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Wednesday, January 17 Sports

Darien hockey hands Greenwich first loss

DARIEN—The Darien boys hockey team may have come in to its game against unbeaten Greenwich with just two wins and six losses but nobody thought the matchup on the ice would be as lopsided as the teams’ records indicated.

The Blue Wave came out firing against their rivals, scoring the game’s first two goals and then getting the game-winner from Hunter Hazelton with 4:00 remaining in the third, handing Greenwich (5-1-0, 1-1-0) its first loss, 3-2.

While the game was loaded with intensity and hard hitting, it was the patience of the Blue Wave that made the difference at key moments.

“That was the key for us, we had poise with the puck tonight and that was a big thing,” Darien coach Mac Budd said. “In terms of our breakouts, poise in terms of making it tape-to-tape rather than rimming it, there was a couple passes in the neutral zone where we held the puck for a second them we moved the puck. That along with good offensive decision making was the difference tonight.”

Darien (3-6-0, 2-0-0) wasted no time scoring with James Gregory firing a shot from the point into the net with 10:05 left in the first.

The Blue Wave then added a power play goal by Hudson Pokorny with 3:22 remaining in the period after a roughing penalty on Greenwich.

Greenwich would answer with two quick goals in the second period.

Charles Graves cut the lead in half on a 5-hole goal with 6:05 left and less than two minutes later, William Baugher tied it on a backhander in front of the net.

“Anytime you have Greenwich and Darien you can throw the records out because it is going to be a good game no matter what because everyone is going to bring everything they have,” Greenwich coach Chris Rurak said. “Tonight, was a little more physical than the first time we played, a little more emotional with the big crowd.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Hunter Hazelton, Darien. Hazelton passed up a slap shot, instead faking it, getting the defenders to dive then skating in and putting home the game winner in the upper left corner.

QUOTABLE

“I don’t always have my poise but I had my poise on that shot,” Hazelton said. “In the timeout, (Budd) told me to take a little fake step and they would all dive and I had that opening top left. I normally take that slap shot but he told me to fake and I got lucky, I guess.”

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports

DARIEN 3, GREENWICH 2

GREENWICH 0 2 0—2

DARIEN 2 0 1—3

Goals: G-- Charles Graves, William Baugher; D-- James Gregory, Hudson Pokorny, Hunter Hazelton

Goalies: G—Ben Nash 14 saves; D—Henri Pfeifle 15 saves

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