Westies fall to New Canaan in season opener


Westie Blue

(December 13, 2021) - Just 19 seconds into the contest, New Canaan’s Gavin Fitzpatrick skated around the West Haven defense and beat West Haven goaltender Javed Ullah for a quick 1-0 lead.
The Westies had trouble clearing the zone in the opening period and watched as New Canaan took a 2-0 lead when senior Nick Megdanis scored from in front 2:54 in for a 2-0 lead. Just 38 seconds later, it was 3-0 when Fitzpatrick scored his second of the game. When Bryce Lyden scored 1:25 later, New Canaan led by four.
The Westies came out a different team in the second period and had scoring chances, but could not bury the puck in the net.
Seniors Nico Bruneau and Ryan Bernardi had a two-on-one 32 seconds in, but could not get a shot off. Anthony Peschell shot wide one minute later, and Bruneau was denied with a pad save by New Canaan goaltender Beau Johnson on the power play 1:46 in.
The shots kept coming, but did not produce any results in the period. Jack Aloi’s point shot was turned aside, and Mike Alfano’s shot off a turnover in the slot was denied by Johnson with 7:04 remaining in the middle period.
West Haven had two more opportunities in the second period, but shot by Jayden Spreyer and Marcus Burrows were denied by Johnson in the final four minutes.
The Westies again had scoring opportunities in the third, but Johnson turned each away to complete the shutout.

The New Canaan goaltender denied Peschell with a blocker save 20 seconds in, made a glove save on Alfano from the slot 1:14 in, before denying Bruneau with 9:07 to go.

While Johnson was denying the Westies, Ullah turned up his game to finish with 23 saves. Ullah’s best work came later in the opening period when he denied a pair of New Canaan shots and the rebound.

Ullah gave his team a chance in the final two periods with more saves, but it was not enough in the loss.

WH falls in home Opener  
Xavier tops Westies 6-3
Westie Blue
(December 15, 2021)
 - The West Haven boys hockey team dropped its second straight contest to open the season with a 6-3 loss to Xavier in the home opener at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Wednesday evening.
Despite playing very well in the opening period and having numerous scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes, the Westies could not capitalize. West Haven had a 5-on-3 for 1 minute, 29 seconds, but failed to get a shot off in the sequence.
The best scoring opportunities for the Westies came early when Marcus Burrows was stopped in front 1:20 in, and Mike Alfano was denied from in front 5:06 into the contest.
When West Haven took a penalty to end the opening period, Xavier went to the power play. A late save by Javed Ullah, who made 11 in the opening period, kept the game scoreless at the intermission.
Xavier quickly took control of the game in the middle period, scoring four times in a span of 4:46 for a 4-0 lead.
Trailing by four goals, the Westies continued to fight, but a golden opportunity was missed when Ryan Bernardi found Burrows in front, but the sophomore could not connect. Nico Bruneau then shot wide on a 2-on-1 break, before the Westies received another golden opportunity.
Picking up a loose puck, Mike Madera attempted to break in on goal. Madera was taken down for a penalty, and when Xavier argued the goal, West Haven had a 5-on-3 for two minutes with 1:35 left in the middle period.
The Westies finally capitalized and scored their first goal of the year on the ensuing power play when Jayden Spreyer took a pass from Anthony Peschell and roofed a shot with 47.9 seconds left in the period to cut the deficit to 4-1.

West Haven had a chance to get within a pair of goals, but Bernardi was stuffed in front with 18 seconds remaining in the period.
West Haven pressured to start the third, but could not get closer. When the Falcons scored with 6:24 remaining and added another 3:17 later, the game was sealed.
Carfora added a tally with 2:14 remaining off assists from Yousaf Ullah and Bernardi, before freshman Brady Price scored with 1:22 remaining off an assist from Spreyer.

Javed Ullah finished with 39 saves in the loss.

Warde/Ludlowe blasts Westies  
WH falls to 0-3 with 10-2 loss
Westie Blue
(December 29, 2021)
 - Down a handful of players, the West Haven boys hockey team was in a tied contest halfway through Wednesday evening’s game against Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe. The game turned in an instant.
Scoring three goals in the final 3:05 of the second period and twice more in the first 43 seconds of the third, Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe topped the Westies 10-2 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
West Haven was outshot 35-14 in the game as the team fell to 0-3 on the year.
Trailing 1-0 to start the second, the Westies got on the board to even the game when Marcus Burrows jarred the puck loose and D.J. Carfora picked up the loose puck. Carfora crashed the net and used a backhander to even the contest at one just 1:15 into the period.
Carfora’s goal gave the Westies momentum, but they could not capitalize. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe scored its second power play goal of the game for a 2-1 advantage with 6:48 remaining in the period.
West Haven could not get the equalizer and the guests scored three times in the final 3:05, all within a span of 1:46 for a 5-1 lead after two periods. The Mustangs, who scored three times on the power play, put the game away with two goals in the opening minute of the third period for a 7-1 lead.
Trailing 9-1, Burrows got the Westies closer when he one-timed a pass from Brady Price for a goal with under five minutes remaining.

Javed Ullah made 25 saves in the loss for West Haven.

Late goal propels NDFF to 4-3 victory
Westie Blue
(January 5, 2022)
 - It was a game for the taking. Unfortunately for the West Haven boys hockey team, it was taken in an instant.
Patrick Dabrowski’s goal with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in regulation broke a tie and sent Notre Dame-Fairfield to a 4-3 victory over West Haven at the Rinks in Shelton Wednesday evening.
“I saw a lot of positives in the game,” West Haven coach Steve Harris said after his team fell to 0-4. “We were good on the power play. We had good puck movement. We had a couple of breakdowns which led to goals, but I thought our forecheck was very good. We need to build on this.”
Dabrowski’s goal spoiled what was West Haven’s best effort in the initial four games of the season, twice rallying from one-goal deficits. Sophomore goaltender Javed Ullah (25 saves) came up big throughout, including a pair of big saves in front, just seconds before the eventual game-winner.
Despite the Lancers taking an early 1-0 lead, the Westies battled and took a 2-1 advantage with two goals in a span of 47 seconds early in the first.
West Haven evened the game at one with a power play goal 4:32 in as D.J. Carfora sent a perfect pass in front where Mike Alfano deposited the equalizer.
Less than a minute later, the Westies had the lead with another beautiful set up as Nico Bruneau found Ryan Bernardi in front and Bernardi put the Westies on top when he knocked in a rebound with 9:41 left in the opening period.
The lead lasted less than two minutes as the Lancers scored off a rebound in front to send the contest to the break even at two.
The Westies had several opportunities early to take the lead early in the second, but could not get the go-ahead goal.
Alfano was denied on a shot and rebound 1:30 in, Carfora was turned aside 4:27 in, and Bernardi was also turned away with 7:04 remaining in the middle period.
Trailing 3-2, West Haven carried all the momentum into the third period, scoring the equalizer with five seconds to go in the second period.
Anthony Peschell circled from behind the net, and when no one picked him up, his shot from in front evened the contest at three.

West Haven again had its opportunities in the third, but could not cash in. The Westies best opportunity came with 2:21 remaining as a shot by Joe D’Aurio was turned aside as was the rebound attempt by Alfano.

Hamden tops Westies  
West Haven falls 6-3
Westie Blue
(January 8, 2022)
 - A game after falling to Notre Dame-Fairfield in the final two minutes, the West Haven boys hockey team was looking to pick up its first win of the season. The initial win will have to wait.
Behind a 3-goal third period, Hamden defeated West Haven 6-3 at Lou Astorino Rink in Hamden Saturday afternoon. With the loss, West Haven fell to 0-5 on the year.
Trailing 1-0 in the opening period as Hamden scored less than four minutes in off a faceoff, the Westies evened the game 47 seconds later with a goal by D.J. Carfora. Assists on the goal went to Anthony Peschell and Jack Aloi.
Hamden took a 2-1 lead to the break with a shorthanded goal with 3:56 remaining in the opening period, but the Westies evened the contest when Nico Bruneau scored off a one-timer in front just 15 seconds into the middle period.
Bruneau’s goal, assisted by Carfora and Peschell, evened the contest, but held for just 36 seconds as Hamden took the lead for good.
The Westies had opportunities to even the contest, but Bruneau’s shot and rebound were turned aside with 9:56 remaining in the second, and a shot in front by Marcus Burrows was denied with 5:23 to go.
Hamden scored off a West Haven turnover 2:13 into the third, before a goal by Jayden Spreyer got West Haven within 4-3 with 10:46 to go.

That was as close as the Westies got as Hamden scored twice in the final 8:37 for a 6-3 lead.

Westies fall to Fairfield  
Valiant effort falls short
Westie Blue
(January 10, 2022)
 - After playing Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe to a tight contest for the first 25 minutes the first time around, before being defeated, the West Haven boys hockey team was looking to finish the job. Playing in another close contest, West Haven watched as Fairfield pulled away late in a 6-2 victory over the Westies at the Wonderland of Ice Monday evening.
The Westies had ample opportunities to get on the board first in the contest, but a breakaway by Nico Bruneau 3:20 in rang off the post, and a two-on-one with Bruneau and D.J. Carfora resulted in a stop of Carfora 30 seconds later.
The Westies were forced to kill eight penalties on the night and the Mustangs capitalized with three power play goals. Including the first of the game with 8:46 left in the opening period.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, West Haven cut the deficit in half when Michael Madera raced to a loose puck and sent it to Brady Price. Price found Thomas Porto along the boards and his odd-angled shot trickled in to get West Haven within 2-1 with 7:16 left in the middle period.
Fairfield added its second power play goal 2:58 later to increase the lead to 3-1, before West Haven put the pressure on to start the third.
Carfora was denied in front 40 seconds in, Yousaf Ullah’s point shot and the rebound by Jayden Spreyer were denied less than a minute later, and Ryan Bernardi’s shot in front was turned aside 2:20 in.
Killing off its fifth penalty of the game, West Haven got within 3-2 when Bruneau blocked a shot and scored on a breakaway with 10:36 remaining.
The Westies never got closer as Fairfield made it 4-2 with 9:13 remaining. West Haven had chances to get closer, but Bernardi and Mike Alfano were denied, before Madera’s shot and rebound in close were both turned away a short time later.

Javed Ullah played well in goal, keeping the Westies in the contest throughout, until the Mustangs scored twice in a span of eight seconds to ice the game later in the third.

First of the Season  
Javed Ullah shuts out EH 4-0
Westie Blue
(January 12, 2022)
 - It may have taken seven games, but the West Haven boys hockey team is finally in the win column. Behind a bruising forecheck, a stifling defense, and the 18-save shutout performance from Javed Ullah, West Haven defeated East Haven 4-0 at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven Wednesday evening.
“It was about the amount of shots we blocked and the amount of shots we took,” West Haven coach Steve Harris said after his team improved to 1-6 on the year. “Our shots in the first period (17) were almost as much as we have had in some games.”
Ullah was the difference in the game as two nights after stopping 50 shots in a loss to Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe, the sophomore turned aside 18 shots for his first career shutout and victory.
“The guys blocked a lot of shots in front of me,” Ullah said. “The defense played great tonight. They were blocking shots for me and they were able to clear the puck. This feels amazing. Hopefully, it gets us started.”
Seniors Ryan Bernardi and D.J. Carfora accounted for a pair of goals with Carfora setting up Bernardi for a pair of goals.
“First, I would like to thank the coaching staff,” Bernardi said. “They take the hits for us when we lose. It  was nice to show up today and get the win. It feels great. Hopefully, we can use the momentum.”
The Westies took a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 51 seconds into the contest when Thomas Porto’s shot was denied, but the rebound when to a streaking Mike Madera, who put a one-timer in the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
West Haven continued the pressure in the opening period as Carfora was turned aside by East Haven goaltender Ethan Roach with a pad save, before Nico Bruneau shot high on a breakaway with 7:15 left in the opening period.
After holding a 17-5 shot advantage in the first period, the Westies came out flying again in the second. After a pair of opportunities by Bernardi and Madera failed to capitalize in front, Carfora broke in on Roach with Roach making the save. Bernardi picked up the rebound and put the puck in the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with 8:10 left in the middle period.
“We wanted to put the puck on net,” Harris said. “We knew they were a good team. We knew we needed to play a good game to beat them.”
Jayden Spreyer also had a golden scoring opportunity, but his shot in front with 3:45 left in the middle period was turned away.
The Westies created some separation in the third period, and it was Bernardi again as he took a pass from Carfora and beat Roach for a 3-0 lead with 46 seconds gone by.
“It is nice to see Ryan get the two goals,” Harris said of Bernardi. “It was nice to see him step up in a big game. He used his speed and was able to help control the game.”

Anthony Peschell’s point shot gave West Haven a 4-0 lead, with assists going to Porto and Joe D’Aurio with 10:06 to go.

Tough Loss   
Ridgefield scores late in 3-2 win over Westies
Westie Blue
(January 17, 2022)
 - The West Haven hockey team was just over three minutes from going to overtime against Ridgefield. Just 13 seconds after scoring the equalizer, West Haven watched as the Tigers scored the go-ahead goal to defeat the Westies 3-2 at Winter Garden Ice Arena in Ridgefield Monday afternoon.
Ryan Bernardi led the West Haven offense with two goals, while D.J. Carfora had a pair of assists. Javed Ullah made 29 saves in the loss.
Trailing 2-1, Carfora set up Bernardi in the slot and the senior roofed a shot under the crossbar for the equalizer with 3:30 remaining.
The tie lasted less than 30 seconds as Ridgefield’s Luke Pereira scored his second of the game for a 3-2 Ridgefield advantage.
West Haven had one final chance to even the game on the power play in the final two minutes. Pulling Ullah for a two-man advantage, West Haven pressured, but could not find the back of the net.
West Haven had its share of opportunities in the game, but could not cash in. Carfora was denied on a breakaway in the opening period, and Nico Bruneau was stopped in front.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, Carfora set up Bernardi, who had his first shot denied, but put in the rebound to get the Westies within a goal.

West Haven had a chance to even the game with 1:15 left in the middle period, but a shot by Mike Alfano and the rebound by Carfora were turned aside.

Not Enough   
Prep pulls away in third for 7-2 win over WH
Westie Blue
(January 19, 2022)
 - For 31 minutes, the West Haven boys hockey team hung with one of the best teams in the state. It was the next 2 minutes, 30 seconds which did the Westies in.
Scoring three times in a span of 2:30, starting just 1:12 into the third period with a power play goal, Fairfield Prep topped West Haven 7-2 at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport Wednesday evening. With the loss, West Haven fell to 1-8 on the year.
Leading 3-2, the Jesuits went to the power play just 52 seconds into the third and capitalized when Tiernan Curley scored from in front. The Jesuits added another 2:23 later and a third in the period just seven seconds after to pull away. Prep added a short-handed goal with 1:02 remaining to seal the win.
The Westies came out flying in the contest, setting the tone early as Anthony Peschell was stopped from the point, D.J. Carfora had his sharp-angled shot turned aside, and Jayden Spreyer was denied in front.
After a scoreless first period, Mike Alfano gave West Haven a 1-0 lead with a breakaway goal 1:29 into the second period off assists from Javed Ullah and Yousaf Ullah.
That lead lasted just 1:34 as Prep scored to even the contest, then took the lead with 6:57 to go in the middle period. West Haven evened the game when Ryan Bernardi scored from the slot with 4:47 left in the second.

That lead again was short-lived as the Jesuits scored with 1:19 remaining in the middle period to take a lead they never relinquished.

BOYS HOCKEY 2021-2022

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; Tyler Paine '16; Pete Richetelli '17; Brendan Serenson '17; Alex Lynch '17; Niko Kyle '18; Rob Forleo '20

Javed Ullah and West Haven fell to New Canaan 4-0 in the season opener, December 13, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Anthony Peschell  and West Haven fell to New Canaan 4-0 in the season opener, December 13, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Nico Bruneau (88) against Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe December 29, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Joe D'Aurio (16) against Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe December 29, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Mike Alfano celebrates his goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, January 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Tyler Bernardi celebrates his goal against Notre Dame-Fairfield, January 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.