Greenwich boys hockey zips past St. Joseph 5-0 in state playoffs

If ever the Greenwich Cardinals needed a dominating performance, it was now.

The Cardinals stormed past the St. Joseph Cadets, 5-0, in the opening round of CIAC Div. I playoffs Tuesday at Hamill Rink, providing Greenwich with a nice rebound from their loss on the FCIAC final on Saturday.

Greenwich was in control from start to finish, scoring twice in the first period, and outshooting St. Joseph 52-18, racking up shots at a pace of more than one per minute.

Nikita Kovalev scored twice, while Matt Baugher, Alex Mozian and Sean Pratley each found the net once in the victory. Goalie Ben Nash collected 18 saves to earn the shutout.

The second-seeded Cardinals (20-3) will now face No. 7 Northwest Catholic (12-8-1) in the Div. I quarterfinals on Saturday. The site and time is to be determined. All first-round games had been scheduled for Wednesday, but both Greenwich and Northwest Catholic moved their games up to Tuesday in anticipation of Wednesday’s storm.

Greenwich wasted no time grabbing the lead against No. 15 St. Joseph (5-15), as Baugher opened the scoring at the 9:13 mark, with assists from Ryan Columno and Oliver Fulton.

The Cardinals scored their second goal just eight seconds later when Matt Davey won the ensuing faceoff and fed the puck to Kovalev for the goal at 9:21.

Mozian had the only goal of the second stanza, scoring at 6:16 with an assist from Sean Pratley to make it 3-0.

Kovalev made it 4-0 with a goal, assisted by Baugher and Davey, 1:55 into the third period, and Pratley notched the final goal with 4:09 remaining, with assists coming from Charlie Graves and Mozian.

St. Joseph goalie Chris Higgins had a remarkable game despite being under siege for 45 minutes. He faced 52 shots and amassed 47 saves in the final game of the Cadets’ season.

CIAC Div. I Boys Ice Hockey, First Round – Greenwich 5, St. Joseph 0

Tuesday, March 6, at Hamill Rink

St. Joseph 0-0-0 0

Greenwich 2-1-2 5

Greenwich: Nikita Kovalev 2 goals; Alex Mozian 1 goal, 1 assist; Sean Pratley 1 goal, 1 assist; Matt Davey 2 assists; Matt Baugher 1 goal; Ryan Columbo 1 assist; Oliver Fulton 1 assist; Charlie Graves 1 assist


SJ – Chris Higgins 47 saves

G – Ben Nash 18 saves


SJ – 18; G – 52

Ryan Columbo and the Greenwich Cardinals shut out the St. Joseph Cadets in the first round of the CIAC Div. I boys ice hockey playoffs on Tuesday. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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