Led by a balanced scoring attack, the Staples-Weston-Shelton boys ice hockey team sealed a spot in the Division III tournament with a 7-1 win over Trinity Catholic at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Wreckers are now 8-6 with five games left in the regular season.

The Wreckers scored three power play goals, a short-handed goal and a six-on-five goal on a delayed call as the teams combined for 65 penalty minutes.

"At the end of the day we executed well on the power play," Wreckers coach Todd Sharinn said. "It worked to our benefit tonight. ¦ Today we clinched (a Division III) playoff spot, so I'm happy about that."

The Wreckers -- coming off a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to St. Joseph on Saturday in which they had the lead late -- started off a on the back foot and the Crusaders applied early pressure. Bloom was forced to make a save on a breakaway 45 seconds into the game as Staples struggled to exit its zone in the first few minutes.

"I thought we were real sloppy tonight, the kids didn't execute the systems well," Sharinn said. "I think coming off the St. Joes game; we didn't have a chance to practice yesterday. We were young and not really playing their best."

Staples soon found itself shorthanded, but scored anyway to take a 1-0 lead. Ryan Purgay applied pressure to a Trinity Catholic defender looking to start a breakout, stole the puck and had his shot saved by Crusaders goalie TJ Duddie. Jesse Greenspun was there for the rebound midway through the opening period.

Evan Mancini then netted highlight-reel goal to double the Wreckers' advantage. He picked off a pass from the blue line and dodged a pair of defenders before deking Duddie for the finish. Quinn Thompson converted from a two-on-one breakaway 37 seconds later for the Crusaders to cut the lead in half.

The Wreckers increased their lead to 3-1 on a power play goal by Sebastien Zeman on a pass from the point from Ian Offenberg. A minute later, Greenspun scored on a delayed call to put Staples out of sight.

"(We needed to) play smarter and play position," Trinity coach Johnnie Chiapperino said. "Rushing into position on our power play, we were just running and gunning it. We didn't adapt or look at the ice."

Trinity Catholic had a chance to get back into the game early in the second period trailing 2-1, as Mancini was called for a check from behind into the glass. Trinity managed little pressure 3:29 into the five minute power-play opportunity, then took a minor to wipe out the rest.

"That five-minute power play was definitely a good chance to capitalize, but again the guys just had to go back to playing their game," Chiapperino said. "Doing all the little things to get the big results; it was just one of those games."

Staples tallied another power play goal 63 seconds into the final period, Ryan Johnson scored scoring with 3:06 remaining and the Wreckers added a 5-on-3 tally with seconds left.

rlacey@bcnnew.com, @ryanlacey11

Staples-Weston-Shelton 7, Trinity Catholic 1



Records: Trinity Catholic 4-10, 2-5 FCIAC; Staples 8-6, 3-5. Goals: TC--Quinn Thompson; S--Jesse Greenspun 2, Evan Mancini, Sebastien Zeman, Sam Zaritsky, Ryan Johnson, Ryan Purgay. Assists: S--Ryan Purgay, Johnson, Ian Offenberg, Sam New. Goalies: TC--P.J. Duddie (14 saves); Conor Ehring (10 saves); S--Zack Bloom (19 saves).