Ice hockey: Darien clips Greenwich in Division I final (Updated)

Greenwich goalie Bryan Archino had 10 saves in the first period. (Dave Stewart Photo)

Greenwich goalie Bryan Archino had 17 saves against Darien. (Dave Stewart Photo)

Jack Pardue’s second-period goal was the difference, as Darien defeated Greenwich, 1-0, in the Division I state boys ice hockey final on Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink in New Haven.

Pardue’s unassisted goal, which stuck the bottom of the crossbar and caromed down over the goal line, gave the second-seeded Blue Wave (23-2-1) their first state title since 1969. Big Red was seeking its first championship since 1992 and second overall.

Darien goaltender Will Massie made 23 saves to record the victory, while Greenwich goalie Bryan Archino stopped 17 shots.

“I thought we played really well today,” Greenwich head coach Bob Russel said. “All you can do is go play well enough to create opportunities to score and do your best to defend opportunities they get… We had lots of chances. Their goalie made some great saves, we just missed some opportunities, some scrambles around the net.”

In a crispy-played matchup, the third of the season between the FCIAC rivals, neither team took a penalty and the Cardinals held a slim 23-18 shot advantage.

Greenwich defenseman Colin Kelly had a chance at an equalizer late, but Massie smothered the slapper from the left circle with three seconds left to secure the victory.

“I don’t really have a good answer for you,” said Russel of what made the 6-foot-3 Massie so tough to beat in net. “He played really well. They are really good at taking away second chances.”

In the third period, Greenwich outshot Darien by a 6-2 margin, but Massie rose to the occasion every time.

“They are a terrific team, they do a lot of things well,” Russel said. “Hats off to their whole team and their defense and Massie on his goaltending today.”

With the loss, Big Red finished the season at 21-3-2, with losses to Darien in the FCIAC and Division I title games.

“I know there is a big stigma whether you’re the team that got the W or not,” Russel said. “The bottom line is that our team did a great job all year, they got the number-one ranking because they worked hard all year… We played really hard in this game. I’m really proud of the team, they accomplished a lot this year… I thought we played well enough to win, we couldn’t put the puck in at the right time.”

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