Greenwich hockey advances to Div. I title game with OT thriller

GHS senior Ian Fulton celebrates with his team after scoring to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead on Glastonbury in the CIAC Division I semis Wednesday afternoon. — Paul Silverfarb photo

GHS senior Ian Fulton celebrates with his team after scoring to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead on Glastonbury in the CIAC Division I semis Wednesday afternoon. — Paul Silverfarb photo

It took some overtime, but the Greenwich High School boys ice hockey team will play for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I championship, as they upended No. 4 seeded Glastonbury 5-4 Wednesday night.

“It feels great,” Greenwich High School head coach Bob Russel said. “Now I get to get nervous all over again between now and Saturday. It’s a great accomplishment. It feels great for me, but it’s about them. Those guys did it. They went out there and poured their heart’s out. They got behind several times and came back. Those guys earned it and deserved their spot. It’s good for me, but feels great for them.”

With just over three minutes gone by in the extra session, junior Kristian Cunningham was able to grab a rebound that bounced off the Glastonbury goalie’s chest and push the puck in the back of the net for the overtime winner.

“This feels awesome,” Cunningham said. “To send our team back to the championships for the first time in 23 years is nice. It means a lot to me. We were saying in the locker room that the game wasn’t over. We were only down one goal twice and knew that we could come back. We’ve done it before plenty of times this year.”

With the victory, the top-seeded Cardinals advanced to the CIAC Division I championship game for the first time since 2000 and will have to get by a familiar foe in order to claim the hardware, as Darien beat Xavier 3-1 in the other semifinal to advance.

In addition to Cunningham’s overtime goal, the trio of Ian Fulton, Mike Mozian and Brian Silard each found the back of the net once. For the Tomahawks, the duo of Logan Underwood and Adam Yaeger each tallied two goals.

In net, GHS senior Bryan Archino had a solid outing, finishing the game with 28 saves.

“I just screamed,” said Archino about his reaction when his team scored the OT clincher. “I had no other reaction than to skate over and yell. I’ve never been to the state finals and never made it this far in states before. I just went nuts.”

The victory over the Tomahawks means that Big Red will be back in action Saturday at Ingall’s Rink when they Darien High School for the third time this season. While the regular season meeting ended with both teams in a 3-3 tie, it was the Blue Wave that got the better of GHS in the FCIAC title game, winning 5-3.

“I’m expecting a good game,” Archino said. “I want to get some revenge and get the win. It’s a redemption season for us, as we’ve beaten every team we lost to in the past. I’m feeling good about this one.”

 

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