Devin Hines scores against Xavier, December 23, 2014. Double click to see full screen.
Mike Savino made 41 saves in a 3-1 loss to Scarsdale, N.Y., February 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jake Lynch and the Westiesfell to Notre Dame-WH, February 7, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
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BOYS HOCKEY 2014-2015
Alex Lynch against Scarsdale, N.Y., February 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
State Champions - 1949, 1961, 1964, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1994
All-State Players - Ray Luedee '75; Mark Carlo '76, '77; Marty Crouse '77, '78; Don MacMillan '77; Eddie Merola '79; Bob Serenson '84; Jay Andrew '84; Mark Anquillare '84; Mike Gilbert '87; Mike Woznyk '87; Paul Mulligan '88; Darrell Galasso '90; Rob Kryznel '93; Keith Dupee '94; Shaun Jackson '00; Aaron Beauvais '00; Tom Withington '00; Mark Heffernan '00, '01, '02; Brandon Fanelli '02; Jim Lafo '02; Chris Quagliani '02; Ron Baia '03; Nick Quagliani '03; Chris Shore '04; Joe Pereira '05; Ken Comfort '06; Joe Innamorato '07; John Ascenzia '10; Tim Baylis '10; J.P. Withington '11; Kyle Leyerzapf '12; Mike Troiano '12; Austin Hansen '13; Mike Savino '14; Alex Scranton '14; Mike Savino '15
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Tyler Paine scores against Xavier, December 23, 2014. Double click to view full screen.
Westies crushed by Lancers
NDFF cruises to 9-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 4, 2015) - Notre Dame-Fairfield coach Steve Hetherman was looking for a complete effort from his team. West Haven coach Joe Morrell had some concerns entering Wednesday evening's contest against the Lancers after not playing in 15 days.
Hetherman finally got what he was looking for.
Scoring three times in the first period and adding five more in the third, Notre Dame cruised to a 9-1 win over West Haven at the Milford Ice Pavilion. With the win, Notre Dame improved to 6-7, while West Haven, No. 8 in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, fell to 6-4-1.
“It is nice to see the results of better practices,” Hetherman said. “We see the effort in practice carry over to tonight.”
West Haven coaches (l. to r.), Jim Lafo, Joe Morrell, and John Ascenzia, look on in 9-1 loss to Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 4, 2015. Photo courtesy Todd Dandelske.
Twelve different players got into the scoring column for the Lancers with Mark Russo leading the way. Russo finished the night with two goals and three assists, while Landon Gabriele added two goals and two assists and Michael Antoniou and Matt Carloto each scored once and added a pair of assists.
“Every single person worked hard,” Russo said. “That’s all you can ask for. We wanted to put together a complete game and that’s what we did. This is a big victory. We got a good performance from everybody.”
The Lancers held a 19-4 shot advantage in the opening period and scored three times in a span of 8 minutes, 3 seconds to take control of the contest.
After West Haven goaltender Mike Savino made four quick saves to open the contest, the Lancers continued the pressure. Gabriele capitalized, scoring 4:54 in off assists from Russo and Seamus O'Rourke.
Less than two minutes later, the Lancers had a 2-0 lead. Antoniou took a pass from Brian Gallagher, spun around in front, and blasted a shot off the pad of Savino with 8:28 remaining.
“We did not play well,” Morrell said. “They played better than us. Our game is winning the battles for the puck and outworking teams, and they beat us at that. The layoff could hurt, but you have to pick up your mental toughness. We just did not get it done. We should have been ready to explode with all the time we had off. We were outworked in our zone.”
Collin Braziel (27) is stopped against Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 4, 2015. Photo courtesy Todd Dandelske.
Savino denied both O'Rourke and Antoniou in front with 6:47 left in the period, but was not as fortunate over four minutes later. Russo was alone in front and redirected a shot past Savino for a 3-0 advantage with 2:03 left in the first.
The Westies came out a different team in the second period and needed only 1:39 to get back in the contest. Donny Froehlich's blast from the point got by Notre Dame goaltender William Scovill off an assist from Wyatt Condon to get the Westies within 3-1.
Donny Froehlich (14), seen here with Jeremy Borelli (17), scored the lone West Haven goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 4, 2015. Photo courtesy Todd Dandelske.
After killing a five-minute major, West Haven had several golden opportunities to inch closer, but none found the net. A two-on-one break with Condon and Jeremy Borelli went for naught as Condon fired wide with 3:05 left in the period, and a partial breakaway by Condon went wide with one minute to go.
The Lancers capitalized, scoring with less than one second remaining in the period to take all the momentum to the final period. Positioned on the side of the goal, Nick Carloto snapped in a shot past Savino with 0.7 seconds remaining for a power play goal and a 4-1 Notre Dame lead.
“The momentum carried over,” Hetherman said. “The cardinal rule in hockey is you can’t let up a goal in the first or last minute. We had the momentum going into the third. Mike (Savino) is an All-State goalie. To get a bunch on him is nice.”
The Lancers never let up in the third period, scoring five times and twice just seconds apart. Notre Dame put the game away with two goals in 8 seconds as Matt Carloto increased the margin to 5-1 and Ryan Gawricki chased Savino seconds later.
Joe Bepko makes a save against Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 4, 2015. Photo courtesy Todd Dandelske.
With Joe Bepko in goal for West Haven, the Lancers continued to roll. Russo and Babriele scored 34 seconds apartand Brendan Barger scored with 5:39 left for a 9-1 lead.
Scovill finished with 13 saves in the win for the Lancers.
On their Game
Savino, Borelli lead WH to 3-0 win over Milford
By MIKE MADERA
(January 20, 2015) - After falling to Fairfield Prep less than a week ago, many were eager to see how the West Haven hockey team responded. The Westies have answered in emphatic fashion.
Playing twice since the loss, the Westies have posted consecutive shutouts, including Tuesday evening's 3-0 win over Milford at the Milford Ice Pavilion. With their second win in a row, the Westies improved to 6-3-1.
Mike Savino posted his second straight shutout, turning aside 17 Milford shots. The senior goaltender has stopped 43 consecutive shots over the last two games.
Mike Savino made 17 saves in a win over Milford, January 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jeremy Borelli also came up big in the win as he scored twice, giving him a team-leading five goals on the season. Wyatt Condon and Devin Hines each had a pair of assists and Tyler Paine picked up his team-leading sixth assist on the season.
West Haven wasted no time setting the tone of the contest as the Westies held a 33-17 shot advantage.
Borelli gave West Haven a 1-0 lead at the 10 minute, 27 second mark of the opening period off assists from Wyatt Condon and Devin Hines.
West Haven players celebrate a goal by Jeremy Borelli in a win over Milford, January 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Leading 1-0 after 15 minutes, the Westies put the game away with two goals in the middle period. Hines set up Max Lynch for a 2-0 lead and Condon and Paine set up Borelli's second of the night for a 3-0 advantage.
West Haven players celebrate a goal by Max Lynch in a win over Milford, January 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hines lifts Westies
Senior scores lone goal in 1-0 win over South Windsor
By MIKE MADERA
(January 17, 2015) - Senior Devin Hines scored off an assist from Donny Froehlich at the 5 minute, 56 second mark of the third period to lead the West Haven hockey team to a 1-0 victory over South Windsor Saturday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Devin Hines (19) scored the lone West Haven goal against South Windsor, January 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Following a tough loss to top-ranked Fairfield Prep three days earlier, Hines' goal would be all West Haven needed as senior goaltender Mike Savino made 26 saves in the shutout win, Savino's first shutout of the season.
Donny Froehlich (14) played well defensively in a win over South Windsor, January 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Taubl stops Westies
Fairfield Prep goalie stops 24 shots in 4-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 14, 2015) - Through nine games this season, it would be safe to say, Fairfield Prep senior goaltender Jack Taubl has been the team’s most consistent player. For 45 minutes Wednesday evening, Taubl showed why.
Stopping three West Haven breakaways and finishing the game with 24 saves, Taubl helped lead Fairfield Prep, the No. 1 team in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, to a 4-1 victory over West Haven at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“The difference in the game has been our goalie all season,” Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said of Taubl after the Jesuits improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 against state competition. “It has been like that all season. We are asking too much of him. We need to play better if we want to be competitive. I thought West Haven was the better team tonight.”
Jeremy Borelli scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Fairfield Prep, January 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Taubl came through for the Jesuits in several key spots, denying Jeremy Borelli’s breakaway with a pad save in the middle period with the Jesuits up 2-0, and stopping a rocket from Jake Lynch in the slot with Prep up 2-1 in the third.
The Westies (4-3-1), ranked seventh in the Register/GameTimeCt poll, carried the play for a better part of the game, including a first period which saw West Haven hold a 12-11 shot advantage. The difference was Taubl.
“Part of my game is getting to the top of the crease,” Taubl said. “I see the puck. The defense is there to help out. There is good mutual trust with the defense.”
After denying Borelli twice in front in the opening minute of the game, the Prep goaltender watched as his team took a 1-0 lead off a fluke bounce off the boards from a shot by Vincent D’Amore off the pads of West Haven goaltender Mike Savino into the net just four minutes in.
The Jesuits increased the lead to 2-0 when a point shot by junior Jack McGowen went through traffic and beat Savino under the blocker with 5:32 left in the opening period.
“I thought we got outplayed,” Sather said. “The first goal was a lucky bounce off the boards. They had several breakaway opportunities.”
Taubl was the difference in the opening period, as he denied Tyler Paine in front with a great pad save 6:50 in, then stopped a partial breakaway by Wyatt Condon with a pad save 43 seconds prior to McGowen’s goal.
“We did not take advantage of some opportunities,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team’s unbeaten streak was stopped at five. “Their goalie made some good saves. The kids played hard. We played well. All three lines played well, the defense played well and so did Mike (Savino). We were down 2-0, but I was really happy with the first period. We had a lot of opportunities to score.”
The chances continued for West Haven in the second period, but Taubl made a pair of great saves early, robbing Tyler Salkins in front, then the rebound by Paine 2:30 in.
Tyler Salkins against Fairfield Prep, January 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Borelli finally got the Westies on the scoreboard as a perfect passing play of Kevin Coyle to Paine to Borelli beat Taubl to cut the deficit in half.
"I was happy with our effort,” Morrell said. “We had opportunities.”
Taubl was strong to start the third period as well, denying a point shot by Donny Froehlich less than a minute in and a shot from the slot by freshman E.J. Pacapelli with 7:01 to go.
The Jesuits iced the game with two goals in the final 5:21. Ryan Deering set up Justin Blanchette in front for a 3-1 lead, then Christopher Brown added an empty-net goal with 13.1 seconds remaining.
Wyatt Condon against Fairfield Prep, January 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We have a lot of new guys,” Sather said. “We have to figure out what it takes to be consistent day to day in this league.”
Savino finished with 20 saves in the loss for West Haven.
Fit to be Tied
Two quick goals by Hamden evens game with Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(January 10, 2015) - The West Haven hockey team looked as if was on its way to picking up its fifth straight victory Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the Westies had to settle for a tie.
A pair of goals by Hamden's Jeremy Routh in the final 1 minute, 15 seconds of the second period erased a 2-0 West Haven lead.
Mike Savino, seen here earlier in the season, made 32 saves in a 2-2 tie against Hamden, January 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies took the two-goal lead when Peter Richetelli scored 5:34 into the middle period and freshman E.J. Pacapelli scored his first varsity gal 1:01 later.
Mike Savino was outstanding in goal with 32 saves in the tie.
Read about this game at GameTimeCT here.
Richetelli, Savino lead Westies to fourth straight win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 7, 2015) - The slow start the West Haven hockey team endured to open the season seems to be a distant memory. Starting with solid play in the latter part of the West Haven Christmas Tournament and continuing through Wednesday evening, the Westies look like a different team.
West Haven is getting contributions from each line, receiving solid defensive play, and the goaltending of Mike Savino has reached another level. That level was on display Wednesday evening as Savino made 19 saves in a 2-1 victory over Simsbury.
The road victory also saw sophomore Peter Richetelli come up big with a goal and an assist as the Westies won for the fourth straight time.
Peter Richetelli, seem here earlier in the season, led the Westies to a 2-1 win over Simsbury with a goal and an assist, January 7, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven came out flying in the contest and the quick start propelled the Westies to a 2-0 lead in the opening period.
"This was a big win for us," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team improved to 4-2. "We played our best first period of the year."
Richetelli scored his second goal of the year to put West Haven on the board first. The goal was assisted by defenseman Donny Froehlich and Alex Lynch. For Froehlich, it was his third assist and sixth point just six games into the season.
Richetelli, who now has five points on the year, was not done in the opening period. Along with Hunter Cole, Richetelli set up Jake Lynch's fourth goal of the season for a 2-0 lead. The goal by Jake Lynch was his fourth of the year, tying him with Tyler Paine for the team lead.
That would be all the scoring in the game for the Westies and the rest was up to Savino, who denied 19 Simsbury shots. Only a goal by Zack Levin in the second period prevented a shutout by Savino and cut West Haven's lead in half.
Savino kept Simsbury off the scoreboard in the third period, allowing West Haven to continue it winning streak.
Borelli leads Westies past East Haven
2 goals key to 4-2 victory
By JEREMY BORELLI
Mike Madera contributed to this article
(January 3, 2015) - The last time West Haven faced the East Haven Yellow Jackets, it was defeated in the first round of the state playoffs.
One year later, the tables were turned in a 4-2 victory at Patsy DiLungo Rink in East Haven on Saturday. West Haven outplayed the Easties for most of the game in an all around team effort.
The white line, composed of Jeremy Borelli, Tyler Paine, and Kevin Coyle, led the team in the offensive aspects with four points, including a pair of goals by Borelli and two assists from Paine. The line controlled most of the play in the offensive zone, earning a great deal of the overall 47 shots on goal.
Jeremy Borelli, seen here earlier in the season, scored twice to lead West Haven past East Haven, January 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Borelli started the scoring in the first period with a textbook three-on-two, burying the puck off a rebound on his original shot.
The Blue Devils then took a 2-0 lead in the second period as Pete Richetelli buried the puck after a long battle in front of East Haven goalie Devan Avena. Max Lynch added a power play goal on the rush off a pass from Donny Froehlich for a 3-0 advantage.
After East Haven got within a goal, Borelli potted his second of the game from Paine in the third period to make the score 4-2.
Along with the scoring, the Devils were solid in the defensive zone, led by defenseman Devin Hines. Goalie Mike Savino also had another great game between the pipes, making 24 saves.
Paine lifts Westies past NDFF in OT
Junior nets game-winner in OT
By MIKE MADERA
(December 27, 2014) - With injuries to several key players on the team since the start of the season, junior Tyler Paine knows a bulk of the offense will fall on his shoulders.
Paine has welcomed the challenge as he scored twice, including the game-winner at 2 minutes, 22 seconds of overtime to send the Westies to a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame-Fairfield in the consolation game of the West Haven Holiday Tournament at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Saturday afternoon.
West Haven players rush the ice to celebrate Tyler Paine's game-winning goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, December 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I don't feel any pressure," Paine said after scoring in his third straight game. "I am just out there trying to do my job. I am just trying to put the puck in the net."
West Haven, ranked eighth in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, led by a pair of goals, but watched the Lancers score twice in the third period to even the game at three.
Matt Carloto scored with 7:28 remaining and Jon Suporn got the equalizer 4:12 later to set up Paine's heroics. Paine crossed through the slot and fired a shot which sent the Westies racing on the ice in celebration.
"Heart," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team improved to 2-2 with its second straight win. "That's all I can say. We had injuries and they scored late, but we found a way. Tyler came up with the big goal."
Paine's heroics would not have been necessary if not for the work of senior goaltender Mike Savino. Savino made 43saves, some in spectacular fashion to keep the Westies in the game.
With Devin Hines (19) ready to help out, Mike Savino makes one of his 43 saves against Notre Dame-Fairfield, December 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We dug deep and worked hard," Savino said. "My defense definitelyhelped me out. If we score four goals, I have to hold it down. They are definitely a big team. We are a little young. We are asking freshmen to step up for us. This is really big for us."
Savino played well in the opening period and shut out the second-ranked Lancers, allowing Donny Froehlich to score the first of his two goals off an assist from Paine 3:16 into the contest.
After Landon Gabriele evened the game early in the second period, Froehlich scored his third goal of the year with 1:59 left in the period off assists from Kalan Morgillo and Tyler Salkins for a 2-1 lead.
Don Froehlich celebrates his second goal of the game against Notre Dame-Fairfield with Collin Braziel (27) and Kalan Morgillo (20), December 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Donny has been great for us," Morrell said of Froehlich. "He played great defense and he scored two goals today."
Just 1:28 later, West Haven had a 3-1 lead when Kevin Coyle set up Paine with 31 seconds remaining in the middle period.
Tyler Paine (r.) celebrates his first goal of the game against Notre Dame-Fairfield with Devin Hines (19) joining in, December 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Westies power past Falcons
3 power play goals key to 3-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(December 23, 2014) - West Haven goaltender Mike Savino knows if his West Haven hockey team is to play far into the state tournament this season, the process all starts with him. After two West Haven losses to open the season, Savino took it personal.
Reminding his team prior to the game how a win last season over Xavier jump-started the season, Savino was on his game. Making 23 saves and coming within 4 minutes, 8 seconds of a shutout, Savino and the Westies defeated the Falcons 3-1 Tuesday evening in the West Haven Christmas tournament at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“This was a huge game for us,” Savino said after his team improved to 1-2. “We started off very slow. It is just like last year when we started slow and got going with a win over Xavier. Hopefully, we can do it again.”
With Savino on his game, the Westies turned to the power play to score all three goals. With seven power play opportunities, including two major penalties against Xavier, the Westies capitalized.
Devin Hines got things rolling for the Westies when he scored from the point off assists from Kevin Coyle and Jeremy Borelli with 3:41 remaining in the opening period.
"The power play has been key for us,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. “We had to get that first one (win). The longer it goes without a win, the harder it is to get one.”
With over nine minutes of penalties called on the Falcons in the second period, West Haven poured 13 shots on Xavier goaltender Ben Guidobono. After Guidobono was helped when Borelli hit the post 1:37 into the middle period, the Xavier goaltender denied Tyler Paine on an end to end rush with a pad save, then denied Hines’ shot from the point and a rebound by Jake Lynch with 9:33 remaining.
Savino also came up big in the middle period, denying Hunter Wilcox in the slot with a pad save and Troy Earley from the point with a glove save.
“I was on my game tonight,” Savino said. “We needed to come back. This was a huge game. We definitely needed this one.”
Again on the power play, the Westies increased the lead to 2-0. Don Froehlich’s point shot went through a maze of players and Paine was waiting to beat Guidobono with 2:03 left in the second period.
Tyler Paine (4) scores against Xavier, December 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We have been taking too many penalties,” Xavier coach Dan DeConti said after his team fell to 0-3. “We did against Ridgefield and they scored on the power play. It was the same thing today. At one point, we were short for seven minutes. That’s half the period. That’s undisciplined hockey.”
With the Westies still on the man advantage, Jake Lynch increased the lead to 3-0 when he scored off assists from Peter Richetelli and Tyler Salkins with 47.6 seconds remaining.
Devin Hines (l.) celebrates his goal with teammates, December 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Xavier stayed out of the penalty box in the third period and the Falcons controlled play with a 10-5 shot advantage. Savino turned aside several shots in the period, before Xavier finally got on the board with 4:08 remaining when Cameron Pollock scored from in front off assists from Brett Reid and David Piekut.
“Mike played well for us tonight,” Morrell said of Savino. “We have been struggling and he knows it starts back there and works out. We needed the win and he came up big. I also thought Jake Lynch played well. He did all the little things.”
Guidobono finished with 26 saves in the loss for Xavier.
Penalties hurt Westies
Ridgefield sends WH to second loss of season
By MIKE MADERA
(December 22, 2014) - The West Haven hockey team entered the game against Ridgefield short-handed, without the services of Wyatt Condon and Max Lynch, then literally played the game that way.
Taking six penalties in the first two periods, the Westies could not get into a groove and fell to Ridgefield 5-3 in the West Haven Christmas tournament at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Monday evening.
"We have to stay out of the box," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team fell to 0-2. "The slow starts are a concern."
Mike Savino makes a save against Ridgefield, December 22, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Tigers, ranked sixth in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, scored twice in 37 seconds in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. West Haven answered with the next two goals, but Ridgefield added two more tallies in the middle period to take control of the game.
With the game even at two in the second period, Brendan Winne was left alone in front of the West Haven goal and beat West Haven goaltender Mike Savino up top for a 3-2 lead with 4 minutes, 58 seconds gone by in the second period.
West Haven was outshot 12-4 in the second period and the constant pressure by the Tigers paid off when Ryan Hallahan beat Savino with 2:23 remaining in the period for a 4-2 lead.
"When you are taking penalties, it is hard to get the offense going," Morrell said.
West Haven, who scored a pair of power play goals and one short-handed, got within 4-3 in the third period as Jake Lynch picked up a rebound of a Devin Hines' shot and beat Ridgefield goaltender Patrick Sheehan-Delany for a power play goal.
Jake Lynch against Ridgefield, December 22, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Despite pressure in the third period which included 10 shots, West Haven could not get the equalizer. Ridgefield added an insurance goal with 4:08 remaining when Liam Smith scored an unassisted goal.
"We spent a lot of time in the off season to be ready for the third period," Morrell said. "That has been good. We just have not gotten off the bus."
The slow start Morrell was referring to came 4:52 into the game as the Tigers scored twice in 37 seconds to take a 2-0 lead.
West Haven got back in the game when Jeremy Borelli set up Tyler Paine in front for a power play goal with 5:09 left in the opening period.
Peter Richetelli then evened the game with 1:24 left in the period as his short-handed goal had West Haven breathing a sigh of life.
Peter Richetelli celebrates his goal against Ridgefield, December 22, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Savino finished with 26 saves in the loss for West Haven, while Sheehan-Delany had 20 saves in the win for Ridgefield.
Westies fall to Greenwich
Season opens with 5-1 loss
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (December 17, 2014) - Three years ago, Greenwich coach Bob Russel had a lineup which included 14 freshmen and a group pf sophomores. While that team may have gone through some growing pains, the Cardinals hope the results show this season.
Scoring twice in a span of 2 minutes, 25 seconds in the second period to break open a close game, the Cardinals defeated West Haven 5-1 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven Wednesday evening in the season opener for both teams.
“We went through a spell about three years ago where we had all underclassmen,” Russel said. “We had 14 freshmen and the rest sophomores. We had a lot of guys with us four years ago. The guys have enough experience.”
The Cardinals set the tone of the game early, controlling the first period, before pulling away for good in the second. Greenwich outworked, outplayed and outshot West Haven 38-18 in a dominant performance.
“I thought our defense did an outstanding job,” Russel said. “We did a lot of good things. We had a lot of chances. It was a good effort.”
Greenwich used a common theme in beating the Westies as all the goals came from in front, three with a man all alone.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead just 3:44 into the contest when Naoya Fukuchi took a pass in front and ripped shot between the pads of West Haven goaltender Mike Savino.
The Westies did not waste much time getting the equalizer, scoring with a man advantage. Taking a pass from Tyler Paine, Donny Froehlich ripped a shot past Greenwich goalie Bryan Archino from the high slot to even the game with 7:30 left in the opening period.
Another view of Donny Froehlich's goal against Greenwich, December 17, 2014.
Watch here. Video courtesy of Jay Romano photography.
Froehlich’s goal would be all the Westies could muster as most of their shots came from a distance. Archino finished with 17 saves.
“We did not get much puck movement,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. “We panicked with the puck. They did not come at us that quick. We just threw the puck away. Everything is correctable. We have to play harder and with a little more heart.”
Greenwich took the lead for good with 4:49 remaining in the opening period. Off assists from Charlie Whitele and Oliver Fulton, Decker Curran took an odd shot which flipped over the head of Savino and into the net.
West Haven, the No. 8 team in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, never had a chance to get back in the game. The Cardinals wasted no time taking a 3-1 lead just 1:26 into the middle period when Montana Larson scored from in front once again.
“We work on that crease defense,” Morrell said. “There is always someone in that spot. We were not doing that tonight.”
Savino, who made 33 saves in the loss, kept his team in the contest, denying Fulton with a pad save and Matt Lodato with a chest save within a minute. The Westies had only two opportunities, a blast from Froehlich from the point and a shot in front from Kevin Coyle which were denied, before Greenwich put the game away.
Brian Silard fed Lodato in front and Lodato quickly beat Savino between the pads for a 4-1 lead with 6:05 remaining in the middle period. Just 2:25 later, Michael Mozian fed Tommy Feda in front and Greenwich was in control, 5-1.
“We got those few in a row and I think that took a little bit of gas out of them,” Russel said. “The first goal of the game sets the stage. It gives you an edge. The first goal is important every game. It makes you believe. The guys were more confident.”
Lodato finished with a goal and an assist and Silard had two assists in the win for Greenwich.
Ready to Roll
Westies looking for big things in 2014-15
By MIKE MADERA
(December 15, 2014) - With the 2014-2015 season right around the corner, optimism is aplenty in West Haven. With the return of All-State goaltender Mike Savino and a solid defensive group, the Westies have the makings of what could be a very successful season.
Any championship team will say the same and that is a solid goaltender coupled with the same on defense are the keys to success. As a junior, Savino, a co-captain this season, posted a 91% save percentage with 623 saves.
Mike Savino will be a key player for the Westies in 2014-2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It all starts there," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said of Savino. "Last year, when we scored three goals, we won a lot of those games. We are hoping for the same this year."
With Savino the backbone of the team, the defense is also solid with senior co-captain Don Froehlich, fellow senior Devin Hines, juniors Hunter Cole and Chris Durost, and sophomore Alex Lynch.
"Donny Froehlich and Devin Hines got a lot of time last year," Morrell said. "Hunter Cole and Alex Lynch also got some time. We are in good shape there."
Don Froehlich. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
As solid as the Westies are in the back, they will need to match that on offense. The White and Blue lines are equally tough and Morrelll will look at match ups to gain an advantage.
The White line will be centered by senior assistant captain Jake Lynch, with senior Kevin Coyle (4 goals last season) on the left wing and sophomore Peter Richetelli on the right side.
The Blue line will see junior Jeremy Borelli (5 goals, 7 assists) anchor a line which will see junior Tyler Paine (6 goals, 11 assists) on the left and senior Wyatt Condon (12 goals, 4 assists) on the right.
Jeremy Borelli. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"The first two lines, the White and the Blue, are even," Morrell said. "We will do it by period, by game."
The third line will see Tyler Salkas, a transfer from Guilford, anchor a line with sophomore MaxLynch on the left wing and a right wing battle between freshmen E.J. Pacapelli and Colin Brasile. Junior Kalan Morgillo will also see time on the offensive side for the Westies.
West Haven coaches Joe Morrell (l.), Jim Lafo (c.) and John Ascenzia (r.) Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We would still like to win our eight games as we always want as one of our goals," Morrell said. "We want to get to the playoffs with a high seed and play from there. Hopefully, Mike Savino can have a year like he had last year. We need to keep the puck out of the net and score some goals.
"The kids have worked hard. It is important to have the senior leadership we have. All the seniors worked hard in the gym this summer and they led the way. It was the hardest we ever worked. All the seniors knew what we had to do."
West Haven opens the season Wednesday, December 17 at home against Greenwich at 6:30 p.m.
Freshman E.J. Pacapelli scores his first varsity goal against Hamden, January 10, 2015. Video courtesy of Jay Romano. Double click to view full screen.
Jeremy Borelli scores off an assist from Tyler Paine against East Haven, January 3, 2015. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of Jay Romano.
Jake Lynch scores against Ridgefield, December 22, 2014. Double click to view full screen.
Jake Lynch celebrates his goal against Xavier, December 23, 2014. Double click to view full screen.
Congratulations to Mike Savino - CHSCA All-State and Most Valuable Player.
Congratulations to Mike Savino on being selected to the Southern Connecticut Conference / South West Conference Division I First Team.
Congratulations to Tyler Paine on being selected to the Southern Connecticut Conference / South West Conference Division I Second Team.
Congratulations West Haven hockey assistant coach John Ascenzia - 2014 Assistant Coach of the Year
All in the Family
Special month for Ascenzia's
By MIKE MADERA
(March 31, 2015) - What a month it has been for the Ascenzia family in West Haven. For John Sr. and John Jr., it will be one not soon forgotten.
Shortly after acknowledging this past season would be his last behind the bench for the West Haven hockey team as an assistant for coach Joe Morrell, the elder Ascenzia was named the Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year.
“It is a great feeling,” Ascenzia said after receiving the honor. “I would not change anything. I am lucky to have coached here with some great coaches. It was a great feeling going in and out of that locker room with the past and present players. I am glad to have had the opportunity to be there.”
John Ascenzia, far right, was named the Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. Included in photo from left to right are assistant coaches Gene Pacapelli and Jim Lafo and head coach Joe Morrell. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
While that may have been a milestone moment for Ascenzia, to him, it was proudly overshadowed when John Jr., a senior at the University of Bridgeport, set the school record for hits when he broke the previous mark of 147 set by Peter Barrows against Southern Connecticut State University in Florida on March 15.
“It is pretty special,” Ascenzia, Jr. said of the record. “It feels good. It is a big accomplishment. Hopefully, I can make it where no one can touch it.”
John Ascenzia Jr. broke the school record for hits at the University of Bridgeport in March of 2015. Photo courtesy of University of Bridgeport Athletics.
The younger Ascenzia has continued to prove the naysayers wrong. Told he may have been a bit too small to succeed at the high school level, Ascenzia, with his father on the bench as an assistant coach under then head coach Mike Anquillare, was a big part of the 2009 team which took home a state title.
“He just got bigger and stronger,” Anquillare said of the younger Ascenzia. “My brother (Dave) really took a liking to him and worked with him constantly on his strength and his hitting. He got bigger and stronger and started to drive the ball a lot more. That is a pretty impressive record he now holds. Plus, he is using a wood bat. He is a strong kid. He is a lot stronger than people think.”
Morrell also had the opportunity to coach the younger Ascenzia for four years on the ice. The easiest thing to notice, according to Morrell, was how hard the younger Ascenzia worked.
“He gets it from his father,” Morrell said. “He has the same sense of humor, but when it was time to drop the puck, nobody worked harder. By the time he was a senior, you could see he was getting better every game. He improved because he worked so hard in the offseason.
“The rap on him was he was not that big. Now, he is. He was totally committed to that. No matter what level he was at, he always succeeded. Without a doubt, he was that kind of kid. He was very easy to coach and he did not care if he scored the goals as long as the team won. The key was he always put the team first. That’s why he has been so successful.”
Ascenzia Jr. then took that tough as nails attitude to Bridgeport. Continually getting bigger and stronger, the younger Ascenzia made his mark right away for the Purple Knights, hitting .321 as a sophomore and .345 as a junior, before an injury stalled his pace for the school record.
Sitting out a year with a hand injury, Ascenzia returned this spring and did not need much time to get back in the swing of things. Through 22 games, Ascenzia is hitting an impressive .333 with 26 hits, 10 runs scored and 14 runs batted in.
He has been just as solid in the field.
Defensively, Ascenzia has been tremendous with a .980 fielding percentage. With 100 chances in the first 22 contests, Ascenzia has 33 putouts, 65 assists and has committed just two errors.
“He is one of the best defensive players I have ever had,” Anquillare said. “I think he made one error in his last two years as a junior and senior. He was not flashy. He just made every play and he made the great plays.”
As for the elder Ascenzia, he worked with Morrell for over 12 years, specializing in work with the goaltenders, paperwork and anything Morrell needed.
“He was so valuable,” Morrell said of his former assistant coach. “That was not just on the ice. He was big in the office. He helped me get through the year when we had some tough games and tough streaks. He would break the ice and get me to smile. He would make the kids smile. He just had a tremendous relationship with the kids. In a nice way, he could cut the pressure down without downplaying the importance of the game.”
Anquillare, who stepped down following last season to spend more time with his family, is quick to point out the value Ascenzia Sr. brought each and every day for 15 years.
“John and I were with the West Haven program 15 years together,” Anquillare said of his assistant coach. “It wasn’t just the work that he did. He was a loyal assistant coach. I was there two hours before a game and he was already there with everything set up, ready to go. He left no stone unturned. He did everything for the kids. I don’t know if they will ever fully appreciate what he did.
“He was the buffer with the kids. What I would try to communicate with the kids, he would do in a different way. He would lighten things up in practice, but in games, he was as serious as anybody. He knew if we were struggling, it was time to give a kick in the rear. The main thing was his loyalty. Any decision I made, he backed me. You do not find that a lot nowadays.”
With his senior campaign just getting going and the record held, Ascenzia Jr. has also kept track of the accomplishments of his father. According to Ascenzia, his dad is a key to his success.
“My dad means pretty much everything,” Ascenzia Jr. said. “He was always hitting me grounders or throwing to me. After every game, he is the first person I call. I am really happy for him. I think the award is long overdue. He does a lot. He is the first one there and always has everything already set up. It is long overdue and well deserved.”
After two decades of coaching, the elder Ascenzia does not plan to rest. He will not allow that as there is plenty of catching up and even more preparing to do.
“This spring, I will watch John play,” Ascenzia said. “I missed a lot of games in the past because of the baseball conflicts. I get a chance to see him play. I have a second team ready to start. I have five grandkids waiting for me.”
West Haven goaltender Mike Savino. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven goaltender Mike Savino was named the MVP of Division I high school hockey and All-State, marking the second straight season Savino has been named to the All-State team. Savino finished the year with 614 saves and a 92% save percentage.
West Haven assistant hockey coach John Ascenzia. Photo courtesy of Mike Madera.
Assistant coach - boys hockey and baseball
After 13 years as an assistant hockey coach at West Haven, John Ascenzia has stepped down. In his final season with head coach Joe Morrell, Ascenzia went out with a bang, named the High School Hockey Assistant Coach of the Year.
"It is a great feeling," Ascenzia said. "I would not change anything. I am lucky to have coached here with some great coaches. It was a great feeling going in and out of that locker room with the past and present players. I am glad to have had the opportunity to be there."
Ascenzia, who had the opportunity to coach his son John, a 2010 West Haven graduate, in both hockey and baseball on the high school level, was an assistant baseball coach for 15 years at West Haven before stepping down following last season along with head coach Mike Anquillare.
"This spring, I will watch John (University of Bridgeport) play," Ascenzia said. "I missed a lot of games in the past because of the baseball conflicts. I get a chance to see him play."
Ascenzia will definitely have sports in his future.
"I have a second team ready to start," Ascenzia said. "I have five grand kids waiting for me."
Xavier ends WH season with overtime victory
By MIKE MADERA
MIDDLETOWN (March 11, 2015) - Xavier junior John Sadak was told by head coach Dan DeConti during the last few practices Sadak would pick up his first goal of the year at some point in the postseason. Turns out DeConti and Sadak could not have picked a better moment to see the prediction become reality.
Sadak’s first goal of the year off a mad scramble in front of the goal with nine seconds left in regulation rescued the Falcons from a sure season-ending defeat, before Cameron Pollock scored the winner in overtime as No.3 Xavier avoided a first round upset against No. 14 West Haven with a 2-1 victory in the opening round of the CIAC Division I state tournament at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink on the campus of Wesleyan University Wednesday evening.
“I could not control the puck,” Sadak said of the second before his winner. “I just got it on the backhand. This is unreal. I can’t describe it. We fought hard and dug deep. We never gave up.”
Devin Hines reacts after Xavier scored in overtime, March 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With all the momentum on their side after being completely stoned by West Haven goaltender Mike Savino for the entire game, the Falcons needed just 35 seconds of the overtime to pull out the comeback victory.
Hunter Wilcox, who also assisted on the tying goal by Sadak, found Pollock in front and Pollock beat Savino to send the Falcons storming on to the ice in celebration.
“It was a rebound,” Pollock said of the winner. “I just whacked it in.”
Xavier will face sixth-seeded Hamden, a 5-1 winner over Notre Dame-West Haven, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
As euphoric as the Falcons were, it was clear to see the devastation on the West Haven side. Turning to Savino to carry the team to the quarterfinals, the Westies executed their game plan perfectly for 44 minutes and 51 seconds.
Mike Savino makes one of his 46 saves in a 2-1 loss to Xavier, March 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The senior goaltender was brilliant, turning aside 46 Xavier shots, including 32 in the first two periods. Savino then made what looked to be the game-clinching save with a diving effort with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
“Mike has had an unbelievable year for us,” a dejected West Haven coach Joe Morrell said of Savino. “We worked on our game plan all week and we did it perfectly. We know we do not score a lot of goals. We wanted to keep the puck out of the zone, block shots and rely on Mike. We did that.”
The final frantic moments of regulation saw the Falcons overcome plenty, including a penalty for too many men on the ice with 2:17 remaining in the contest and West Haven failing to score on an odd man rush in the closing seconds when Jake Lynch’s shot at an empty net went wide to the left.
“It was an unbelievable finish,” DeConti said after his team improved to 12-5-3.
“With 16 seconds to go, I’m thinking what am I going to say to my seniors? We had a great year and this would be a disappointing loss. But, we battled back and fought to the end. John Sadak has not scored a goal all year and I told him at some point in the next four games you are going to get a goal for us. It is unbelievable.”
Despite being outshot 15-5 in the opening period, West Haven took a 1-0 lead which it would carry until the final seconds of regulation. With 6:47 remaining in the opening period, Tyler Paine set up Jeremy Borelli for a 1-0 advantage.
With Tyler Paine (4) moving in, Jeremy Borelli (top) scores West Haven's lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to Xavier, March 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The rest was up to Savino as the Falcons dominated in terms of possession and shots. Savino was not to be denied, showing why he is an All-State goalie with clutch saves at the end of the opening period on Brett Reid and Adam Aresco from the slot area.
“We played our hearts out,” Savino said after his team finished the year 8-11-2. “We did everything we could. We were just unlucky at the end. The defense was great. The game plan was to allow me to see every shot.”
In the second period, the Falcons, ranked third in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, held a 17-5 shot advantage and Savino again was a wall, making a brilliant save on a shot by Nikolus Kvietkus with 2:45 remaining and another on Wilcox from the slot 31 seconds later.
“He is one of the best goalies we have come across,” DeConti said of Savino. “I told everyone if they score one goal with him in goal that could be enough. He could keep everything out of the net. I am glad we won, but I feel bad for the kid. He did everything he could to win them the game.”
West Haven had its chances to ice the game in the third period, but Xavier goaltender Ben Guidobono denied Kevin Coyle in front off a terrific pass from Paine 1:36 in, and Paine sailed a shot over the goal from the slot two minutes later.
Kevin Coyle is denied in his bid to score against Xavier, March 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Guidobono finished with 17 saves in the win for the Falcons.
See highlights of the game courtesy of WTNH SportzEdge here.
Rams spoil Senior Night with 4-2 win over Westies
By MATT CILBRITH
(March 4, 2015) - For the final time, seven West Haven seniors stepped on to the ice they have called home for the past four years to take on Cheshire Wednesday night. The Rams would spoil the night, winning 4-2, but memories of being a Blue Devil are still there.
“It’s been such a great experience, and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other people,” said senior goaltender and co-captain Mike Savino. “I have been able to accomplish a lot of things in my time here and it has been the four best years of my life.”
Tyler Paine skates up the ice against Cheshire, March 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven struggled to score in the first 30 minutes of this game, a problem that has been around all year for the Blue Devils.
“We had lots of opportunities in the game but we just couldn’t capitalize,” said West Haven coach Joe Morrell. “We have averaged about two goals a game all year and it’s tough to win games just scoring two goals.”
The Westies played from behind for almost the entirety of this game. Just one minute into the contest, Billy McKinley stormed down the left boards past the West Haven defense and centered the puck, finding Vinnie Solla standing in front to put the Rams up 1-0 very early in the game.
West Haven would generate plenty of chances for the rest of the period, but Cheshire goalie Jacob Verneris was excellent in goal, stopping all 14 of the Blue Devils’ shots.
West Haven had the majority of shots in the second period as well, outshooting Cheshire 15-10, but the Rams scored two goals in the period, while the Blue Devils were shut out for the second straight period.
Both goals came from Matthew Jordan.The first came when Jordan gained the offensive zone and rifled a shot which went bar-down over Savino’s left shoulder.
The second came off a great feed from Solla again and Jordan was all alone in front for the easy tap-in, giving Cheshire a 3-0 lead going into the final period.
The Blue Devils did not go down quietly, for the third straight period they outshot Cheshire, this one 8-7.
The period started off with a slew of penalties being handed out to both teams after a scrum broke out around the Cheshire net, and after the dust settled, the Rams got a power play.
Even short-handed, the Blue Devils were creating scoring chances, but were still unable to convert but did kill off the penalty. West Haven would get a power play chance of its own just a few seconds later, and the Westies finally broke through.
Jeremy Borelli tallied the first goal for West Haven, with Devin Hines and Kevin Coyle on the assist to get the Westies within 3-1.
Jeremy Borelli scores against Cheshire, March 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies ended up on another power play less than a minute after Borelli’s goal and once again converted on the man advantage.
Tyler Paine set up the goal by driving hard to the Cheshire net and drawing in the defense. Paine centered a pass to Kevin Coyle in the slot who got a shot off which bounced off of Verneris. Jake Lynch was there to scoop up the rebound and bury it, bringing the Blue Devils within one, 3-2.
Jake Lynch celebrates his goal against Cheshire, March 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We just tried to motivate the guys, if we get one goal, then maybe we get two, and maybe three,” said Morrell about what his message was to his team going into the third. “But, silly penalties will hurt you.”
With just under four minutes left in the game and the momentum in West Haven’s favor, Peter Richetelli was called for a hooking penalty. West Haven killed off the penalty, but then with just over a minute left in the game, defenseman Alex Lynch was called for a cross-checking minor, leaving the Westies short-handed again.
This allowed Jordan to bury the empty net goal for the Rams and finish off the 4-2 win. The Blue Devils end the regular season with a 8-10-2 record, leaving them with a low seed in the state tournament, where they are slated to take on Xavier in the first round.
“Absolutely,” said Savino when asked if the Blue Devils were ready for the state tournament. “My sophomore year we were knocked out of the tournament by Xavier in double overtime, so it’s always nice to get back at them.”
West Haven will look to pull an upset of their own when they take on the favored Falcons in the first round of the CIAC tournament on March 11.
Glastonbury tops Westies in OT
Savino makes 35 saves in heartbreaking loss
By MIKE MADERA
(February 28, 2015) - With the postseason approaching, regular season games have started to take on more meaning. That meaning was evident to both Glastonbury and West Haven as the two teams battled in playoff atmosphere Saturday afternoon.
In a game which had several shifts of momentum, plenty of penalty minutes, and an atmosphere ready for the state tournament, Glastonbury, the seventh-ranked team in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, used a short-handed goal by Tyler MacLean with 4 minutes, 7 seconds left in overtime to defeat No. 10 West Haven, 3-2, at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“This team was able to overcome a lot today,” Glastonbury coach Ken Barse said after his team improved to 14-4-1. “We had to come back and we had the injury as well. This is a tight group. West Haven was outstanding out there. They never give up. I thought we controlled the first period, but they came back in that second period ready to play. Joe Morrell always has his team ready to play. They always come hard at you.”
The injury Barse was referring to came with 2:29 left in the second period when a collision between West Haven’s Max Lynch and Glastonbury’s Thomas Caporale resulted in Caporale being taken off the ice and Lynch given a five-minute major. The Westies killed the penalty, but the intensity of the game rose significantly.
With both goaltenders making huge saves, including Glastonbury’s Kyle Thibodeaux denying West Haven on a 5-on-3 and West Haven’s Mike Savino making a fantastic glove save of a shot by MacLean, the game was decided in the final six minutes.
Mike Savino makes one of his 35 saves against Glastonbury, February 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven had the pressure in front and after Thibodeaux denied a pair of West Haven shots, Wyatt Condon put the rebound in with 5:23 remaining to give West Haven a 2-1 lead.
“We just shot more,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team fell to 9-8-2. “This is a very tough loss, a heartbreaking loss.”
The Westies, who fell to 0-3-1 in their last four games, looked as if they would snap the skid as Savino denied Logan Underwood and Glastonbury twice in front with 3:33 remaining. Underwood would have the last say as he cruised just inside the blue line and ripped a shot through traffic past Savino with 2:42 remaining in regulation to even the game at two.
“This is a huge win for us especially with the playoffs coming up,” Underwood said after scoring twice. “This is a game which can give us some momentum. We have to keep it up. I just tried to let it rip. I was not aiming anywhere. I was just trying to shoot it low, get a deflection or get a rebound.”
Peter Richetelli (8) and Wyatt Condon (25) celebrate Condon's goal against Glastonbury, February 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies looked as if they would put the contest away before overtime, but a shot from in front by Jeremy Borelli with 1:06 remaining sailed wide.
West Haven was then given a man-advantage with 5:14 left in overtime, but it was Glastonbury which capitalized. Picking up a loose puck, MacLean got through the West Haven defense and beat Savino up top for the 3-2 victory.
“These wins are big,” Barse said. “We really showed we are able to come back from adversity. We had a lot of that today and we were able to come away with a win.”
Glastonbury came out firing with 14 shots in the opening period, but Savino, who finished with 35 saves, was up to the task, making 13 saves. Underwood scored the lone goal 5:36 in as he picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Savino to the top right corner for a 1-0 lead.
“Mike played well,” Morrell said of Savino. “Mike does what he does. He kept us in the game.”
Donny Froehlich finished with two assists and Condon had a goal and an assist in the loss for West Haven.
Savino saves the day
Senior makes 28 saves in tie with North Haven
By MATT CILBRITH
(February 25, 2015) - The goaltenders stole the show Wednesday night at Northford Ice Pavilion when West Haven and North Haven squared off.
North Haven’s Andrew Graziano stopped all 39 West Haven shots in the game, and on the other side of the ice, Mike Savino made 28 saves and kept the Indians off the board, ending the game in a 0-0 tie.
Mike Savino makes one of his 28 saves in a 0-0 tie with North Haven, February 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We knew that their goalie was good and we knew what Mike was capable of,” said West Haven head coach Joe Morrell, “and I guess you could say both goalies won tonight.”
Each of the net minders made some outstanding saves against their respective opponents.
In the first period, Graziano was peppered with 19 shots and he stopped them all. A bulk of those saves came about four minutes into the opening period when West Haven had back-to-back shifts where they held the puck in the offensive zone for around two full minutes. Graziano made save after save even on a couple of rebound chances as the Westies could not figure him out.
Then it was Savino’s turn.
The shift following those two dominant shifts by the Blue Devils, John Jensen broke in on Savino on a partial breakaway. Jensen got a shot off and was stoned by Savino, but he left the rebound in front of him and North Haven’s Cameron Owens followed in behind slapping at the rebound and Savino just got a piece of that shot to turn it aside.
With the game tied to start the second period, the Indians pushed the play with some great offensive zone pressure and drew two West Haven penalties in the first five minutes. The Blue Devils killed off the first power play and the second was cut short when North Haven’s Josh Back was called for a slash, making the teams play 4-on-4 for one minute.
Peter Richetelli looks to make a play against North Haven, February 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven was unable to produce any shots on the ensuing power play following the 4-on-4, and did not record its first shot of the period until 7:45 into the second period. The rest of the period the teams traded scoring chances, and in the final two minutes, each goalie had their own ridiculous glove saves, keeping their respective teams in the game.
“Mike did what he has done for us all year,” said Morrell. “Just typical Mike, keeping us in game and giving us an opportunity to win.”
In the third period, North Haven had consecutive power play chances again to start the period, but just like the last two, the Westies killed them off, barely allowing any Indians’ shots to get all the way to the net.
The final five minutes of the period were fast-paced from each team. In the closing seconds, Jeremy Borelli sprinted into the offensive zone for the Blue Devils. Trying to split the defenders, he lost the puck and then drew an interference penalty from Daniel Lye with just six seconds remaining in regulation.
The Blue Devils started overtime with 1:54 of power play time. West Haven generated a few good chances in that time, but as good as those chances were, Graziano was better.
It was not just Graziano stopping the West Haven shots either. Numerous Indians players were throwing their bodies out in front of shots blocking a ton of them.
“We just talked about that,” said Morrell. “When the defense comes out far like that, we have to move the puck around them instead of shooting.”
The closest the game came to ending was with just over two minutes remaining in overtime. With a scramble in front of the West Haven net, Pasquale Liuzzi jammed at it for North Haven with Savino trying to cover it.
Just a second after the referee blew the whistle thinking Savino had covered the puck, Liuzzi poked the puck into the West Haven net, but the goal did not count as the referee had blown the play dead.
Overtime ended with West Haven on the power play for the final 1:57, but Graziano held the door shut like he had all night until the final buzzer blared.
The Blue Devils surely wanted to get the win over their division II opponent, but the team’s second tie of the season still keeps the Westies at .500 with their wins and losses, improving their record to 8-8-2.
The Blue Devils return home for their final two regular season games, with the next one coming against Glastonbury on Saturday 1 p.m. at Bennett Rink.
Darien rallies to defeat Westies
No. 2 Blue Wave post 4-2 win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 21, 2015) - The West Haven hockey team had plenty to deal with Saturday afternoon. Inclement weather forced its game against Daien to be bumped up three hours for safe travels.
That proved to be the least of West Haven's worries. Scoring twice in the third period, including the winner with less than four minutes to go and an empty-netter, Darien, ranked second in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, defeated West Haven, 4-2.
"We competed much better," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "Mike (Savino) played well. It was 2-2 with four minutes left. Those are the types of games that we have and we need to find a way to win."
West Haven jumped out to an early lead, taking a 1-0 advantage on Max Lynch's goal off an assist from Devin Hines in the opening period. Darien evened the contest at one after 15 minutes of play and Peter Richetelli scored an unassisted power play goal to force a 2-2 tie after two periods.
Peter Richetelli, seen here earlier in the season, scored against second-ranked Darien, but it was not enough in a 4-2 loss, February 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Darien scored twice in the final period to escape with the win over the ninth-ranked Westies.
Westies fall to Xavier
No offense in 3-0 loss to Falcons
By MIKE MADERA
(February 17, 2015) - Having won its last two games, the West Haven hockey team had to be feeling good. That good feeling went by the boards Monday afternoon at Wesleyan University when the Westies fell to Xavier 3-0.
Mike Savino made 34 saves in the loss, but it was not enough as West Haven fell to 8-7-1.
"We were awful," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We took a bus ride and came home. That's all we did."
The Westies never got going in the contest as they struggled offensively from the start. The Westies had consecutive power plays in the opening period and failed to score.
Xavier took the lead in the second period on a goal by Hunter Wilcox off an assist from David Piekut, then took a 2-0 lead on Piekut's goal on the power play with less than five minutes to go in the middle period.
Xavier put the game away just 4 minutes into the third when Wilcox scored his second of the game off an assist from Chris Peach.
Feeling the Paine
Junior nets OT winner against Hamden on Military Appreciation Day
By MIKE MADERA
(February 14, 2015) - Struggling to get any offense going in the third period, the West Haven hockey team was looking for a spark as overtime began Saturday afternoon. That spark came in the form of Jeremy Borelli and Tyler Paine.
Taking a perfect lead pass from Borelli, Paine deked Hamden goaltender Stephen Richetelli and scored inside the right post off a breakaway 1 minute, 8 seconds into overtime as West Haven defeated the Green Dragons 3-2 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink on Military Appreciation Day.
Tyler Paine breaks in on goal for the game-winner in overtime against Hamden ..
..and the Westies celebrate, February 14, 2015. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tyler Paine scores the game-winning goal in overtime against Hamden, February 14, 2015. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of TACC Video Productions.
West Haven, which had lost three in a row and fell out of the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll before defeating Amity three days ago, won for the second straight time and improved to 8-6-1. Hamden, the No. 8 team in the poll, fell to 8-6-1.
“This is a huge win for us,” Paine said after the game-winner. “They don’t like us and we don’t like them. This is a big game for us. We had to overcome some obstacles, but we were able to come away with the win. This feels good. We want to keep it rolling.”
The Westies were forced to go to overtime as Hamden’s Eric Perez scored 3:20 into the third period to even the game at two. The goal by Perez came just seconds after West Haven failed to build on the lead when Borelli shot wide of the net on a 3-on-1 rush.
West Haven goaltender Mike Savino was stellar in the win, making 33 saves. It was Savino’s efforts which forced the overtime as West Haven was outshot 15-2 in the third period, with Savino turning aside all but the goal by Perez.
“Mike has been doing it all year long for us,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. “We know Mike will keep us in the game. He does what he does. It is nothing new for us.”
Mike Savino make a save against Hamden, February 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Savino, who was also brilliant in a 2-2 tie between the two teams earlier in the season, was at his best in the final minutes of regulation as he made several stops through screens, including point shots from Aidan Smyth. Tim Gontarski and Sam Carignan minutes apart.
With 1:05 to go in the third, Savino denied a hard shot from the slot by Michael DeMatteis, then stopped a short-handed bid by Jeremy Routh with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
“You play a team like West Haven, they play smart,” Hamden coach Bill Verneris said after the loss. “They start with the goalie and work their way out. You give (West Haven coach) Joe Morrell a good goalie and he is a pain to play against. It was a good game. It was a nice event. Joe Morrell does a nice job with these events and with his team.”
Military Appreciation Day against Hamden, February 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hamden, which has now lost five of its last six games, took a 1-0 lead after one period as Carignan blasted a shot through a screen from the point with 2:58 left in the opening period. Carignan’s goal came after Hamden missed some solid scoring opportunities in the opening period.
“We are just not the team we were in the beginning of the year,” Verneris said. “We are not scoring. We are not taking advantage of our opportunities. We knew we had to shoot the puck low and create rebounds. We are shooting the puck high. You cannot do that against this kid (Savino). When you have a goalie like that, you will be in every game.”
The Westies evened the game in the second period as sophomore Alex Lynch came up big. Off assists from Borelli and Kevin Coyle, Lynch’s shot from the point snuck by Richetelli for the equalizer with 6:06 left in the middle period.
“We have not been playing well,” Morrell said. “We have to win the battles. We have to win the battles in the corners. That’s our game. They are a tough team. They always are. They are well-coached. Bill Verneris does a great job over there. He runs a class organization.”
West Haven needed just 56 seconds of the third period to take a 2-1 lead. On a delayed penalty call, Jake Lynch set up Borelli, who beat Richetelli for the early advantage.
Jeremy Borelli (17) celebrates his goal against Hamden along with Peter Richetelli (8), February 14, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Borelli finished with a goal and two assists in the win for West Haven.
Paine leads Westies by Amity
Two goals key 4-1 win
By MATT CILBRITH
(February 11, 2015) - West Haven’s defense made goalie Mike Savino’s job easy as he only had to make 15 saves in the Blue Devils 4-1 win over Amity Wednesday night at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. The Westie defenders filled the shooting lanes with sticks and bodies, preventing most of the Spartans’ shots from getting all the way to Savino.
“When we let Mikey (Savino) see the puck coming from way out he is going to make those saves,” said West Haven head coach Joe Morrell after his team improved to 7-6-1.
This was also a very good offensive game for the Westies as they outshot their opponent 37-16. This was only the third time this season West Haven has been able to put up four or more goals in a game.
“We have been struggling to score this year,” said Morrell, “but we got bodies to the net looking for some tip-ins to put the puck in the net, and we were able to do that four times this game.”
The Blue Devils started off the game with high intensity, chipping the puck in deep and pressuring the Amity defenders to create scoring chances. West Haven caught its first break seven minutes into the period when Peter Richetelli cleaned up a loose puck in front of the Amity goal to make it 1-0 Blue Devils.
Peter Richetelli, seen here earlier in the season, scored against Amity, February 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
On the ensuing shift, Richetelli broke free on a partial breakaway but was unable to score. Just after that, he was able to draw a cross-checking penalty against Amity’s Adam Moscato to put West Haven on the power play, which they wouldn’t convert on.
In the second period, the Blue Devils came out looking to extend their lead early. Two minutes into the period, West Haven’s Tyler Paine sprung Kevin Coyle on a breakaway with a beautiful two-line pass from his own defensive zone, but Amity goalie Tyler Johnson got just enough glove on Coyle’s shot to knock it away.
A minute after Coyle’s attempt, Wyatt Condon stole the puck off an Amity defender’s stick and walked into the offensive zone for a shot, but Johnson shut the door on him as well.
With nine minutes remaining in the second, West Haven went on its second power play of the game but could not convert. But, a minute after the power play expired, the Westies scored as Donny Froehlich fed a pass from the half boards to Paine in the slot, who picked the top left corner and a 2-0 lead for West Haven.
The Blue Devils kept up the pressure and were rewarded again three minutes later when Coyle snuck one past Johnson’s blocker on the short side to give them a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans marched right down the ice and scored on the next shift, 30 seconds later, when Kevin Ryan found a loose puck in the midst of a scrum in front of Savino and slammed it by the net minder to put his team on the board.
The third period was the most balanced of the game, with both teams exchanging chances early in the period. Each team had a power play chance in the period, but both failed to convert. West Haven, who snapped a 3-game losing streak, went 0 for 3 on its power play chances.
The Blue Devils finally padded their lead nine minutes into the final period when Paine notched his second goal of the game. Jeremy Borelli won a puck battle on the right side boards and tossed it down to Paine, who was all alone in front of the net, where he jammed a back-hander by Johnson to make it 4-1 West Haven
"That's been another problem for us, winning those corner battles," said Morrell. "We were strong on the one-on-one battles and a lot of them went in our favor tonight."
Westies continue to struggle in 3-1 loss to Scarsdale, N.Y.
By MIKE MADERA
(February 8, 2015) - West Haven hockey coach Joe Morrell knows he has an All-State goaltender in Mike Savino. Morrell also knows if his team is to win, Savino needs some offensive support.
Continuing a trend which has seen the Westies in an offensive funk, the Westies were defeated by New York's top team, Scarsdale, 3-1, Sunday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
"We are not generating any offense as all," Morrell said after his team fell to 6-6-1 with its third straight loss. "We have tried different things. We just can't get that spark or generate anything. It is a major concern."
Scarsdale used single goals in all three periods to come away with the victory, but it was West Haven's inability to get going in the neutral zone which was the difference in the contest. West Haven never reached double digits in shots in any period and was held without a shot on goal in the second period.
"We are not making the right decisions in the neutral zone," Morrell said. "We have to start making the right decisions."
Savino kept his team in the contest with 14 saves in the first period, but it was a goal by James Nicholas with 2 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the period which put the Raiders on top for good.
Savino was on his game in the second period as the action was mostly in the West Haven zone. The West Haven senior made 12 saves in the period, including a stop of a shot in front by Nicholas with 6:35 remaining and two against Stephen Nicholas, including a point blank shot with 6:26 to go in the middle period.
"Mike does what Mike does," Morrell said of Savino. "But, we need to get going with our opportunities."
Scarsdale took a 2-0 lead 1:53 into the second period on a goal by Anton Zock, before West Haven finally answered in the third period.
After Savino denied Stephen Nicholas, James Nicholas and Devon Schell in the first 4:30 minutes of the final period, West Haven took advantage of a Scarsdale turnover with 9:28 remaining.
Kevin Coyle picked up a loose puck in the slot and ripped a shot to the top right corner to cut the deficit in half.
West Haven celebrates Kevin Coyle's goal against Scarsdale, N.Y., February 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Coyle's shot was just one of seven in the final period and Scarsdale goaltender Gabriel Harousseau was not tested much with six saves in the last 15 minutes and 12 in the game.
"We have struggled," Morrell said. "Even in the win against Milford, we struggled. We beat South Windsor 1-0 and needed Mike (Savino) to play very well to win the game."
Savino finished with 41 saves in the loss.
ND tops Westies
Late goal lifts Green Knights past Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(February 7, 2015) - If West Haven coach Joe Morrell and his team need any words of encouragement, they need to look no further than their own locker room. Suffering their second straight loss since coming back from a 15-day layoff, the Westies can build upon experience.
That experience comes from the beginning of the year when the Westies opened with two losses before rebounding to win six of the next eight, with points in seven of those games.
The Westies suffered their second straight loss Saturday afternoon when a late goal by Joseph Ansaldo with 6 minutes, 40 seconds remaining lifted Notre Dame to a 3-2 victory at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
"We just have to generate more offense," Morrell said after his team managed just 21 shots and fell to 6-5-1. "Mike (Savino) kept us in the game like Mike always does, but we have to have more offense."
With the game even at two and the two teams looking as if they would go to overtime, Ansaldo won the faceoff deep in the West Haven end and tucked a shot past West Haven goaltender Mike Savino inside the near post for a 3-2 Notre Dame lead.
"Those are things we practice," Morrell said of the game-winning goal by the Green Knights. "We have been working on that in practice. He was able to get one in."
The game started with the Green Knights controlling play in the first period and the Westies owning the play in the beginning of the second. With 30 minutes in the books, the two teams were even at two.
Notre Dame got on the board first, scoring just 4:50 into the contest. Matt Ciaburro beat Savino in front off assists from Greg Caturano and Doug Caliendo.
The Westies had 10 shots in the opening period, but Notre Dame goaltender Wade Conlan was not to be beat. Conlan's two best saves in the period came when he denied Tyler Paine in close with 6:15 to go and Jeremy Borelli in front 28 seconds later.
West Haven needed only 50 seconds of the second period to even the contest. Wyatt Condon took the initial shot which was stopped by Conlan, but the rebound went right to Donny Froehlich to tie the game at one.
West Haven controlled play at the beginning of the period and took a 2-1 lead when Jeremy Borelli found the back of the net off a deflection 4:35 in.
"I thought the effort was a hundred times better," Morrell said. "It was not for a lack of effort. We only had three shots in the third period. That's not good. We have to create better opportunities."
The Green Knights watched a chance at a tying goal by Caturano sail over the goal with seven minutes to go. Caturano's effort seemed to spark the Green Knights as they owned the latter part of the period and evened the game at two when Caliendo ripped a shot to the top right corner from the slot with 5:58 remaining in the middle period.
Savino combined to make 28 saves in the first two periods and finished the game with 33 saves. Conlan made 19 saves in the win for Notre Dame.
Read article from GameTimeCT here.
Peter Richetelli scores against Hamden, January 10, 2015. Video courtesy of Jay Romano. Double click to view full screen.
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