Brunswick hockey blanks Hotchkiss during home opener

Brunswick School sophomore Christian LeSueur goes towards the Hotchkiss net during Saturday's home opener at the Hartong Rink. — John Ferris Robben

Brunswick School sophomore Christian LeSueur goes towards the Hotchkiss net during Saturday’s home opener at the Hartong Rink. — John Ferris Robben

After two years of missing out on the postseason, Brunswick is quite motivated to get back to playing playoff-caliber ice hockey late in the season.

And with the Bruins playing its usual tough winter schedule, there’s no time like the present to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

“We have a really tough schedule this year, so it’s really nice to get a couple of wins before Thanksgiving,” Faulkner said. “It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the season. We worked really hard today getting out to the fast start and controlling the tempo.”

Playing in their home opener at the Hartong Rink, Brunswick scored three times in the first period against Hotchkiss School and cruised to a 4-0 victory Saturday afternoon to up it’s overall record to 2-0.

“I was really proud of the boys today,” VanBelle said. “They executed the game plan. We put a forecheck in place and they executed it. We worked a lot on the power play. Our power play was miserable on Wednesday and was 0-6. The last few days in practice, we did nothing but power play. We kept it simple. Short passes, put pucks on net and we took advantage during the five-minute advantage. It changed the game.”

Good thing Brunswick worked so hard on the power play, as it became a key factor in the contest early against Hotchkiss.

Only five minutes into the game, a hitting from behind was called on Hotchkiss, which resulted in a five-minute major. This time around, the Bruins were solid on the power play, scoring three times in five minutes to take the early 3-0 lead.

“What happens in that situation is that the team relaxes, and not in a negative way,” VanBelle said. “The energy was up and the aggressiveness was up. You put those three up in the first period and that’s very hard to come back from. The way the goalies were playing and the way things were going defensively, a lot of nights three goals will be enough. To take advantage of that major penalty was great.”

With 6:08 gone by in the first period, sophomore Christian LeSueur got things started with a goal that senior Michael Faulkner and junior Max Fuld assisted on.

Brunswick senior Will Rogers chases down the puck during Saturday's game against Hotchkiss. — John Ferris Robben photo

Brunswick senior Will Rogers chases down the puck during Saturday’s game against Hotchkiss. — John Ferris Robben photo

Less than three minutes later, the Bruins tallied another goal, as Fuld took the pass from sophomore Philip Kent and blasted the puck past the Hotchkiss goalie for the 2-0 lead.

“A lot of refs are nervous about making that call because it’s huge,” VanBelle said. “It’s a five-minute major, he’s ejected from the game and one more. It’s punitive because you have to protect players. It’s such a heavy penalty. I think it was the right call and definitely a hit from behind. Luckily the kid didn’t get hurt.”

Senior Tommy Dunleavy rounded out the scoring for Brunswick on the power play, as he gained control of the Faulkner dish and buried the shot in the back of the net for the three-goal advantage.

“I thought we played a great defensive game today,” Dunleavy said. “Following the five-minute major, we got out to the 3-0 lead and in the past we would tend to sit back and play a defensive game. We knew it was the first period and it wasn’t an option to sit back and play defensive hockey for the rest of the game. We stayed calm and protected our net, but we also took our chances when we were able to and kept the offense up.”

And for Brunswick, getting that chance to grab the early goals came at a perfect time. Playing in front of their home fans for the first time this season, VanBelle was concerned with the team’s nerves early on.

“You could feel the guys relax,” VanBelle said. “It’s the home opener and we had a really big crowd. They weren’t playing tight. They were playing loose. Hotchkiss had to play tight. They were the ones that had to push and try to get back into it. Our guys did their job defensively.”

Brunswick padded its lead 15:50 into the second frame, as LeSueur found the back of the net for the second time in the game, as he took the pass from junior Colin Slyne and bet Hotchkiss goalie L-P DeCourcy for the 4-0 lead.

Brunswick finished the game outshooting Hotchkiss 30-25 and goalie Brian Ketchabaw, a junior, made all 25 saves to preserve the shutout.

To read a preview on the Brunswick ice hockey team and see what VanBelle and the senior captains had to say, check out Wednesday’s Greenwich Post.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress