Greenwich wins second straight FCIAC girls hockey title, 2-1, over New Canaan

The Greenwich Cardinals and New Canaan Rams have clashed three times during this girls ice hockey season. Each time, the result has been a Cardinals’ victory.

The third time around certainly wasn’t easy, but it ended with Greenwich on top of the FCIAC, as the Cardinals repeated as conference champions with a 2-1 win over the Rams Saturday night at the Darien Ice House.

Sophomore Emma Wingrove scored the game-winner when she poked in a loose puck with 5:13 remaining, less than a minute and a half after freshman Courtney O’Connell had equalized for New Canaan.

Greenwich (18-2-1), which hadn’t won an FCIAC championship in program history until last winter, now has two years on the banner. New Canaan (18-4), meanwhile, was denied its first conference title since 2012.

Greenwich goalie Jessie Aselin, senior, was the tournament MVP after racking up 26 saves against a persistent New Canaan attack. She also had pitched a shutout against Ridgefield/Danbury in the semifinals on Wednesday.

The Rams held a big advantage in shots on goal, 27-12, which included an 18-6 edge in the first two periods, but it went for naught.

New Canaan freshman goalie Blythe Novick, who was stellar in a 3-2 overtime win against Darien in Wednesday’s semifinals, allowed two goals while making 10 saves against the Cards.

One of the goals came on a power play early in the third period, and the other came on an errant puck which squirted free and was knocked in by Wingrove.

Throughout the first two stanzas, the Rams peppered Aselin and the Greenwich net with shots, but the Cardinal minder was unbending.

Aselin and the Greenwich defense, which was led by senior co-captain Jennie Piotrzkowski, and sophomores Sydney Orszulak, Katie Piotrzkowski, and Emily Bello, held up under the onslaught.

Novick made a couple of big stops as well, including a nice stab of a slap shot by Bello in the final minute of the first period, and another save on a move in front by Greenwich junior Jen Kelly. The Ram defense was led by Jess Eccleston, Katelyn Sparks, Sadie Frame and McKenna Harden.

New Canaan dominated the opportunities in the second period, racking up a 10-2 shots advantage, but Aselin continually stonewalled the attack.

In the closing moments of the period, Kelly nearly broke away for a clean shot, but she was taken down by Eccleston, who was called for the trip. The play gave the Cardinals a power play to open the third period.

Greenwich took advantage with the game’s first goal 49 seconds into the third period, when Kelly scored off a rebound of a shot by Katie Piotrzkowski.

The Rams responded with 6:29 remaining when O’Connell found the net after a scrum in front of the Greenwich net.

That tie didn’t last long, however, as Wingrove scored the final goal with 5:13 remaining. Kelly took the initial shot and it appeared Novick had it covered, but the puck slid back to her skate and Wingrove sent it into the net for the 2-1 lead.

A Greenwich penalty allowed New Canaan to pull its goalie fora 6-on-4 advantage in the final two minutes, but the Cardinals’ defense held up for the win.

FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Championship – Greenwich 2, New Canaan 1

Saturday, Feb. 24, at Darien Ice House

New Canaan 0-0-1 1

Greenwich 0-0-2 2

New Canaan: Courtney O’Connell 1 goal

Greenwich: Jen Kelly 1 goal, 1 assist; Emma Wingrove 1 goal; Katie Piotrzkowski 1 assist; Emily Bello 1 assist


NC – Blythe Novick 10 saves

G – Jesse Aselin 26 saves


NC – 27; G – 12

The Greenwich Cardinals jump on goalie Jessie Aselin after winning the FCIAC championship, 2-1, over the New Canaan Rams Saturday night at the Darien Ice House. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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