Cards swarm over East Haven in Division I hockey clash, 5-2

In what head coach Bob Russel called one of his team’s most dominating performances of the year, the Greenwich High School boys ice hockey team grabbed the early 1-0 lead and never looked back, scoring three times in the second period and beating East Haven 5-2 earlier today.

“The team really played well and we have progressively gotten better over the past three games,” Russel said. “Today was as good of an effort as we’ve had all year. Everybody was competing today and we were really patient with the puck. We got great performances all around. The defense was patient and used their partners, we controlled the puck when we should have and we came out without any sustained pressure on them. When they did get shots on net, we cleared well, (Bryan) Archino had a good game and we controlled rebounds.”

After Brian Silard got Big Red on the board first, with a goal less than two minutes into the game, Greenwich exploded onto the scene in the second period. Midway through the second and the scored knotted at 1-1, the Cards found themselves short-handed, however that was fine for Decker Curran. After the puck was fired to the net and the East Haven goalie wasn’t able to corral the bound, Curren sprinted up the center of the rink and met up with the puck just inside the blue line. From there, two quick moves by Curran and Big Red grabbed the 2-1 lead with 4:09 left.

A few minutes later, Greenwich capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play, as Alex Bastone grabbed the puck after GHS worked it around the front of the net and fired the goal. Greenwich iced the game  with 11.6 seconds to play in the second, as Paul Macken got the pass from Silard and blasted the shot in the back of the net for the 4-1 advantage.

The Cards added another goal on the power play during the third period to finish the scoring for the team. Bryan Archino was strong in net for Big Red, finishing with 21 saves for the Cardinals. As a team, Greenwich finished with 37 shots on goal.

“We had a good first period, but the second period we knew we had to step it up if we were going to come out on top in the end,” Jack Corrigan said. “We did that in the period. We crashed the net hard and got the shots on goal.”

With the victory, Greenwich won its fourth straight and five out of its last six games, improving to 12-7 on the season. During that stretch, Big Red has been dominating teams. In addition to the five-goal outburst against East Haven, the Cards scored four goals against Stamford and eight goals against Westhill.

On Monday, Greenwich will finish out its regular season schedule with a home game against Trinity Catholic High School. Currently Big Red has a 7-4 record in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and has secured at least a fifth seed in next weekend’s conference tournament.

“With FCIACs only a week away, we are hoping to come out against Trinity at home and press them really hard and play a full 45-minute hockey game,” said William Waesche. “We are all on the same page and stronger than ever. When it comes to the playoffs, we need to believe in ourselves. Coming into the season, no one thought we were going to be here now. We had a losing record the past few years, but we turned the program around and put it where it needs to be. We have the athleticism and have all the tools we need to be successful. We just need to get on the same page and believe that we can do it.”

To read much more on the game against East Haven and what Russel and the Cardinals expect in both the FCIAC and CIAC Division I postseason, check out Thursday’s Greenwich Post.

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