Greenwich hockey team's patience pays off in win over Staples
GREENWICH -- Despite having nothing to show on the scoreboard for a 12-shot first period on Saturday evening, the Greenwich High boys hockey team didn't lose its patience.
Instead, the Cardinals -- scoreless with Staples-Weston-Shelton after one -- continued to fire away on net.
The goals eventually came, one after another.
Spurred on by junior defenseman Reed Brady's goal with 11:35 left in the second, Greenwich scored four times in each of the final two periods, pummeling a depleted Staples team 8-3 at Dorothy Hamill Rink.
"You don't want to change a lot of things. Keep doing what you're doing," Greenwich head coach Bob Russel said. "Get to the net a little better, look for tips, look for all the right things.
"You figure one's going to come, and once you break the seal sometimes they come easier, which is kind of what happened."
Seven different Cardinals scored, led by sophomore forward Decker Curran, who had two goals. Curran beat Staples goalie Matthew Beckoff top-shelf with a slap shot to make it 3-1 Cardinals with 3:15 in the second period, and capped the scoring with two seconds left in the third.
Greenwich, now winners of three straight, moved to 5-3 on the season.
"In previous games, we had so much trouble coming out hard. Our intensity wasn't there," Curran said. "The second period, we were all in the locker room, everything was quiet. We wanted to come out on the ice and just work our hardest. That's what we did."
Entering Saturday on a three-game slide, Staples (3-5) dressed just nine skaters due to a dance, injuries and suspensions, the latter stemming from a fight that took place during a 5-3 loss to Stamford on Jan. 5.
"Playing with nine guys is tough," Staples head coach Ralph Unker said. "You have guys that don't normally get more than maybe 10 minutes a game getting 25 minutes. Guys that are usually getting the 30 minutes didn't play at all."
Beckoff, a sophomore, made just his second varsity appearance in goal -- in place of William Englehart -- and faced 38 shots, stopping 30 of them.
Shut out in the first despite firing 12 shots and twice going on the power play, Greenwich capitalized on its chances in the second. Sophomore forward Naoya Fukuchi re-directed a slap shot from Kevin Piotrzkowski in front to make it 2-0 with 10:19 left in the second, and forward Mark Schmeiler made it 4-1 with 2:02 remaining.
The Cardinals scored on four of their 14 shots in the second period, and lit the lamp on four of their 12 shots in the third.
Staples got two goals from junior forward Sean Stewart in the loss.
"I thought he was great in the first period. He did everything right," Russel said of Beckoff. "You can say that we scored on some first shots, but there was a lot of traffic in front of him. ¦ After the first period, our guys were saying, `We're going to go to the net harder because this guy's making all the first saves.' Our guys recognized it."
Junior forward Matthew Lodato knocked home a rebound on the power play with 11:54 to go in the third, extending Greenwich's lead to 5-1.
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GREENWICH 8, STAPLES-WESTON-SHELTON 3
STAPLES 0 1 2--3
GREENWICH 0 4 4--8
Records: Staples 3-5; Greenwich 5-3.
Goals: S--Sean Stewart 2, John Mendillo. G--Decker Curran 2, Reed Brady, Naoya Fukuchi, Mark Schmeiler, Matthew Lodato, Paul Macken, Alex Bastone. Assists: S--Liam O'Leary 2, Ryan Gawricki. G--Curran, Kevin Piotrzkowski, Michael Stroumbakis, Fukuchi, Ian Fulton, Harrison Potash. Goalies: S--Matthew Beckoff (30 saves); G--Bryan Archino (9). Shots: S--12; G--38.