Taylor Nowak (11) scores against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24. 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

GIRLS HOCKEY 2016-2017

Celina Condon (4) against East Catholic, February 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Criscuolo leads Westie Sharks
2 goals pace WH/SHA in 2-0 win over Branford/EH/NB
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 24, 2017) 
– The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team could not get on the ice fast enough following a tough loss to Hamden Saturday afternoon. Looking to bounce back, the Westie Sharks did so in convincing fashion. 

Led by a pair of goals by Francesca Criscuolo and 18 saves from goaltender Tatum Courtmanche, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy defeated Branford/East Haven/North Branford 2-0 Tuesday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. 

















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scored twice in West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy's 2-0 win over Branford/EH/NB, January 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

"It felt good to come back from the Hamden loss and get a win," West Haven/SHA coach Erin Blake said. "The girls need to continue to push themselves because we have some huge games coming up.Frankie (Criscuolo) did it again, getting us the points when we needed them most. She worked hard tonight."

West Haven/SHA controlled play from the start, dominating to a tune of 46-18 in shots. Criscuolo found a way to deposit two of those shots in the back of the Branford/EH/NB goal. 

"Frankie, C.C. (Celina Condon) and Shannon (Siclari) continue to play well together," Blake said. "Tatum (Courtmanche) came up big again with a shutout. Megan (Froehlich) and Taylor (Nowak) are playing well. And our defense continues to play well."

















Gabi Prisco (20) helped lead the way in West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy's 2-0 win over Branford/EH/NB, January 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

West Haven/SHA (8-2-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Criscuolo scored off an assist from Brooke McNabola. Despite constant pressure, which saw strong rushes from Veronica Lynn and Gabi Prisco, along with solid scoring chances from Taylor Nowak, Megan Froehlich and Celina Condon, the Westie Sharks were unable o extend the lead. 

West Haven/SHA increased the lead to 2-0 early in the second when Criscuolo scored in front off an assist from Froehlich 1:06 in. 

The Westie Sharks did not back off in the period and continued to pour shots on goal. 















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores her first goal of the game in West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy's 2-0 win over Branford/EH/NB, January 24, 2017. Live Barn video. 















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores her second goal of the game in West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy's 2-0 win over Branford/EH/NB, January 24, 2017. Live Barn video. 
The rest was up to Courtmanche as she stopped a pair of odd-an rushes in the middle period, and another in the third to preserve the lead and the shutout. 


Westie Sharks blank Masuk
Nowak leads way in 8-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 27, 2017) 
– The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team has bounced back quite nicely from a defeat at the hands of Hamden a week ago. Putting together two solid efforts, the Westie Sharks have posted consecutive shutouts to improve to 9-2-1 on the season. 

The team used the same formula Friday evening, getting contributions from the entire bench as seven different players were in the scoring column and others made an impact as well. 

Taylor Nowak led the offense with a pair of goals, while Brooke McNabola, Francesca Criscuolo, Megan Froehlich, and Gabi Prisco each had a goal and an assist. 

The Westie Sharks put the game away with five goals in the first period and never looked back. All five goals came in a span of 4 minutes, 19 seconds to put the game away. 

McNabola gave the Westie Sharks a 1-0 lead off and assist from Criscuolo 2:47 into the game, and Grace Plunkett made it 2-0 just 1:27 later off assists from Froehlich and Prisco. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy put the game away with three unassisted tallies in a span of 1:52. Criscuolo, Nowak and Celina Condon found the back of the net in succession for a 5-0 advantage. 

After a scoreless second period, the Westie Sharks added three more goals in the third. Prisco scored unassisted with 4:39 left, Nowak followed 33 seconds later off an assist from McNabola, and Froehlich closed the scoring with 3:15 left. 


Turning the Corner
Westie Sharks top East Catholic
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 30, 2017)
 – West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy senior Gabi Prisco has been around for the days her hockey team was defeated by double digit goals. Plenty has changed in the three short years since Prisco’s freshman year.
Waiting for the time her team would be a force, Prisco and her teammates are now realizing the fruits of all their hard work the past couple of years.
With one of its biggest regular season contests in quite some time, sixth-ranked West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy dominated play in a 3-0 victory over second-ranked East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor Monday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
“This is a huge win for us,” Prisco said. “We played strong the entire game. We beat a team that won a state championship a few years ago. Everyone was back checking. Everyone was covering their spot. It is a good feeling. We have gone from losing games 12-0 as a freshman to beating the number two team in the state. This is something memorable for this team.”
The Westies Sharks (10-2-1) held East Catholic to just seven shots combined in the first two periods, including just two in the first period alone. The opening period saw Division II West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy dominate play, but East Catholic goaltender Morgan Peters kept the game scoreless with eight saves in the opening period.
The Westie Sharks put ten more shots on goal in the second period and finally converted 5 minutes, 31 seconds in when freshman Taylor Nowak slid a puck towards the net. Grace Plunkett, who picked up the assist, provided the screen and West Haven had a 1-0 lead.
“We came ready to play,” West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coaches Erin Blake and Jocey Morrell said. “We told the girls the importance of this game. One of our goals is to play in the state tournament. If we want to get there, we had to win this game. The girls were ready to go.”
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy sophomore Veronica Lynn had two opportunities to increase the lead, once from the point and the other from the left faceoff circle, but Peters was up to the challenge on both shots.
Trailing by just one goal, Division I East Catholic (6-2-5) turned up the pressure with 14 shots on freshman goaltender Tatum Courtmanche. With a power play just 1:02 into the third period, the balance of the game turned in one sequence.
With a partially open net in front of her, East Catholic’s Erica Ferri saw her shot stopped by an all-out effort from Prisco. As the puck was cleared the other way, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy sophomore Francesca Criscuolo broke in alone on Peters and tucked a shorthanded shot just inside the right post for a 2-0 lead 2:35 into the period.
“We made some big plays out there,” Blake said. “Tatum (Courtmanche) was phenomenal in the third period. She is able to stay focused. Gabi (Prisco) and Veronica (Lynn) were strong on defense. It was a great team effort.”
East Catholic continued to put on the pressure in the third period, outshooting the Westie Sharks 14-4, but Courtmanche was not to be denied in her shutout bid.
East Catholic’s Madeleine Gervais came the closest to scoring, ringing a shot off the post 4:30 into the third. Courtmanche then denied Bridget O’Connor with a pad save and Victoria Amaral with another pad saves two minutes later.
“We played hard in the third period,” East Catholic coach Frank Usseglio said. “We have to learn from it and move on. We played with more urgency in the third period. I thought we were too passive early. We have a lot of young players still learning how to do this.”
The Westie Sharks capped the scoring with 4:03 remaining as freshman Megan Froehlich scored off assists from Nowak and Plunkett for a 3-0 advantage.
“Coming to play teams like this in years past, we were the team to lose to them by a lot,” Morrell said. “Now, we have been able to combine with another team (Sacred Heart Academy) and we have turned things around. We beat a Division I team tonight. That may not have happened a few years ago.”















Taylor Nowak (11) scores against East Catholic, January 30, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores against East Catholic, January 30, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.















Megan Froehlich (32) scores against East Catholic, January 30, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.
Courtmanche finished with 21 saves in the shutout win for West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy, while Peters made 19 saves in the loss for East Catholic. 


Moving Forward
Criscuolo, Lynn lead Westie Sharks past Guilford
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 1, 2017) –
 Fresh off a hard-fought victory over East Catholic just two days earlier, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team hoped to avoid a letdown. Just 38 seconds into the contest, the Westie Sharks showed there would be nothing of the sort.
Scoring four times in the opening period, including a goal by Gabi Prisco just 38 seconds in, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy cruised to an 8-1 victory over Guilford Wednesday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
The win is West Haven’s fourth in a row and helped the team improve to 11-2-1 on the season.
“It was a good all around effort,” West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. “We had balanced scoring and we were able to get everyone in the game.”
Sophomores Francesca Criscuolo, Celina Condon and Veronica Lynn led the offense as Criscuolo had two goals and an assist, Condon added a goal and an assist, and Lynn had a pair of goals. Fellow sophomore Kyleen Crowe was solid in goal with 14 saves.   
Blake started a senior lineup and Prisco took the lead as she scored just 38 seconds into the contest for a 1-0 advantage. After Guilford evened the game 4:02 later, the Westie Sharks scored the final seven goals of the game, including three more in the opening period.
Lynn gave the Westie Sharks the lead for good with an unassisted goal with 6:16 left in the period, and Criscuolo scored off an assist from Condon 2:23 later for a 3-1 lead. When Brooke McNabola scored just 23 seconds after Criscuolo, the Westie Sharks took a 4-1 lead after one period of play.
“I was happy with the fact we did not have a let down following Monday’s game,” Blake said. “We had the seniors starting the game and we were able to jump out to a quick lead.”















Gabi Prisco (20) scores against Guilford, February 1, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn. 















Veronica Lynn (66) scores against Guilford, February 1, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn. 















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores against Guilford, February 1, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn. 















​Brooke McNabola (18) scores against Guilford, February 1, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn. 

After a scoreless middle period, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy sealed  the game just nine seconds into the third when Lynn chipped a shot in front for a 5-1 lead. Condon and Criscuolo scored 11 seconds apart for a 7-1 advantage, and Megan Froehlich capped the scoring with 8:44 remaining.  


Rolling Along
Westie Sharks top Hand
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 5, 2017) –
 The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team continues to find ways to win. Needing just one goal, the Westie Sharks topped Hand 1-0 Saturday afternoon for their fifth straight win. 

Francesca Criscuolo scored just 47 seconds into the game and Tatum Courtmanche made 23 saves as West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy improved to 12-2-1 on the year. 

"We fought hard," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "Hand is a good team, and it was a very close game from start to finish. We are proud of the girls' effort tonight. The girls have the heart, and if they keep working together like they have, anything is possible."

The Westie Sharks needed less than a minute to take the lead, and Courtmanche did the rest. Celina Condon added an assist in the win. 


Six in a Row
Westie Sharks top Mercy/NW Catholic
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 7, 2017)
 – Feeling good about the way it has been playing, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team continued the trend. Behind two goals from Taylor Nowak, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy defeated Mercy/NW Catholic 4-0 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Tuesday evening. 

The win was the team's sixth in a row and helped the Westie Sharks improve to 13-2-1 on the season. 

"This team continues to make us proud each game," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "They played well and fought hard for this win. It was an aggressive game, but they kept their composure and put the puck in the net. Taylor (Nowak) got us started with two goals, playing an incredible game. Kyleen (Crowe) played an amazing game as well."

Kyleen Crowe was solid in goal, making 28 saves in the shutout win. Gabi Prisco added two assists in the win. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy took a 1-0 lead with 6 minutes, 17 seconds to go in the opening period when Nowak scored an unassisted goal. Just 4:21 into the second, Nowak increased the lead to 2-0 off an assist from Grace Plunkett. 















Taylor Nowak (11) scores against Mercy/NW Catholic, February 7, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.















Taylor Nowak (11) scores against Mercy/NW Catholic, February 7, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores against Mercy/NW Catholic, February 7, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn.















Celina Condon (4) scores against Mercy/NW Catholic, February 7, 2017. Video courtesy of Live Barn. 

Prisco set up the final two goals of the game, the first an assist on Francesca Criscuolo's tally 2:48 into the third for a 3-0 lead, and the second was an assist on Celina Condon's goal with 2:54 to go for the 4-0 final. 


Lucky Number Seven
Westie Sharks extend streak with win over Lauralton Hall
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 11, 2017)
 – Everything is going right these days for the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team. Winning its seventh game in a row Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 decision over Lauralton Hall at the Edward L. Bennett Rink, the Westie Sharks improved to 14-2-1 on the season. 

















Sydney Marcarelli (15) celebrates her goal against Lauralton Hall, February 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

​Freshman goaltender Tatum Courtmanche was on her game again, stopping all 26 shots she faced in picking her her fourth consecutive shutout victory. Courtmanche has allowed just one goal in her last five starts. 

Veronica Lynn and Taylor Nowak each had a goal and an assist in the win, while Sydney Marcarelli, Celina Condon, and Shannon Siclari also scored in the victory. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy put the game away with four goals in the game's first six minutes. 

















Taylor Nowak (11) against Lauralton Hall, February 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Marcarelli gave he Westie Sharks a 1-0 lead with a goal off an assist from Gabi Prisco just 36 seconds into the contest. Condon and Lynn followed with unassisted tallies2:50 aprt for a 3-0 lead just 5:02 into the game. When Lynn set up Nowak 28 seconds later, the Westie Sharks had a 4-0 advantage. 

After a scoreless second period, Siclari extended the lead to 5-0 with a goal off assists from Jillian Perno and Nowakwith 5:44 left in the contest. 


Eight and Counting
Westie Sharks top NDFF/Foran to extend winning streak
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 15, 2017) –
The streak has reached eight games. Behind three goals from Taylor Nowak and four assists from Brooke McNabola, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy defeated Notre Dame Fairfield/Foran 6-1 at the Milford Ice Pavilion Wednesday evening.

With the eight consecutive wins, the Westie Sharks improved to 15-2-1 on the season.

"Taylor (Nowak) led us again tonight with a hat trick," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "She was unbelievable from start to finish. Our girls came prepared to play tonight. We get better and better every game, and tonight it was evident. Our defense continues to play great each game to help our team as well as our goalies."  

The Westie Sharks also received a solid effort from the top line of Criscuolo, Celina Condon and Shannon Siclari. Nowak and Froehlich were also on their game with five total points.
Megan Froehlich, Francesca Criscuolo, and Gabi Prisco each finished with a goal and an assist in the win.

The Westie Sharks scored twice in each period to seal the victory. Nowak gave the Westie Sharks a 1-0 lead with 4:31 left in the opening period off an assist from McNabola.

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy increased the lead to 2-0 with two seconds left in the opening period when Nowak scored off an assist from Froehlich.

The Westie Sharks scored the first two goals of the middle period for a 4-0 lead. Just 6:30 in, Froehlich increased the lead to 3-0 off assists from Criscuolo and McNabola, before McNabola and Prisco set up Criscuolo 2:56 later.

Leading 4-1, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy put the game away in the final period. McNabola set up Nowak for the hat trick 7:03 into the third, before Prisco scored an unassisted goal with 2:32 to go for a 6-1 lead.

Kyleen Crowe made 24 saves in the win for the Westie Sharks.  


Lynn leads Westie Sharks
Sophomore's goal carries team to 1-0 win over Branford/NB/EH
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 16, 2017) –
 It seems like everyone has had a hand in the recent nine-game winning streak of the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team. Thursday evening was no different.

Taking a perfect shot from the point, sophomore Veronica Lynn scored with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left in the third period to give West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy a 1-0 victory over Branford/NB/EH. 

















West Haven/Sactred Heart Academy celebrates a goal by Veronica Lynn (66) against Branford/NB/EH February 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

The win was the ninth in a row for the team and improved its record to a program-best 16-2-1. The Westie Sharks have been dominant in the long winning streak, outscoring their opponents 38-2 in that time frame, including seven shutouts.

"This was a huge win for us tonight," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "Our number of shots prove how hard the girls worked offensively."

The Westie Sharks held a 54-8 shot advantage in the contest, but it was not until the final five minutes when Lynn's wrist shot from the point found the back of the net. 

















Kyleen Crowe (30) made eight saves in a shutout against Branford/NB/EH February 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

The Westie Sharks kept the pressure on all game, and the efforts of Lynn, Gabi Prisco and Brooke McNabola did not go unnoticed in going all out to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

Kyleen Crowe was stellar in goal, stopping all eight shots she faced. 


Unbeaten streak Continues
Westie Sharks tie Amity/North Haven/Cheshire
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 18, 2017) –
 To say the regular season has been a success for West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team would be an understatement.
With a scoreless tie against Amity/Cheshire/North Haven, the Westie Sharks closed the regular season with a 16-2-2 record. West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy closed the regular season 9-0-1 and advance to the SCC semifinals on a roll.
On Senior Night Saturday evening against Amity, the Westie Sharks and Blades played to a scoreless tie. The Westie Sharks held a 58-28 shot advantage in the contest, but neither goaltender was to be denied a shutout in the contest.

















Tatum Courtmanche (35) made 28 saves in a scoreless tie with Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Freshman goaltender Tatum Courtmanche was outstanding in goal for the Westie Sharks with 28 saves, while Amity’s Andrea Delvecchio was just as good, turning aside 58 shots.
“We wanted this win for our seniors tonight, but Amity is a tough team,” West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. “Tatum was huge in the net tonight and kept us in the entire game. We had our chances, but Andrea (Delvecchio) played phenomenal for Amity in net.”
Courtmanche has been phenomenal in goal, posting five consecutive shutouts and stopping all 116 shots in those games. Courtmanche has not allowed a goal since stopping 32 of 33 shots against Simsbury. 

















Senior Gabi Prisco (20) against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

The Westie Sharks advance to play in the SCC semifinals Wednesday evening at the Bennett Rink in West Haven. 


On to the Finals
Westie Sharks top NDFF to advance to SCC finals
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 21, 2017) –
 The team has waited a year, but that wait may well be worth it. Knowing Amity/North Haven/Cheshire already won its Southern Connecticut Conference semifinal contest, only a win by the Westie Sharks separated a rematch in the league finals of a season ago, won narrowly by the Blades.

















Francesca Criscuolo (14) against Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Francesca Criscuolo and Taylor Nowak each scored twice as the top-seeded Westie Sharks defeated fourth-seeded Notre Dame-Fairfield in the SCC semifinals at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Tuesday evening. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy will face second-seeded Amity/NH/Cheshire in the league finals Friday evening at 6:15 p.m. in West Haven. 

"The girls came into this game ready to play," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "They have continued to fight all season, and we aren't done yet. The girls played hard tonight and Francesca (Criscuolo) got us started right away, putting the puck in the net. Our defense was key again in the win." 

With the win, the Westies Sharks improved their unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1) and improved to 17-2-2 on the season. 

















Taylor Nowak (11) celebrates a goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, February 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Criscuolo wasted no time getting the Westie Sharks on the board as she scored an unassisted goal just 14 seconds into the contest. Criscuolo extended the advantage to 2-0 with 7:17 left in the period off assists from Gabi Prisco and Celina Condon. 

Leading 2-1 entering the third period, Nowak put the game away as she increased the lead to two goals just 1:38 in off an assist from Prisco. Nowak then extended the lead to 4-1 off assists from Megan Froehlich and Brooke McNabola with 3:11 to go. 

​Kyleen Crowe made 14 saves in the win for West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy. 


SCC Champs
Westie Sharks top Amity/NH/Cheshire for league title
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 24, 2017) –
 It turns out the year was worth the wait. Defeated in heartbreaking fashion a year ago in the Southern Connecticut Conference Division II finals against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, the West Haven/Sacred Heart girls hockey team waited 12 months to avenge the loss. 

Freshman Taylor Nowak made sure those returning players walked away nothing short of league champions. 

Scoring three times, Nowak led the Westie Sharks to a 4-1 victory over the Blades in the SCC Division II championship game Friday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink West Haven. 

















West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy players celebrate the SCC championship victory over Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

"We were all prepared tonight," Nowak said. "When we came out, we could feel it. This couldn't be better. It is an honor to help this team win this. It is a great feeling, a great team. "

The win is also a complete turn around for a pair of seniors, Gabi Prisco and Jillian Perno, as both were part of a West Haven team struggling to win as freshmen and sophomores. 

Last season, the Westies merged with Sacred Heart Academy and an instant contender was built for coaches Erin Blake and Jocey Morrell. 

"To go from freshmen and sophomores where we hardly won to winning the SCC is a great feeling," Prisco said. "Both teams just meshed together so well. We just work so hard together and give 110 percent all the time. We never gave up all season. We worked so hard to prove ourselves."

Prisco, who was named the SCC Division II Player of the Year, and Blake, who was named the SCC Division II Coach of the Year, had to love what they saw early in the game. 

















Taylor Nowak (11) scores one of her three goals against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Nowak scored from the slot off an assist from Zoe DeFalco just 3 minutes, 30 seconds into the contest. 

Nowak's big night was just beginning. With 6:24 remaining in the opening period, Nowak picked up a rebound of her own shot and beat Amity goaltender Andrea Delvecchio for a 2-0 advantage. 

"Words can't explain it," Blake said of the championship. "Amity is such a good team. No matter when we play them or what the score is, you can't feel comfortable. 

"Taylor (Nowak) is such a big player for us. She is phenomenal. There was no stopping her tonight. She fore checks, back checks, scores. She does it all."

Amity got a goal back 58 seconds later when Kiley DeGrand beat Sharks' goaltender Tatum Courtmanche, snapping Courtmanche's five-game shutout streak, to get the Blades within 2-1 after one period. 

Nowak made sure the Blades got no closer. Just 1:35 into the second period, Nowak ripped a shot from the slot to the top corner for a 3-1 advantage. 

"It is an incredible feeling," Prisco said. "Tatum (Courtmanche) and Taylor (Nowak) stepped up big for us tonight.This feels great to win our first SCC title ever, especially as a senior."

The Westie Sharks looked as if they would blow the game open in the second period, but Delvecchio denied Prisco and Nowak seconds apart in the final seven minutes. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy then played a game of dumping the puck in the Amity zone the entire third period. With Delvecchio pulled for an extra skater, freshman Brooke McNabola iced the game with an empty-net goal with 31.5 seconds remaining, setting off a wild celebration for the Westie Sharks. 

​Courtmanched finished with 26 saves for the Westie Sharks, while Delvecchio made 24 saves in the loss for Amity/NH/Cheshire.














 

Taylor Nowak (11) scores Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.















Taylor Nowak (11) scores Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.















Taylor Nowak (11) scores Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.















Brooke McNabola (18) scores Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.















West Haven /Sacred Heart Academy celebrate winning the SCC Division II title Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.















West Haven /Sacred Heart Academy awards ceremony against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.


Crushing End
Westie Sharks fall to East Catholic in state tournament
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 28, 2017) –
 The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team suffered only two losses during the regular season. Unfortunately for the Westie Sharks, the third loss ended their season. 

Unable to stop East Catholic's Madeleine Gervais, the Westie Sharks fell to East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor 5-1 in the quarterfinals of the girls state tournament at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven Tuesday evening. 

"it was a tough game," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "East Catholic is a strong team. We knew this going into the game. It is tough to take a loss like this, but we needed to step it up, and tonight just wasn't our night.

"As a team, we accomplished our two goals of the season, winning the SCC Division 2 title and making states. I am extremely proud of everything these girls have done this season. They not only reached their goals, but exceeded them placing third in the state. No one can take that away from them. All we can do now is learn from our mistakes and set our goals higher for next season." 

Gervais scored the first four goals for East Catholic, with her two third period goals being the crushing blow to West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy's comeback attempt. 

Trailing 2-1 after two periods of play, the Westie Sharks (18-3-2) put the pressure on in the third period, and looked as if they were stealing the momentum of the game. That momentum was taken away as Morgan Peters made eights saves in the period for East Catholic, three coming in the first five minutes of the period when she denied Brooke McNabola and Veronica Lynn from the faceoff circle, and Francesca Criscuolo from in front with 9:23 to go. 

Just eights econds later, Gervais dealt the knockout blow as she took a West Haven/SHA turnover, broke in on Westie Sharks' goaltender Tatum Courtmanche and scored between the pads for a 3-1 lead. 

Gervais added her fourth goal with 3:11 to go and East Catholic scored into an empty net with 0.7 seconds to go for the 5-1 victory. 

"We hate to see our seniors go out on this note, but they are a wonderful group of girls and we are lucky to have had them in our program,"  Blake said. "We wish them the best of luck in their futures, and hope to make them proud next year. We could not be more proud of our goals and their fantastic season."

East Catholic took the play to West Haven/SHA from the start, holding a 12-2 shot advantage in the opening period, and scoring the only goal of the period when Gervais connected with 1:01 to go from in front. 

Gervais made it a 2-0 game just 1:02 into the second when she again beat Courtmanche between the pads on a breakaway with 1:02 gone by in the second. 

The Westie Sharks cut the deficit in half 1:13 later when a great individual effort by Taylor Nowak to keep the puck in the zone, then firing a shot which Megan Froehlich grabbed the rebound and found the back of the net. 

Froehlich looked to have a perfect shot at getting the equalizer 1:18 later, but Peters denied the opportunity to keep East Catholic on top by a goal.

Courtmanche finished with 24 saves in the loss, while Peters made 16 saves for East Catholic. 















Megan Froehlich (32) scores against East Catholic, February 28, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera. 


SCC Division II Coach of the Year, Erin Blake (l.) and SCC Division II Player of the Year, Gabi Prisco (20). Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

All-State players -  Gabi Prisco '15; Gabi Prisco '16; Gabi Prisco '17; Veronica Lynn '17

Megan Froehlich (32) scores against East Catholic, February 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy SCC awards following Amity/North Haven/Cheshire contest, February 24. 2017. (L. to R.) Erin Blake, Taylor Nowak, Veronica Lynn, Gabi Prisco and Jocey Morrell. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Tatum Courtmanche against East Catholic, February 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

















West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy is the 2016-2017 Southern Connecticut Conference champions. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

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Coaches Jocey Morrell (l.) and Erin Blake (r.) celebrate the SCC Division II title against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24. 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Erin Blake (l.) and Gabi Prisco (r.) celebrate the SCC Division II championship against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24. 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Moving Forward
Westies looking to take next step
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 11, 2016) -
 Eight months have passed since the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team saw its season end in disappointment with a Southern Connecticut Conference finals loss to Amity/North Haven/Cheshire. The team is back and may be better than ever.
With a solid core group of upperclassmen returning, and an equally impressive group of underclassmen, head coach Erin Blake and assistant coach Jocey Morrell may be in store for a special season.
“We have a lot of goals this year and I feel all are attainable,” Blake said. “We had a tough loss to end the season. I think these girls are using that and are ready to get going this season. We are looking to make the state tournament this season. We fell just short last season. We have a lot of talent on this team and I think we will be a strong team.”

















Gabi Prisco (20), coach Erin Blake (c.) and coach Jocey Morrell (r.). Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Leading the way for the Westies this season will be senior captain Gabi Prisco. Playing solid as a two-way defenseman a season ago, the senior star will look to do the same in 2016-2017. Prisco was not only a rock on defense a season ago, but also finished with 11 goals, seven assists and 18 points.
Seniors Emily Fowler and Sydney Marcarelli are both from Sacred Heart Academy and both will act as assistant captains this season.
“I like what I have seen so far,” Blake said. “We have been putting the puck in the net. The girls have some hard shots, they are working hard and the communication on the ice is very good. They have been playing heads up hockey and the girls have been looking for each other. You can tell already they are in it to win it. They have come back after a tough loss last year and have done a lot of conditioning. They have worked on team building. We are a quick team as well. I like what I see.”
The team has plenty of scoring options throughout and the top line is a young and talented one. Sacred Heart sophomore Francesca Criscuolo will center a line consisting of West Haven sophomore Celina Condon at right wing and West Haven junior Shannon Siclari on the left side.
The second line is a solid one as well and is just a bit younger. West Haven freshmen Taylor Nowak is at center and Megan Froehlich is at right wing. Marcarelli will start the season as the left wing on the line.
“Our freshmen class is very strong as are our sophomores,” Morrell said. “Gabi (Prisco) and Shannon (Siclari) are solid players and we know we can turn to them. I like what I have seen. The girls are all working hard.
“We want to come back this year and prove something after that tough loss to end the season. I am excited for the season. The jamboree showed we can put the puck in the net and work together as a team the first time we were on the ice together.”

















Celina Condon (4) Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The depth of the team shows as the team can also roll out a third line, which will see Sacred Heart senior Olivia Ross at center, and West Haven senior Jillian Perno at right wing. Sacred Heart’s Grace Plunkett will see time on both the second and third lines, with Fowler also playing on the third line.
“The girls have been playing well,” Blake said. “We have worked on our new system. We are working together well. We did very well in the jamboree.”
Defensively, the Westies look to be solid as well. Prisco will lead a strong unit which will also see sophomore Veronica Lynn, Sacred Heart freshman Brooke McNabola and Sacred Heart sophomore Zoe DeFalco. McNabola has turned heads already with her play-making ability.
“We need to work together and talk to each other on the ice,” Blake said. “We need to show up every game and give 110% each game.”
The Westies also have a solid goaltending situation as Sacred Heart sophomore Kyleen Crowe and Sacred Heart freshman Tatum Courtmanche will be solid in goal.
“They have both been strong in goal and both will see plenty of time,” Blake said.
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy opens the season Monday, December 12 at Mercy/Northwest Catholic, before playing their first home game Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. against Masuk/Barlow/Newtown.   


Opening Draw
Prisco's goal in final seconds lifts Westies to tie in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 12, 2016) -
 West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake feels this year's team has all the makings of a team which could have a special season. If opening night is any indication, Blake's squad may be in for a dramatic ride. 

Led by senior Gabi Prisco's goal with 2.4 seconds left in regulation, West Haven opened the 2016-2017 season with a 1-1 tie on the road against Mercy/Northwest Catholic.

"We kept battling to the end," Blake said. "We were able to put the pressure on and get the tying goal. It's our first game and I am proud of the girls. They fought down until the last seconds of the third period and that showed their determination to succeed this season. We look forward to tomorrow night with our first Division 2 game. This being our first game of the year, I think we adjusted well to the game. We need to get back into game shape and feel our lines out. If we get those girls comfortable working with each other, we are going to see something special. We have no doubt that will come in time.

"Veronica (Lynn), Gabi (Prisco) and Brooke (McNabola) played great offensively and defensively with numerous chances up the ice."

With the Westies putting pressure on the entire game, it came down to the final seconds. Off assists from freshmen Taylor Nowak and Brooke McNabola, Prisco made sure the effort was not wasted when she scored the equalizer in the final seconds.

West Haven received a solid effort all around as each line and defensive pairing played well throughout.

"C.C. (Celina Condon) played great with multiple attempts up the ice as well as playing some defense on a penalty kill," Blake said. "She works hard from start to finish and continues to impress us. Shannon (Siclari) and Frankie (Francesca Criscuolo) also played well.

"Taylor (Nowak), Megan (Froehlich), and Grace (Plunkett) moved the puck well tonight. Grace stepped it up to keep up with the speedy freshmen. Taylor and Megan are in sync on the ice and with time, the goals will come for this line."

Freshman Tatum Courtmanche got the start in goal as both Courtmanche and Kyleen Crowe will split time in goal to start the season. Courtmanche made 17 saves, some stellar in fashion, to keep West Haven/Sacred Heart in striking distance.

"Tatum had 17 saves and played an awesome game," Blake said. "She kept us in the game all night. She is a smart and talented player.

"Kyleen (Crowe) gets the start tomorrow night in our home opener. We look forward to seeing her back between the pipes again this season."

West Haven/Sacred Heart  plays its home opener Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. against  Masuk/Barlow/Newtown at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. 

"We have three big division games coming up in a row, so we have to keep our eye on our goal and continue to push ourselves," Blake said. 


Nowak leads Westies
Freshman scores 3 times in 6-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 13, 2016) -
 Freshman Taylor Nowak is one of the up and coming stars coach Erin Blake has talked about early in the season. Nowak put those skills on display in the home opener for the West Haven/Sacred Heart girls hockey team Tuesday evening. 

Scoring three goals and adding an assist, Nowak helped her team to a 6-0 victory over Masuk/Barlow/Newtown at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
















 

Taylor Nowak (11) scores against Masuk/Barlow/Newtown, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

"The girls are growing together game by game and their hard work tonight paid of with our first win of the season," Blake said. "It was a full team effort. We came out strong and played to our full potential."

The Westies jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead as a pair of freshmen got the Westies on the scoreboard. Celia Condon got things going just 36 seconds into the game off assists from Francesca Criscuolo and Shannon Siclari. 

Freshmen Nowak and Megan Froehlich scored the next two goals, with Froehlich and Grace Plunkett assisting on Nowak's goal with 7:38 left in the opening period, and Plunkett and Nowak picking up helpers on Froehlich's goal 4:26 later. 

The line of Nowak, Froehlich and Plunkett had eight points with Froehlich having a goal and an assist, and Plunkett adding two assists.

"That line played very well." Blake said. "They had eight points. They played well together."

















Celina Condon (4) and Francesca Criscuolo (14) celebrate a goal by Condon against Masuk/Barlow/Newtown, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

The Westies put the game away with three more goals in the second period. Nowak scored off an assist from Condon 1:19 in, Veronica Lynn added an unassisted goal with 7:49 to go in the middle period, and Nowak capped the scoring with a goal off an assist from Zoe DeFalco 2:42 later. 

Criscuolo played a solid game with her tenacious forechecking and back checking, while Condon played both forward and defense. 

Kyleen Crowe was solid in goal, finishing with 16 saves in the shutout.


Balanced Attack
Nine different players in scoring column in 6-0 win over Guilford
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 17, 2016) 
- West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey coaches Erin Blake and Jocey Morrell know they have plenty of offense this season. The coaches want to see a balanced attack. 

Just three games into the season, the Westie Sharks have seen that, opening with two wins and a tie. The latest win came Saturday evening when the Westie Sharks posted their second straight 6-0 victory, this one over Guilford in East Haven. 

The Westie Sharks had nine different players in the scoring column, with Celina Condon and Francesca Criscuolo each scoring once and adding a pair of assists, while Megan Froehlich finished with a pair of goals. 

​"We are definitely finding our groove as a team," Blake said after her team improved to 2-0-1 with the win. "We moved the puck well and kept our heads up, making smart passes every shift. Our defense played another great game and has continued to move and shoot the puck..
"Freshmen Megan Froehlich put us on the board early in the first period, and she continues to give it her all every shift, playing smart and aggressive hockey." 

















Tatum Courtmanche (31) makes one of her 17 saves against Guilford, December 17, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Goaltender Tatum Courtmanche and the defense did the rest as Courtmanche finished with 17 saves in the shutout. 

The Westie Sharks won this contest in the first period, scoring five times, including twice in the first 3:43 of the game. 

Froehlich put the Westie Sharks on top 1-0 when she scored just 1:20 in off assists from Zoe DeFalco and Gabi Prisco. Veronica Lynn scored 2:23 later for a 2-0 lead, and Condon scored off assists from Criscuolo and Grace Plunkett with 8:29 left in the first for a 3-0 advantage. 

















Celina Condon (4) had a goal and two assists ​against Guilford, December 17, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

"Our first line of CC Condon, Francesca Criscouloi and tonight, Sydney Marcarelli, moved the puck well," Blake said. "CC and Frankie (Criscuolo) both played very well." 
Just 48 seconds later, the lead was 4-0 as Criscuolo scored off an assist from Condon. Froehlich bookended the scoring in the opening period when her second goal of the game, off assists from Condon and Criscuolo, put West Haven/Sacred Heart on top 5-0. 

Sydney Marcarelli capped the scoring in the game just 38 seconds into the second period when she scored off an assist from Jillian Perno for a 6-0 lead. 


Upper Hand
Prisco's goal leads Westies past Tigers 
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 20, 2016) -
No one had to tell the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team the importance of Tuesday evening's game against Hand-Madison. Having played the Tigers tough last season, the Westies were looking for results this time around. 

Senior Gabi Prisco helped provide those results as her third period goal lifted the Westies to a 2-1 victory over the Tigers at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven. 

















West Haven coaches Erin Blake (c.) and Jocey Morrell (r.) share a laugh with Gabi Prisco (20) after Prisco's goal helped West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy defeat Hand, December 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

"This is a huge win for us in our division," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said after her team improved to 3-0-1. "The girls are working hard in practice, and it is showing every game. I am extremely proud of the way they hung in there tonight. They didn't hang their heads after Hand scored first. We regained composure and started making smart passes, and shooting the puck. The girls keep getting better and better as they become more comfortable with each other." 

With the game even at one in the third period, Prisco stepped in front of a Hand clearing attempt and drilled home the eventual winning goal with 7 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the contest. 

















Gabi Prisco (l.) celebrates her game-winning goal against Hand, December 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

"This is such a big win for us," Prisco said after scoring her second goal of the season. "It helps us move up in the division and it moves us to 3-0-1. This is such a strong start to the season for us, which is something we have not had before. Our team is playing very well together. 

"The freshmen have come in and are meshing with the team very well. Both of our goaltenders, Kyleen (Crowe) and Tatum (Courtmanche), have been playing outstanding these past four games and have been keeping us in big games. Our whole team has been stepping up and tonight is an example of that. Everyone played 110 percent offensively and defensively. I'm so excited to see more success we can have throughout the season."

After a scoreless first period, Hand took a 1-0 lead in the middle period, before West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy rallied in the third period with a pair of goals. 

"Our defensive play was amazing, "Blake said. "They played very well as they usually do. We saw a lot of good things out there tonight. CC (Celina Condon), Frankie (Criscuolo), and Shannon (Siclari) had great puck movement. Taylor (Nowak), Megan (Froehlich), and Grace (Plunkett) are really coming together. Our power play was strong tonight."

















Taylor Nowak (11) scored the tying goal against Hand, December 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.​

The Westie Sharks evened the contest at one when Taylor Nowak redirected a shot by Veronica Lynn for a power play goal just 25 seconds into the final period. Brooke McNabola also assisted on the tying goal.

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy also received solid goaltending from Kyleen Crowe. The Westie Shark goaltender made 17 saves as West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy held a 34-18 shot advantage in the game. 
"She (Crowe) kept us in the game and played great," Blake said. 


Turning Green
Westies suffer first loss of season against Hamden 
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 27, 2016) -
 The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team has gotten off to a quick start to the season. Following a thorough defeat over Hand, the Westie Sharks were looking to see where they stood when hosting Hamden Tuesday afternoon.

The team got its answer as there is more work to do, following a 7-2 loss to the Green Dragons at the Edward L. Bennett Rink. The loss drops the Westie Sharks to 3-1-1 on the year.

"The girls worked hard from start to finish," West Haven/Sacred Heart coach Erin Blake said. "I was proud of the way the girls played, even in taking our first tough loss of the season. The girls played very hard and never gave up. I am extremely proud of that. Tatum (Courtmanche) and Kyleen (Crowe) both played well in goal."

Hamden poured 33 shots on goal in the first two periods and took a 5-0 lead after two periods, with four goals coming in the middle period. The Green Dragons added two more in the third period for a 7-0 margin, before the Westie Sharks got on the scoreboard.

Senior Gabi Prisco got the team on the scoreboard off an assist from Francesca Criscuolo with 6:33 remaining, before freshman Taylor Nowak capped the scoring 2:40 later.

Tatum Courtmanche made 28 saves and Kyleen Crowe added 12 in the loss.   


Back on Track
Westies top Lauralton Hall 8-2 for fourth win of season
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 4, 2017) -
 With a week to recover from its initial loss of the season, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team did just that. Scoring twice in the first period, and adding four more in the second, the Westie Sharks defeated Lauralton Hall 8-2 on the road Wednesday evening. 

The win allowed West Haven/SHA to rebound from its first loss of the season against Hamden a week ago and improve to 4-1-1. 

"We came out and got the job done," West Haven/SHA coach Erin Blake said. "We scored twice in the first period and that got us going. Frankie (Criscuolo) had a great game for us and Kyleen (Crowe) played well in goal. We were able to come away with a win, which is big."

Freshman Megan Froehlich led the Westie/Sharks with one goal and three assists, while fellow freshman Taylor Nowak added one goal and two assists. Francesca Criscuolo had a pair of goals, and Celina Condon finished with a goal and an assist in the win. 

"We got goals from seven different players and points from nine players," Blake said. "That is always nice to see."

The Westie Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the opening period, scoring both goals in a span of 2:17. Criscuolo gave West Haven/SHA a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal with 7:27 to go in the first and Grace Plunkett added to the lead with 5:10 remaining in the opening period off assists from Nowak and Froehlich. 

The Westie Sharks scored twice in the first four minutes of the second period to take a 4-0 lead. Nowak scored off an assist from Froehlich 1:50 in, and Condon scored 1:52 later off an assist from Sydney Marcarelli for a 4-0 advantage.

Goals by Froehlich and Veronica Lynn had the Westie Sharks up 6-1 after two periods of play. Criscuolo and Brooke McNabola capped the scoring in the final period for the Westie Sharks.

Kyleen Crowe made 10 saves in the win for West Haven/SHA.  


Complete Effort
Westies top NDFF 6-2 to move to 5-1-1
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 9, 2017) -
 Down a pair of goals early in the game, it would have been easy for the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team to think a victory would be hard to attain. Such was not the case.  

Behind two goals and two assists from Brooke McNabola, two more goals from Taylor Nowak, and a goal and an assist from Megan Froehlich, West Haven rallied to defeat Notre Dame-Fairfield 6-2 Monday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven. 

With the victory, the Westie Sharks improved to 5-1-1 on the season. 

















Francesca Criscuolo (14) scores against Notre Dame-Fairfield, January 9, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

"Every girl on the team was a part of our win tonight," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "It was a close, well fought game down to the last period. The girls played hard and kept their composure throughout the 2-2 tie and we came out ready to play in the third period. One of the things that impresses me the most with this team this season is they don't give up."

Trailing 2-0 as the Lancers scored twice in the first period, the Westie Sharks fought back when Nowak scored off assists from Froehlich and McNabola with 25 seconds to go in the first. 

McNabola scored the lone goal of the second period when her unassisted tally at the 2:06 mark evened the contest at two. 

The third period was all Westie Sharks. Nowak scored an unassisted goal 4:23 into the third, and just ten seconds later, McNabola set up Froehlich for a 4-2 advantage. 

















West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy players celebrate a goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, January 9, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

With the momentum clearly on West Haven/Sacred Heart's side, McNabola scored off an assist from Veronica Lynn to increase the margin to 5-2 with 4:50 remaining in the game. Just 1:37 later, the Westie Sharks put the game out of reach when Celina Condon set up Francesca Criscuolo for the 6-2 lead. 

Tatum Courtmanche picked up the victory in goal for West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy, stopping 19 of 21 shots set her way. 


Westie Sharks win Rematch
WH/SHA defeats Amity/NH/Cheshire 4-1
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 12, 2017)
 – Some things are just worth the wait. Just ask the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team. 

Clearly remembering the agonizing loss against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire in last season's conference championship game, the Westie Sharks scored twice in each of the second and third periods to post a 4-1 road victory. The win was West Haven/Sacred Heart's sixth of the season and allowed the team to improve to 6-1-1. 

"We stepped up when the time was needed," West Haven/SHA coach Erin Blake said. "Amity is a good team, and we have been eager for our rematch from last season. The girls left it on the ice tonight and I can't ask for much more than that. We have a special group of girls and each game we grow more as a team."

Taylor Nowak scored twice in the contest, while Francesca Criscuolo and Gabi Prisco each scored once. 

"Taylor (Nowak) and Megan (Froehlich) had awesome games," Blake said. "The first line of Frankie (Criscuolo), C.C. (Condon) and Shannon (Siclari) played well and our defense played great too."

West Haven took a 2-0 lead in the second period, scoring twice in a span of 1:41 in the final 3:48 of the period. 

Nowak got the Westie Sharks on the board with an unassisted goal with 3:48 to go, before Criscuolo scored off an assist from Froehlich with 2:07 to go in the period. 

Leading 2-1 in the third, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy scored into an empty net in the final 28 seconds. Nowak increased the margin to 3-1, before Prisco capped the win nine seconds later. 

Kyleen Crowe made 21 saves in the win for the Westie Sharks. 

"Kyleen (Crowe) was huge tonight," Blake said. "She came up with some big saves." 


First Time
Westie Sharks top Simsbury
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 14, 2017)
 – There is something special brewing down at the Bennett Rink in West Haven. That something belongs to the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team.

Fresh off a victory over Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, the Westie Sharks defeated Simsbury for the first time in the program's history. Francesca Criscuolo's goal 10 seconds into overtime helped lift West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy to a 2-1 victory in Simsbury Saturday evening. 

"I had such a good feeling about this game," West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said. "I kept telling the girls, and going into the game so did they. Every practice they came out ready to work. I keep saying we grow more and more as a team each game and practice, and tonight was proof. I couldn't even give a game puck after such an awesome game because I wouldn't have enough for practice. I'd be giving one to every girl. This win was huge for us and I am so proud of what the girls are doing. They really are something special." 

After a scoreless first period, the Westie Sharks (7-1-1) got on the board early in the second when Criscuolo set up Celina Condon for a 1-0 lead. The game remained that way until all the Simsbury pressure finally paid off late in the second to even the game at one. 

Tatum Courtmanche came up big in goal for the Westie Sharks, finishing with 32 saves as Simsbury held a 33-12 shot advantage in the game. 
"Tatum made saves on her head," Blake said of Courtmanche. "She had an amazing game. She played so well. Our defense came up big too. Veronica (Lynn) blocked so many shots. She was unbelievable yet again. She really has stepped it up this season. She was blocking shots left and right. Gabi (Prisco) had another awesome game with numerous attempts up the ice and Brooke (McNabola) played well too."

With the game even after three periods, the Westie Sharks wasted no time in overtime. 

Criscuolo took the faceoff to start the overtime, went straight to the net, and blasted a shot to the top left corner, sending the Westie Sharks pouring off the bench to celebrate.  
"Frankie (Criscuolo) and CC (Condon), wow, they were on tonight," Blake said. "Megan (Froehlich) and Taylor (Nowak) were too. This is such a big win for this team."


Blanked
Westie Sharks fall to Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 22, 2017) –
 The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team was hoping for a repeat of earlier this week. Topping Simsbury for the first time in the history of the program, the Westie Sharks were looking to take down a team which has dominated in the rivalry the last few years. 

While the Westie Shars played better this time around, it was still not enough as Hamden once again prevailed, 3-0, in Hamden Saturday afternoon. With the loss, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy fell to 7-2-1 on the year.  

"The girls fought hard from start to finish," West Haven/Sacred Heart coach Erin Blake said. "We were in this game the entire time. I am extremely proud of how well they played, and so are the girls. It might not be a win, but it is a huge team improvement from our 7-2 game the first time we played them."

While Hamden controlled the opening contest between the two teams in a 7-2 victory earlier in the season, this time around was a bit different. The Westie Sharks played well throughout, trailing just 1-0 after two periods. 

Hamden got an insurance goal in the third period, then added an empty-net tally to preserve the win. 

"We had a lot of chances," Blake said. "We just couldn't catch a break. (Kyleen) Crowe did phenomenal in net. Gabi (Priso) and Veronica (Lynn) had great games as did C.C. (Celina Condon), Frankie (Francesca Criscuolo) and Taylor (Nowak)." 

Kyleen Crowe made 26 saves in the loss for West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy. 

Please visit Vio's Sports Plus at 487 Campbell Avenue, call (203) 934-3368, or visit online here

Gabi Prisco (20) against East Catholic, February 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Brooke McNabola (18) scores into an empty net against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24. 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy celebrates its SCC Division II title against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire, February 24. 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

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