westhill/Staples 7, Greenwich 2
GREENWICH 2 0 0--3
STAMFORD/WESTHILL/STAPLES 1 3 3--7
Goals: G--Sara Schectman, Caitlin Brady; S--Meg Fay 5, Cassie Miolene, Rachel Stanford. Goalies: G--Lisa Lewis (20 saves); S--Casey Bang (15).
Records: Greenwich 0-5; Stamford/Westhill/Staples 2-2.