Greenwich hockey ices Darien in battle for FCIAC’s top seed

The Greenwich boys ice hockey team took over the FCIAC driver’s seat with a 2-1 victory over the Darien Blue Wave Wednesday at the Darien Ice Rink.

Goalie Nick Bozzuto begins the celebration after the Greenwich Cardinals defeated the Darien Blue Wave, 2-1, Wednesday at the Darien Ice Rink. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

Goalie Nick Bozzuto begins the celebration after the Greenwich Cardinals defeated the Darien Blue Wave, 2-1, Wednesday at the Darien Ice Rink. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

Goalie Nick Bozzuto had an outstanding game, collecting 29 saves against 30 Wave shots and holding Darien off the scoreboard until there were less than seven minutes remaining in the game.

Cal McKinney and Mike Mozian scored goals for the Cards.

The victory gives Greenwich records of 14-4 overall and 8-1 in the FCIAC. Darien is 14-3 overall and 8-1 in league play, but the Cards now own the head-to-head tiebreaker for the conference playoff race.

If Greenwich wins its final two league contests against Ridgefield and Wilton, it will be the No. 1 seed for the FCIAC tournament, which begins with the playdown round on Saturday, Feb. 27.

The Cards face a quick turnaround for their game against Ridgefield, which is a playoff contender at 8-7-1 overall and 5-3 in the FCIAC. Greenwich hosts the Tigers at Hamill Rink at 8 p.m., Thursday.

If Greenwich loses to either Ridgefield or Wilton (1-14-1), that would open the door for Darien to reclaim the top spot, with the Wave facing Trumbull (6-7-2) and Staples (9-7) in its final two games.

Here’s Wednesday’s complete broadcast in high-definition:

Beyond the playoff picture, the Cards’ win on Wednesday is a huge one from a psychological standpoint, as Greenwich finally broke through against Darien. The Wave defeated the Cards in last year’s FCIAC and CIAC Div. I finals, and had shut them out in the last two meetings, including a 3-0 decision in January.

McKinney ended the Greenwich drought when he took a feed from Matt Davey and beat Darien goalie David Voight (18 saves) in the second period.

Mike Mozian doubled the lead when he scored after a back-and-forth with his brother Alex, that resulted in a rebound goal early in the third stanza.

Darien’s Max DeBerandinas out the Wave on the board on a rebound of a Jake Kirby shot, but Bozzuto and the Greenwich defense held up the rest of the way to nail down the win.

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