(September 9, 2019) - The Larry Vieira era of West Haven Youth Hockey began on a high note at Bennett Rink on Saturday, with the new coach’s Squirt A team defeating the Green Dragons of Hamden 11-0.
In West Haven Youth Hockey’s “Opening Faceoff” kickoff event of the 2019-20 season, the Blue Devils shut down their archrival from the drop of the puck, dominating in all phases of the game and serving up a scoring smorgasbord, led by forward Aedan Guarino’s four goals and one assist.
Kyle Guarino, Andrew Grillo and Brooklynn Maher anchored a stingy Westies defense that allowed a mere three shots on standout goalie Alex Werle.
The Blue Devils also received strong contributions from Grady Shulte (2 goals, 3 assists), Cameren Lipford (2 goals, 1 assist), Gavin Coady (1 goal), Kyle Guarino (1 goal) and Michael D’aiuto (1 goal).
On Sunday, Vieira’s upstart Squirt A team bolstered its opening weekend record, defeating Darien A1 7-5 in a hard-fought contest at Stamford Twin Rinks.

West Haven Squirt A forward Grady Shulte (77) scores one of his two goals against rival Hamden at Bennett Rink on Saturday. The Blue Devils shut out the Green Dragons 11-0 in the season opener. Forward Aedan Guarino, left, led the team in scoring with four goals and one assist. Photo courtesy of Stacie Walsh.
The Blue Devils came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and played well during the game, with Lipford scoring four goals and Werle making 23 saves to lead the team.
Forward Ryan Walsh put West Haven on the scoreboard first with his first goal of the season. Coady and Aedan Guarino added goals before Lipford’s empty-netter in the closing minute sealed the victory for the Blue Devils.
Later on Sunday, the Squirt A team was handed its first loss of the season by Kent A at Bennett Rink.
The West Haven Pee Wee A hockey team opened the season with a pair of home games at Edward L. Bennett Rink this weekend.  The Blue Devils faced two strong teams and lost twice- 9-4 to Hamden A and 8-0 to Darien A.
On Saturday, West Haven celebrated "Opening Faceoff" with the traditional set of games against Hamden.  In Pee Wee A action, the first period was tightly contested.  Hamden struck first with a short-handed goal midway through the period.  Matthew Kelly tied the contest when he fired in the puck with Connor Moriarty and Christopher Consorte earning assists.  Hamden scored on the power play in the final minute for a 2-1 lead after one period. 

Ron Mastroni scores for West Haven Peewee A against Hamden, September 7, 2019. Photo courtesy of Mike Madera.
Down 3-1 in the second period, Brady Price fed Ronnie Mastroni, who ripped a wrist shot off the goalie and in to make it a one-goal game again.  Hamden scored the next three and led 6-2 at the second intermission. 
Hamden led 9-2 in the third before Price scored two short-handed goals for the Westies.  The first was a breakaway goal and the second was a steal and backhand shot through the five-hole.
Greg Galasso started in goal for West Haven and recorded 13 saves.  Jacob Silva notched seven saves in relief. 
On Sunday morning, the Westies hosted Darien and played a spirited opening period for the second straight day.  Darien led 1-0 at the first intermission as Silva was sharp with twelve saves.
Darien pulled away for an 8-0 win.  Silva finished with 20 saves while Galasso recorded 15 saves in the second half of the contest.
The West Haven Pee Wee B travel hockey team got off to a great start in its opening weekend of play.  On Saturday, the Westies took part in the “Opening Faceoff” festivities against rival Hamden and posted a 7-1 victory. 

West Haven Peewee B celebrates a goal against Hamden, September 7, 2019. Photo courtesy of Mike Madera.

Hamden went up 1-0 late in the first period with a screened shot that went high over goaltender Oliver Sawitzy's shoulder. 
Eddie Thomas IV opened the scoring shortly after Hamden got on the board. Thomas took the puck on a face off in the defensive end and took it the length of the ice to the back of the net. 
The Westies scored two more goals in the first period as Julianna Gonzalez netted the puck after a combination of passes from Dan Lavallee and Nolan Fortier.  On the same shift, Gonzalez and Fortier returned the favor and found Lavalle's stick and put the Westies up 3-1 at the end of the first period. 
Early in the second period, Sean Luxeder's neutral ice pass to Dylan Ginsberg was dished off to a quick skating Thomas, who netted the only second period goal of the game. 
The defensive pairings of Heather Fonda and Luxeder, along with Grace Douglas and Jack Francis played key roles in keeping Hamden scoreless for the second and third periods.  The third period was all Westies as both Thomas and Dan Lavallee found the back of the net to each record hat tricks.  Tyler McColgan and Nolan Fortier helped in assisting both players' goals.   
On Sunday, the Westies were back in action with an early morning home game at Bennett Rink against the RiverHawks of Shelton and posted a 4-2 win. 
The Westies came out strong with a goal in the first minute of play.  Thomas took a puck to his backhand and showed he can score from both sides of the blade.  Luxeder found the back of the net with a wrist shot from center ice, and quick skating and puck movement between Thomas and McColgan led to a goal by Gonzalez.  The goal by Gonzalez ended up being the game winner. 
The Riiverhawks came out quick in the second period scoring back to back goals making it 3-2.  Within a minute after the RiverHawks scored two goals, McColgan's pass found Thomas' stick to score the final goal of the game and give the Westies a two-goal lead going in to the third period.   
Penalties found the Westies on their heels early in the third period. Between Oliver Sawitzy's quick glove and hard work by forwards J.J. Hall, Lucas Iversen and Rafi Treat winning key puck battles along the boards and moving the puck out of the defensive end forcing the RiverHawks to regroup, the Westies dug deep in the neutral zone to hold on to the lead throughout a third period battle.   
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team opened the season with a win and a tie. The Westies won the season opener 5-0 against Hamden, before playing to a 3-3 tie against Yale 06 AA.
The Westies opened the season against Hamden as part of the “Opening Faceoff” weekend. Behind the line of Cam Delvecchio, Colin Deane and Cade Simone, the Westies led 3-0 after one period and never looked back.

Cam Delvecchio (12) scores for West Haven Bantam A against Hamden, September 7, 2019. Photo courtesy of Mike Madera.
Delvecchio led the West Haven offense with two goals and two assists, Deane had a pair of goals and an assist, while Simone finished with a goal and an assist.  
Deane started the scoring just 12 seconds into the contest off assists from Delvecchio and Simone. A great effort by Simone increased the lead to 2-0 with 7:52 remaining in the first, before Deane set up Delvecchio 57 seconds later for a 3-0 advantage.
With the West Haven defense of Sean Bosworth, Dave Brown, Craig Wezenski, Josh Gyolai. Haygen Axelrod and Jason Alling locking down the Green Dragons, and goaltender Brendan Smith turning aside several tough shots early, the Westies took a three-goal lead to the second.
Deane increased the lead to 4-0 off an assist from Delvecchio with 7.6 seconds remaining in the middle period, before Bosworth assisted on Delvecchio’s second tally of the contest with 5:12 remaining. Bryan Hong played well in goal as he helped seal the combined shutout.  
West Haven improved to 1-0-1 with a 3-3 tie against Yale Sunday afternoon at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Bosworth led the way with a goal and an assist, including the tying goal off an assist from Gabe Mongelli with 5:52 left in the third period.
West Haven opened the scoring with 2:25 remaining in the opening period when Simone scored a short-handed tally off assists from Delvecchio and Bosworth.
Yale evened the contest 25 seconds later on the power play, before Dante Hardt scored a power play goal off an assist from Kyle Droney with 1:41 left in the opening period. Yale scored twice in the second period to take a 3-2 lead, before Bosworth’s late heroics pulled West Haven even.
Smith again was solid in goal, coming up with several big saves.   
Mickey Dowd, Jayden Spreyer, Matt Stevens, Will Gianquinto, Chris Adkins, and Michael Madera all played well on the weekend for the Westies. 

(September 16, 2019) - Continuing West Haven Youth Hockey’s 50th anniversary tour, the West Haven Squirt A travel hockey team beat ECHO A 7-5 in a barnburner at Bennett Rink on Saturday.
Forward Cameren Lipford had five goals and two assists and goalie Alex Werle made 27 saves to lead the Blue Devils past the Stars of the Bolton-based Eastern Connecticut Hockey Organization.
The Westies scored first on a short-handed goal by Lipford with 1:36 left in the first period. The Stars answered with three consecutive goals.
Trailing 3-1 late in the second period, the Blue Devils fought their way back with three straight goals by Lipford, including a power-play goal, to take a 4-3 lead.

West Haven Squirt A forward Cameren Lipford takes the puck in deep against ECHO A at Bennett Rink on Saturday. The Blue Devils defeated the Stars 7-5 for their third win of the season, buoyed by Lipford’s five goals and two assists and Alex Werle’s rock-solid goaltending. (WHYH Photo/Stacie Walsh).
A seesaw battle ensued.
The Stars scored twice to go up 5-4 with 3:11 remaining in regulation before Westies forward Ryan Walsh tied the game on a rebound from Lipford with 1:57 left. Seconds later, forward Gavin Coady netted the game-winner for the Blue Devils.
Werle’s rock-solid goaltending staved off multiple scoring attempts by the Stars late in the contest and Lipford added an empty-netter, his second in two games, to secure the 7-5 victory for the Westies, the team’s third of the season.
The West Haven Peewee A travel hockey team dropped a pair of games this weekend. The Westies were denied 6-4 by Stamford and 4-1 by Wallingford.
On Saturday morning, West Haven traveled to Stamford to face the Sharks at Terry Conners Rink. Stamford scored the only goal of the opening period on a 5-on-3 advantage and led 1-0 at the first break. Goaltender Greg Galasso was sharp and turned away eight shots in the period.
Down a man just two minutes into the second period, West Haven was able to tie the game at one with a short-handed tally. Ethan Kelly collected a loose puck and found Sean Studley streaking to the net and Studley's one-timer snuck inside the right post. Too many penalties cost the Westies in the period and Stamford led 3-1 at the second intermission.
In the third period, the Blue Devils started to get control of the game. Zach Melchiore rang one off the post and the momentum turned. Ethan Kelly won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Leo Mazuroski who quickly slid it over to Jonathan Charbonneau. The defenseman whistled one off the right post and in to make it 3-2 with 8:22 remaining.
Less than a minute later Charbonneau jumped on a loose puck at the blue line and flipped a shot on goal. It snuck past a screened goalie to tie the game at three.
Stamford struck again to regain the lead, but West Haven came right back on a power play. Ryan Pniewski chipped the puck to Kelly and his shot deflected wide. Ronnie Mastroni buried the rebound to even the game at four with under five minutes to play.
Stamford scored on a 4-on-4 to take the lead with 1:32 to play. The Westies pulled their goalie and won the faceoff with a minute left, Stamford scored an empty net goal to escape with a 6-4 win. Galasso and Jacob Silva split time in goal and made 12 saves apiece.
On Sunday morning at the Edward L. Bennett Rink, the Blue Devils hosted the Wallingford Hawks. The visitors took the lead in the opening minute, but Silva was clutch and kept the game at 1-0 the rest of the period.
Penalties again slowed the West Haven offense in the second period and the Hawks eventually made it 2-0 on a man advantage halfway through the period. The Blue Devils eventually cut the lead in half as Mastroni carried the puck through the zone, held off a defender, and slid the puck to Ethan Kelly for a tap-in goal.
Wallingford added a pair of goals in the third period for the 4-1 win. Silva finished with 12 saves and Galasso added nine in relief.
The West Haven Peewee AA is off to a good start after beginning the season on August 23rd during an EJEPL Showcase Series in Philadelphia, Pa.  EJEPL also known as Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League that showcases teams along the East Coast from Maine down to Florida.
The Blue Devils were on a roll, winning the first three games, but came up short against the Red Bank Generals in West Haven’s fourth game in two days. 
Peewee AA’s continued EJ play as they looked to take two games last weekend while facing Rhode Island Jr Blues in Warwick, Rhode Island on Saturday and their home opener on Sunday against Montclair Blues.
The trip north proved to be a good one as the Blue Devils headed home with a 6-1 victory over the Jr Blues.
The home opener on Sunday was a hard fought battle with the Blue Devils creating their fair share of opportunities to put the puck in the net, but came up short until 9:37 seconds remained on the clock in the third period. Gabe Locklear picked up a loose puck along the boards in the offensive zone, drawing in a few defenders Locklear fed the puck to Billy Mascari, who dropped it to Nick Salzano before Salzano sent a wrister from the point that found the back of the net.
Goaltending shared by Nate Kempton and Tyler Donroe ultimately sealed the victory as the two combined for the shutout. The do not enter signs Kempton and Donroe posted between the pipes were a big part of Peewee AA’s 1-0 home opening victory and overall 5-1 record thus far.
The Peewee AA team resumed EJ action this weekend on the road against the Montclair Blues AA in New Jersey. Getting the Blue Devils on the board was Mascari, assisted by Gabe Locklear, followed by Brody DiNuzzo shorthanded, and again later, assisted by Mascari, in the contest to give West Haven a 3-0 lead. The Blue Devils hung on to win 4-2. Nicky Stevens found the back of the net for West Haven’s fourth goal.
Peewee AA returned home on Sunday to face the Ramapo Saints AA. The Blue Devils outscored Ramapo 14-2.
Stevens got the Devils started in the first when he put a rebound off the stick of Cooper Deko into the back of the net. Nick Eberhart, Salzano and Mascari each had a goal and an assist. Stevens finished with a goal and two assists. Deko and Thomas Porto each had two assists.
DiNuzzo finished with two goals and two assists, Locklear was outstanding with two goals and an assist, Beckett Stenz and Tim Donohue each had two goals, Drew Kaufman added a goal, and Zach Goetze tallied three assists. Jack Aloi had an assist and anchored the defense.
West Haven stands at 7-1 in EJ play, while looking ahead to this Saturday when the Westies begin CHC action against New Canaan. 
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team fell to 1-2-1 on the year as it dropped a pair of contests this weekend.
The Westies opened the week with a 6-1 loss to Darien AA Saturday morning in West Haven. Darien scored three times in the opening period and never looked back.

West Haven Bantam A goaltender Brendan Smith covers up against Darien, September 14, 2019. Photo courtesy Mike Madera.
West Haven’s lone goal came in the second period when Cam DelVecchio picked up a rebound of a Haygen Axelrod shot and scored with 3:36 gone by. Chris Adkins also assisted on the goal.
Darien added another goal in the second and two more in the third for the 6-1 final. West Haven fell to 1-1-1 with the loss.
The Westies then traveled to Wesleyan University and fell to Yale 05AA 7-0 Sunday evening. Yale took a 3-0 lead in the first period, before extending the margin with four more goals in the second.
Bryan Hong made 26 saves and Brendan Smith made five saves in the loss for the Westies.  
In the first four games of the 2019-2020 season, the West Haven Bantam B travel hockey team is 1-2-1. In West Haven’s first tilt on opening day, the Westies bested Hamden 7-0.
In his first game as a Blue Devil, goalie Austin Fruin posted a well-deserved shutout. Defensemen Youssef Ullah and Matt Wright led the scoring with three and two goals, respectively. Zack Fonda and Alex Kurowski also added goals for the Devils first home win.
On Sunday, at Bennett Rink, the Bantams faced a tougher opponent and tied the visiting Riverhawks. Both goaltenders kept shutouts going until late in the third period when the Westies gave up a goal with 4:36 left. A double minor put the Westies, who had been plagued with penalties all game, back on the penalty kill.
The Devils battled hard but not until Youssef Ullah saw a short-handed opportunity to go end to end to tie the game did the Devils break the shutout at the 1:41 mark. Despite a valiant effort with the goalie pulled in the final seconds of the game, West Haven was unable to pull out a win.
On Saturday, the Bantam B team traveled to Newington to play a tough Central A1 team who handed the Devils their first loss of the season.
Central got off to a quick start, building a 4-0 lead after the first period which saw Fruin go down with an injury, only to shake it off and keep battling.
The Westies regrouped for the second period and after battling hard, Alex Kurowski followed his shot on net and scored on his rebound. Central answered back quickly and the score remained 5-1 for the rest of the game.
On Sunday, the Bantam B’s faced off against Southeastern B. The Westies would take another defeat after a slow start, costly penalties and giving up two of four goals while on the power play.
After a tough weekend, West Haven will look to rebound next weekend with three games to play against East Haven, Yale and Stamford.