West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy's Maya Boyhen (8) and Julianna Picard (16) celebrates a goal against Guilford, December 14, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hannah Davey with a save against Stamford/Westhill December 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Juliana Gonzalez against Stamford/Westhill December 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Meghan Dupre (19) against Hand/Coginchaug/Valley/Old Lyme, December 29, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
WH/SHA celebrates a goal against Hand/Coginchaug/Valley/Old Lyme, December 29, 2021. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Anne Plunkett (43) against Hamden, January 2, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Julianna Montano (44) against Hamden, January 2, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
GIRLS HOCKEY 2021-2022
All-State Players - Gabi Prisco '15; Gabi Prisco '16; Gabi Prisco '17; Veronica Lynn '17; Veronica Lynn '18; Taylor Nowak '18; Veronica Lynn '19; Taylor Nowak '19; Mackenzie Gardner '21; Grace Nowak '21
Westie Sharks open with overtime victory
By MIKE MADERA
(December 8, 2021) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team opened the season in dramatic fashion Wednesday evening. Behind freshman Julianna Picard’s overtime tally, the Westie Sharks topped Hand/Coginchaug/Valley/Old Lyme 3-2 at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
Picard’s tally with 7 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the extra session came off an assist from Maya Boyhen and capped a comeback which saw Caitlin Welch score the equalizer with 4:32 remaining in regulation off assists from Anne Plunkett and Rachel Harrison.
After a scoreless first period, the Westie Sharks took a 1-0 lead with 7:42 remaining in the middle period when Julianna Montano scored off an assist from Ashley Welch.
Hand/Coginchaug/Valley/Old Lyme scored twice in a span of 1:12 early in the third, before the Westie Sharks rallied.
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy’s rally combined with the goaltending of senior Grace Nowak, who made 17 saves, helped the Westie Sharks open the season with a win.
Guilford nips WH/SHA
Westie Sharks fall 3-2 against Grizzlies
By MIKE MADERA
(December 14, 2021) - The West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team fell to 1-1 with a 3-2 loss against Guilford in the team’s home opener Tuesday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Senior Grace Nowak was stellar in goal with 33 saves, but it was not enough as the Grizzlies scored twice early in the third period to rally for the victory. Nowak played well, making 12 saves in the opening period, 10 in the second, and 11 in the third.
Trailing 1-0 in the first period, the Westie Sharks evened the contest when Maya Boyhen scored off assists from Anne Plunkett and Julianna Picard with 1 minute, 43 seconds remaining in the opening period.
West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Picard picked up a rebound of a Boyhen shot and slid the puck into an empty net for a 2-1 lead 4:30 into the middle period.
That was it for the Westie Sharks as Guilford scored twice in the first 2:29 of the third period to take a 3-2 lead it never relinquished.
The Westie Sharks had 26 shots on goal, but Guilford goaltender Julia McDonald was at her best, making 10 saves in the second period alone.
Back on Track
Westie Sharks top Masuk
By MIKE MADERA
(December 18, 2021) - The West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 4-1 victory over Masuk/Barlow/Newtown Saturday evening in Shelton.
Grace Nowak was stellar in goal with 17 saves as the Westie Sharks improved to 2-1 on the season. Maya Boyhen led the offense with three goals and an assist, while Meghan Dupre had a goal and an assist in the win.
The Westie Sharks took a 1-0 lead 4:20 into the contest when Boyhen scored an unassisted goal. The lead increased to 2-0 in the second when Meghan Dupre scored off an assist from Anne Plunkett at the 2:55 mark.
When Boyhen scored her second of the game 51 seconds into the third period, the Westie Sharks led 3-0.
Leading 3-1, Boyhen clinched the contest with 6:23 to go when she recorded the hat trick off assists from Dupre and Taylor Alfano.
Westie Sharks fall to Stamford/Westhill/Staples
By MIKE MADERA
(December 27, 2021) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team fell to 2-2 with a 3-0 loss against Stamford/Westhill/Staples Monday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
While the Westie Sharks struggled offensively, Hannah Davey was harp in net, turning aside 29 shots.
SWS took a 1-0 lead in the first period, before Davey kept the deficit at one goal with nine saves in the period. Davey turned aside 10 shots in each of the final two periods, but SWS scored twice in the second for a 3-0 advantage.
With the Westie Sharks missing seven players from the lineup, the deficit was too large to overcome in the second loss of the season.
Davey blanks Hand
Westie Sharks post 2-0 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(December 29, 2021) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team improved to 3-2 with a 2-0 victory over Hand/Coginchaug/Valley/Old Lyme Wednesday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
Hannah Davey posted the shutout with 13 saves, Ashley Welch had two assists and the Westie Sharks used a solid defense to pick up their third win of the year.
After a scoreless first period, the Westie Sharks scored the only goal they would need when Mae Iversen picked up a rebound of a Welch shot and slid the puck into an open net with 8:01 remaining in the middle period.
The goal opened the contest up and Julianna Picard looked as if she would increase the lead, but the freshman was denied on a breakaway just over a minute later.
Davey made Iversen’s goal stand up with two big saves in front in the final six minutes of the middle period.
Welch was turned aside in front just over a minute into the third, and Caitlin Welch was denied in front five minutes in.
With Davey turning aside six saves in the third period, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy got an insurance goal when Ashley Welch fed Meghan Dupre, who backhanded a rebound into an empty net for a 2-0 lead with 6:05 to go in the game.
All that was left was Davey’s shutout which she preserved when she denied a Hand breakaway with 4:36 remaining.
Westie Sharks top Hamden 3-2
By MIKE MADERA
(January 4, 2022) - The West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team won its second straight contest and third in four games with a dramatic 3-2 overtime victory over Hamden Tuesday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Sophomore Geena Montano scored the winner off assists from Juliana Gonzalez and Caitlin Welch to move the Westie Sharks to 4-2 on the year.
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, the Westie Sharks got the equalizer on a goal by Meghan Dupre at the 4:09 mark.
West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy took a 1-0 lead when freshman Rachel Harrison scored an unassisted goal at the 1:10 mark of the opening period.
Grace Nowak finished with 24 saves in the win.
WH/SHA falls to Simsbury
Westie Sharks drop 4-2 decision
By MIKE MADERA
(January 8, 2022) - The West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team saw its two-game winning streak come to a halt with a 4-2 loss at Simsbury Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Westie Sharks fell to 4-3 on the year.
After a scoreless first period, West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy took a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Ashley Welch gave the Westie Sharks a 1-0 advantage off an assist from Melissa Tsakonas 1:20 into the middle period, and Caitlin Welch scored an unassisted goal 3:19 later for a 2-0 lead.
Simsbury evened the contest with two goals in a span of 4:57 in the final 9:10 of the second period, before taking the lead for good with 1:23 left in the third.
WH/SHA tops Amity/NH/Cheshire
Westie Sharks roll to 7-2 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(January 10, 2022) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team got back on the winning track with a 7-2 victory over Amity/North Haven/Cheshire Monday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
Maya Boyhen led the offense with three goals and three assists, Taylor Alfano had three assists, and Melissa Tsakonas and Julianna Picard each had a goal and an assist as nine players were in the scoring column.
The Westie Sharks scored the first five goals of the game and led 3-0 after one period and 4-0 after two. The two teams combined for five goals in the third period of West Haven’s fifth victory of the season.
The Westie Sharks wasted no time setting the tone of the game as Tsakonas scored just 1:36 into the contest off assists from Rachel Harrison and Geena Montano. Maya Boyhen increased the margin to 2-0 with the first of her three goals off assists from Juliana Gonzalez and Julianna Picard, before Picard closed the first period scoring off assists from Boyhen and Alfano with 1:28 remaining in the period.
Anne Plunkett scored the only goal of the middle period off assists from Boyhen and Alfano for a 4-0 advantage, before Ashley Welch increased the margin to five 2:48 into the third off assists from Tsakonas and Boyhen.
Leading 5-2, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy put the game away when Boyhen scored twice in a span of 2:50, the first coming off an assist from Alfano and the second with 2:08 remaining in the contest.
Grace Nowak made 11 saves in the first two periods, before being replaced by Hannah Davey, who finished with 12 saves.
Two in a Row
Westie Sharks nip Masuk 2-1
By MIKE MADERA
(January 11, 2022) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team won its second straight contest and improved to 6-3 with a 2-1 victory over Masuk Tuesday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
The Westie Sharks rode the strong play in goal by Grace Nowak to the victory. Nowak finished with 19 saves, including eight in the final period.
West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Ashley Welch scored off an assist from Geena Montano. Freshman Julianna Picard increased the lead to 2-0 in the second period off assists from Maya Boyhen and Taylor Alfano, before the defense and Nowak did the rest.
Masuk was held to just 11 combined shots in the first two periods.
Westie Sharks fall to East Catholic 1-0
By MIKE MADERA
(January 14, 2022) - The West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team was looking to stretch its winning streak to three games. Traveling to Newington, the Westie Sharks ran into a tough East Catholic team.
Behind Mary McKiernan’s first period goal, East Catholic topped the Westie Sharks 1-0 Friday evening. With the loss, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy fell to 6-4 on the year.
Grace Nowak kept the Westie Sharks in the game with 37 saves as West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy was outshot 38-15. Nowak made 14 saves in the opening period when the Westie Sharks were outshot 15-7 and was most impressive in the third period when East Catholic held a 17-3 shot advantage.
Westie Sharks fall to Darien 6-0
By MIKE MADERA
(January 18, 2022) - Heading into Tuesday evening’s contest against West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy, the Darien girls hockey team was outscoring its opponents by a five to one margin, winning five of its first six state games.
When all was said and done Tuesday, the ratio and the end result continued.
Behind four goals from junior Chelsea Donovan, Darien cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Westie Sharks at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.
“Overall, I am happy with the effort,” Darien coach Jamie Tropsa said after his team improved to 6-1 in state and 7-1 overall. “That is a good team over there. They compete and they made us work for everything.”
After a scoreless first period in which each team had eight shots and the Westie Sharks had a pair of golden opportunities they did not convert, Darien got on the scoreboard early in the second and never looked back.
With West Haven/ Sacred Heart Academy goaltender Grace Nowak keeping her team in the game with 10 second period saves, several in impressive fashion, the Blue Wave finally solved Nowak when Carolyn Clark’s shot from the point found the back of the net just 2 minutes, 50 seconds into the middle period.
“I thought the first period was a little sloppy by both teams,” Tropsa said. “I was disappointed with our play. I thought we calmed down and played better in the second period.”
Darien continued the pressure in the middle period, holding a 12-2 shot advantage. Donovan then gave her team a 2-0 lead when she scored on a rocket in front with 4:16 remaining for a 2-0 lead.
The two goals would be more than enough for Darien goaltender Claire Haupt, who finished with 18 saves in the shutout.
West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy’s best chances to score came in the opening period when Julianna Picard set up Anne Plunkett in front, only to be denied by Haupt 1:09 in. The Westie Sharks then had a two-on-one in which Taylor Alfano fed Picard, but Haupt turned aside the freshman with a pad save.
“We struggle to put the puck in the net,” West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy coach Erin Blake said after her team fell to 6-5 with its second straight shutout loss. “Grace (Nowak) was amazing in goal. She held us in the game as long as she could. We have to be able to finish and put the puck in the net.”
With the Westie Sharks struggling to score, Darien pressed early in the final period and was rewarded when Donovan circled in front of the net and roofed a shot past Nowak 1:04 into the third for a 3-0 lead.
“I thought we started to have better puck movement,” Donovan said. “We came out slow after the long bus ride, but once we started moving the puck better in the second period, we were able to connect.”
Donovan had a hand in Darien’s fourth goal as well as she picked up an assist along with Kate Brown on Natalie Beach’s goal for a 4-0 lead 3:09 in.
With the game in hand, the only remaining questions were whether Haupt would get the shutout and if Donovan would get her hat trick.
Donovan answered her part, scoring 11 seconds after Beach for a 5-0 lead, and adding a fourth tally with five minutes remaining. Haupt made eight third period saves to complete the shutout and send the Blue Wave to another victory.
“We were really connecting with each other, each line and the defense,” Donovan said. “We moved the puck well and took advantage of the opportunities we had.
“We have the potential to be very good. We are working really hard and it is starting to pay off in games. We have a couple of big games coming up. We need to keep working hard.”Clark finished with one goal and two assists, Kate Brown had two assists, and Beach finished with a goal and an assist for Darien.
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