Just when things were starting to turn around for the Greenwich High School boys ice hockey team, it hit a pothole. Greenwich was already shorthanded against Wilton on Monday when the Cardinals lost one of their leading scorers in Ryan Corrigan to a leg injury midway through the first period. Forced to make outside shots by a stingy Wilton defense, the Cardinals were beaten, 3-2, by the Warriors for the first time since 2006.
"Wilton played a really smart game today. They did all the things you're supposed to do to win a game," Greenwich head coach Bob Russel said. "Sometimes you need that one guy to step up and make a play, and we just didn't have that today."
For most of the first period, it appeared Greenwich would overcome its absences, staking out a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior forward Gibby McHugh. Wilton ratcheted up its defense in the second, effectively sealing off the front of the net.
Wilton took advantage of Greenwich's Achilles' heel, the penalty kill, and Matt Kobyra tied the game at one on a power play. Four minutes later, Dillon Pastorello got his stick on the puck in a scuffle in front of the net to give Wilton a 2-1 lead. After Robert Cullinan padded Wilton's lead to 3-1, Greenwich was sapped of its energy.
William Waesche snuck in a goal with 25 seconds to play to make the final ticks of the clock interesting. Greenwich had a 6-on-4 advantage thanks to a power play and pulling its goalie in the last nine seconds. The Cardinals got off two clean shots on net, but both were stopped cold.
"We were skating uphill in the third, and things break down when you do that," Russel said. "They were bound to beat us if we played them enough times."
Greenwich falls to 2-5-1 on the year and 1-1 in FCIAC play. The Cardinals hope for a positive diagnosis on Corrigan's leg and the return of the Macken brothers when they take on New Canaan this Saturday.
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