Trumbull hockey routs Staples
SHELTON—The Trumbull boys hockey team scored goals from just about every angle in its game Saturday night against Staples-Weston-Shelton in Shelton. The Eagles didn’t get off a high number of shots at the Wreckers cage, but they sure made them count.
Led by two goals and an assist by Matt Mocker and a goal and three assists from Martin Birnbach, Trumbull (6-7-2)used a four-goal second period to blow by Staples 6-2 and send the Wreckers to their third straight defeat.
“This was the best we moved the puck all season,” said Trumbull coach Greg Maxey. “We had some really nice passing plays that we didn’t even connect on; we’ve been playing a lot of individual hockey up to this point and I thought we moved the puck well tonight.”
Staples scored less than a minute into the game and the action was fast and furious in a first period that included two goals from each team, but Trumbull wrestled control of the game with a pair of goals less than a minute apart early in the second — the first coming from Mocker — to take a 4-2 lead.
“He’s a super hard worker,” Maxey said. “His first goal was on a real nice shot; he made some nice passes over to Birnbach. Matt works hard for his goals.”
Eagles goalie Will Guttman preserved the lead for the hosts at a number of crucial junctures early in the game as the Wreckers held a 44-28 edge in shots. The disparity was even wider in the first two periods as Staples had a trio of power play opportunities totaling eight minutes which led to just one goal.
“If he doesn’t stand on his head (during the penalty kill) that game could have unraveled very quickly,” Maxey said. “He gave us a little footing to start.”
Trumbull put the game away with two goals in the final 40 seconds of the second — the first coming at the end of a 5-minute power play opportunity as a result of a Staples boarding penalty.
The teams played out a scoreless third period with each side trading chances.
“I guess (Trumbull is) just that talented,” Staples coach Todd Sharinn said.
Since Staples (9-7) earned a pair of potential season-defining wins against Stamford-Westhill and East Haven, it has been outscored 16-5 in three games.
Trumbull — which is battling to secure its place in the Division II state tournament — faces rival St. Joseph on Wednesday while Staples visits Norwalk-McMahon. The Eagles and Wreckers meet again to close the regular season Feb. 25.