Greenwich hockey zips Ridgefield, advances to FCIAC final

With just under 12 minutes remaining in Greenwich’s FCIAC boys ice hockey semifinal game against Ridgefield, Cardinal defenseman Colin Kelly delivered the play of a lifetime.

With the Tigers charging into the Cardinal zone, Kelly stole the puck along the boards, swooped back through the middle and sped across center ice. Coming across the blue line, he pulled up and unleashed a bazooka shot into the far top corner of the net for a two-goal lead.

It was a loud statement for Greenwich, which added one more goal and shut out Ridgefield, 3-0, Wednesday night at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, earning a return trip to the FCIAC title game.

Mike Mozian scored the first and last goals for Greenwich, while goalie Nick Bozzuto had another outstanding game, collecting 32 saves and overcoming four Cardinal penalties in the third period.

The top-seeded Cardinals will face the No. 6 St. Joseph Cadets for the conference championship at 3 p.m., Saturday. St. Joseph upset No. 2 Darien, 2-1, in Wednesday’s early semifinal.

The final will be carried live by the HAN Network and can be viewed at han.network, greenwich-post.com, trumbulltimes.com, FCIAC.net, and all of the HAN Network’s websites.

Greenwich and St. Joseph have faced off twice this season, with Greenwich winning 2-0 on Jan. 9, and St. Joseph winning 3-0 on Feb. 9.

“We’re 1-1 against them this year,” Mozian said of St. Joseph. “Last time they beat us 3-0 and it was not one of our best games, so hopefully we turn it up for the championship. I’m excited.”

“Tonight, we came out, played three straight periods and played great,” Bozzuto said. “So going into the FCIAC final, we have to play three periods solid.”

Mozian netted the Cards’ first goal just 1:35 after the opening puck drop.

Greenwich won a faceoff near its net and Aiden Connerty sent a pass through the neutral zone Mozian near the red line. Mozian made a shifty move to shake a defender inside the blue line, and then wristed a goal inside the left pipe for the 1-0 lead.

That goal was the only scoring through the first two periods

The Tigers made plenty of noise in the second frame, but Bozzuto and the Greenwich defense, led by Kelly, Connerty, Peter Van Duyne, and Ben Pratley, kept the shutout going.

After Kelly’s rocket shot made it 2-0 with 11:36 remaining, Ridgefield turned up the heat with some help from the Cardinals, who couldn’t stay away from the penalty box.

Back-to-back penalties at 4:16 and 6:09 gave the Tigers an extended power play, but Bozzuto came up huge. Ridgefield had 16 shots in the third period.

“He was awesome,” Mozian said. “He’s such a great goalie and I was glad he was able to step it up after losing (Bryan) Archino (to graduation) last year. He’s been doing a great job.”

Bozzuto said facing the power play actually helped him.

“I actually play better under the pressure,” he said. “I like making the big saves, shutting the crowd up — it’s great.

“I knew with our defense, if I come out big, they’d play well. It’s fun.”

The final goal came from Mozian with 12.2 seconds remaining, after Ridgefield pulled goalie Sean Keegans to create a 6-on-5.

Having faced St. Joseph twice this season, the Cardinals are well aware of what their goalie, Ryan Wilson, is capable of. He’s coming off a great couple of playoff games against Fairfield and Darien, having allowed just one goal in six periods.

“They have a great goaltender, so we have to crash the net really hard,” Bozzuto said. “Their goalie just stands on his head so we know we have to pressure the net and get the rebounds in.”

Greenwich goalie Nick Bozzuto makes a kick save during the third period of the Cardinals' 3-0 semifinal win over Ridgefield. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

Greenwich goalie Nick Bozzuto makes a kick save during the third period of the Cardinals’ 3-0 semifinal win over Ridgefield. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

 

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