Liu's hat trick lifts Wrecker icemen
Staples raised its record to 2-0. Lyman Hall dropped to 1-2.
The game was highlighted by Wreckers senior captain Aaron Liu's hat trick, his second of the season.
"It was nice to get another one," Liu said.
Liu scored two goals in the first period and one in the second. His first hat trick included an assist in a 6-2 win at Newington Dec. 14.
The Staples offense worked on its new forechecking system during Wednesday's game. The system, according to coach Ralph Unker, is designed to create more scoring opportunities for the team.
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"We executed about 50 percent of the time, but we still need some work. The shot chart proved the forecheck works though." Unker said. The Wreckers out-shot Lyman Hall 39-18.
Liu also noted the system change and said, "We were really trying to work on our new system and we put it to the test for the first time. It really worked out well."
In addition to Liu's three goals, senior alternate captain Andrew Pfefferle, junior Wyatt Fern, and sophomore Matt Weisgerber each had goals in the second and third periods. Weisberger, who has only been playing hockey for 15 months, scored his first varsity goal.
Next, the Wreckers face Watertown-Pomperaug in a rematch of last year's Division III State Championship.
The teams have played in at least the past three years and have developed a rivalry, especially after losing the state championship last year. Staples beat Watertown in the regular season.
"It kind of has become a rivalry, Unker said, "We play every year and we beat them in the regular season last year. I'm looking forward to beating them again."
Even the players know what lies ahead. Liu is eyeing today's game to avenge last year's loss. "We are looking forward to Friday, we're trying to win that one," he said.
With only one day between games, the Wreckers are focusing on their offensive forecheck and neutral zone work. Liu added, "We have one day to practice so were trying to work hard and solidify what we've working on."