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Staples-Weston-Shelton boys hockey evens up record

Updated 11:54 am, Monday, December 17, 2012
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MILFORD -- The Staples-Weston-Shelton boys hockey team found a way to even up its record on Saturday evening.

Wyatt Fern and Ryan Gawricki each scored twice as the Wreckers defeated Lyman Hall-Haddam Killingworth 8-2 at the Milford Ice Pavilion for their first win of the season.

Derek Nussbaum, Zach Speed, John Mendillo and Sean Stewart also tallied for Staples (1-1), which rebounded from a season-opening 9-3 loss to Newington-Berlin-Manchester. Mendillo also contributed a pair of assists.

Despite the win, Staples head coach Ralph Unker was not thrilled with his team's performance, pointing to sloppy play with the puck.

"We made a lot of mistakes both games," Unker said. "We just happened to be on the good side this game. We haven't played that well yet, not playing up to our capabilities."

He added, "We had way (too) many turnovers. We give the puck to the other team way too many times. I don't know if it's nerves or if we're pressing too much. It's one of the two, but we're not playing our game yet. We find the other team's stick more than ours, so that's something we have to work on."

Boomer DeMorrow scored both goals for Lyman Hall/H-K (0-2) which was coming off a season-opening 8-4 loss to Hall-Southington and dressed just 12 skaters.

"Just a lackluster effort tonight," Trojans head coach Tim Belcher. "They're a good team. They're Division II, we're Division III, but we weren't ready to play. It wasn't even close to a 45-minute effort."

Nussbaum opened the scoring 63 seconds into the game. Gawricki added a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the period to give Staples a 3-0 lead after one.

Goals by Speed (4:46) and Mendillo (7:21) early in the second period pushed the Wreckers' lead to 5-0, but afterward, even Fern acknowledged the turnovers.

"I think some of the kids on the team get scared when they have the puck and they just give it away," said Fern, who also registered a pair of assists. "I think some players are afraid to make contact. I'm not trying to be mean, but this team (Lyman Hall-HK) wasn't too good."

Unker estimated more than 40 turnovers for Staples, which displayed its speed at certain times.

"We used it in spurts," Unker said, "but consistently we should have beaten them to more pucks than we did. We allowed them to beat us to a lot of 50-50 pucks."

DeMorrow got the Trojans on the board with a breakaway goal at 8:58 of the second period. After Stewart and Fern scored early in the third, DeMorrow added his second with 3:02 remaining. Fern's shorthanded goal capped the scoring 52 seconds later. The Wreckers were just 0-for-2 on the power play but killed off all four of their penalties.

Staples finished with a 28-19 edge in shots as William Englehart and Craig Gelman split time in net for the Wreckers. Given the lopsided score, Englehart was pulled after stopping all 10 shots he faced. Gelman made seven saves in relief and allowed the two goals.

Bob Birge is a freelance writer

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