The Greenwich High School hockey team seemed to have momentum on their side when they cut Notre Dame-West Haven's lead to 2-1 late in the second period of Saturday's game at Dorothy Hammill Rink. The referees were not in a particularly giving holiday mood, though, with 14 penalties being calledseven for each team. While Notre Dame took full advantage of power plays, Greenwich could not, as the Green Knights pulled away in the third period to top the Cardinals, 5-1.
"They came out and took it to us early. They capitalized on their chances and we didn't," Greenwich captain Alex Liebers said. "It really came down to that. We had a little pushback, which is good to see, but we need to work on our penalty kill. But we never gave up in this game."
Greenwich fell behind 2-0 in the first period and had a difficult time getting a consistent offensive attack against the Green Knights. It took a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the second period to finally help the Cardinals to get on the board. Right winger Eric Macken jammed a backhand into the net, assisted on a well-constructed play by Marc DeLuca.
The goal only briefly eased frustrations on a hair-pulling kind of day for Greenwich. The momentum quickly evaporated when Callum Lawson was called for an ill-advised blow-to-the-head penalty, which the Notre Dame bench argued should have been grounds for ejection. Lawson received the minimum two-minute penalty instead, but the Green Knights capitalized and scored a backbreaking third goal with 3:26 to play. With the air let out of Greenwich's balloon, Notre Dame added two more goals in the third period.
"Games early in the year like this are all learning experiences," Greenwich head coach Bob Russel said. "You just have to take this an build on it. It's not fun, but it's better to have this game now than the last game of the season."
Greenwich, now 0-1-1 on the season, will open their FCIAC slate on Thursday against New Canaan, looking for their first victory of the season.
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