Staples-Weston-Shelton too much for Trinity Catholic
STAMFORD — The Staples-Weston-Shelton hockey team’s strength in numbers over Trinity Catholic failed to materialize early in their meeting at Terry Conners Rink on Saturday night, but the first period intermission sure helped.
The Wreckers blitzed Trinity Catholic with three goals less than four minutes early in the second period to eventually prevail 6-1. Six different players scored for Staples (5-2), which will get a week off before the teams meet in Milford next Saturday.
Staples coach Todd Sharinn conceded his team was frustrated by the Crusaders’ trap in the first period, but picked it up a notch after the intermission and found the open space.
“They were moving quickly, they just weren’t moving collectively as a team,” Sharinn said of his team early. “They were playing sloppy; I told them to sharpen up their game and they did. They responded well.”
With the score 1-1, Evan Mancini got a wraparound attempt past Crusaders goalie Zach Lockwood. Less than 90 seconds later, Jesse Greenspun cashed in from in close and RJ Gupta followed that with a tip-in of a shot from the point that gave Staples plenty of cushion at 4-1.
“I compliment (Trinity) for doing a good job getting their kids to run (the trap) well,” Sharinn said. “Once I explained to the kids where the seams were and what they were seeing, that was the end of it and why we lit them up in the second period.”
In the midst of a brutal schedule against a number of top teams in each division, the Crusaders dressed just nine skaters against the deeper Wreckers. Kyle Bernard scored with 19.8 seconds left in the first period to tie the game at 1-1 after the hosts held the powerful Wreckers attack in check.
“It’s been a battle for us all year,” Trinity coach Mike Bernard said. “At the end of the first period its 1-1 and we’re in the game. A break here or a break there; we’re getting better each game.”
Trailing 4-1, Trinity Catholic had multiple power play opportunities — including a 5-on-3 chance for 50 seconds — to get back into the game. Wreckers goalie Zack Bloom was busy during the stretch but turned away each Crusader shot he faced.
The defeat dropped Trinity to 1-5 this winter.
“Fatigue starts to send in and guys look to get rid of the puck before they come to the bench,” Bernard said. “That leads to turnovers and obviously we can’t play shorthanded. I thought tonight was our best effort of the year.”
Staples was missing top threat Sam New, which meant playing time on the top line for freshman Zach Strober. With just two games in a 13-day span, the Wreckers will get to regroup before a tough second half of the season.
“We’re riddled with injuries right now so this is a good chance to heal up,” Sharinn said. “The kids have been working really hard and will get a chance to rest a little bit now.”
STAPLES-WESTON-SHELTON 6, TRINITY CATHOLIC 1
STAPLES 1 3 2—6
TRINITY 1 0 0—1
Records: Staples-Weston-Shelton 5-2; Trinity 1-5. Goals: S—Ian Offenberg, Evan Mancini, Jesse Greenspun, RJ Gupta, Ryan Johnson, Matt Bidgood; TC—Kyle Bernard. Assists: S—Ryan Johnson 2, Greenspun, Offenberg, Gupta; TC—Daniel. Bernard. Goalies: TC—Zach Lockwood (36 saves) S—Zack Bloom (23 saves).