BRIDGEPORT -- For the second straight game against an in-state opponent, Fairfield Prep hockey coach Matt Sather was dissatisfied with his team's first-period performance.
Yet again, they responded.
Trailing by one after 15 minutes on Wednesday, the Jesuits netted seven unanswered goals over the final two periods to throttle SCC foe West Haven 8-2 at Wonderland of Ice.
"They (Prep players) started to move the puck a little better, started to win some races, I thought, offensively," Sather said. "We got a couple good breaks that they capitalized on."
Dean Lockery's second goal of game evened it 2-2 just 1:33 into the second period and Matt Wikman put the Jesuits ahead close to four minutes later as part of a four-goal second period. In overcoming their second straight one-goal deficit against a Connecticut team, the second-ranked Jesuits improved to 6-2-1.
"That's two in-state games in a row where we just weren't ready to play come first period. The other team was better than us," said Sather, whose team also rallied from 2-1 down after one last Thursday to beat Notre Dame-Fairfield, 5-2.
Six different players scored for the Jesuits, led by two goals apiece from linemates Lockery and Wikman. The other forward to complete the Jesuits' top line, Kenneth Kochiss, notched one goal and four assists.
Altogether, the three seniors accounted for 13 points in a dismantling of the Blue Devils (5-3), the state's fifth-ranked team.
"Playing together three years, (there's) a lot of chemistry," Kochiss said. "We don't even have to look anymore. We just know where we're going to be."
Ahead 5-2 early in the third thanks to Wikman's late second-period tally, the Jesuits capitalized on a double-minor with goals from Justin Blanchette and Kochiss. Ryan Deering capped the scoring with 1:53 remaining as the Jesuits finished with a commanding 40-22 edge in shots.
"We stopped moving our feet," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We can't rely on our skill. We have to rely on our ability to compete and keep moving and keep working hard. We got away from that a little bit, they took it to us."
Prep led 1-0 just 4:20 in on Lockery's power-play goal -- one of three by the Jesuits' special teams -- but West Haven responded. Goals by Wyatt Condon at 6:31 and Peter Lynn at 13:26 of the first gave the Blue Devils a 2-1 advantage.
Seemingly caught off-guard, the Jesuits locked down defensively in front of senior Matt Beck, who made 20 saves in net.
"When we first got out there, we just weren't ready," Kochiss said. "They surprised us a little bit with some close shots that just snuck in on Beck. He was screened. Read Full Article
"Coach talked to us, got us a little motivated. We just went out there and played Prep hockey."
On this night, "Prep hockey" was a third straight win.
WEST HAVEN 2 0 0 -- 2
FAIRFIELD PREP 1 4 3 -- 8
Records: West Haven 5-3; Fairfield Prep 6-2-1. Goals: WH -- Wyatt Condon, Peter Lynn; FP -- Matt Wikman 2, Dean Lockery 2, Brandon Powell, Kenneth Kochiss, Ryan Deering, Justin Blanchette. Assists: WH -- Jaeson Puleo, Alex Scranton, Matt Kelly; FP -- Kochiss 4, Wikman 2, Lockery 2, Bill Overby 2, Burke Smith, Jack Hoey, Michael Ventricelli, John Quinn, Blanchette, Deering. Goalies: WH -- Michael Savino (25 saves), Joseph Bepko (7); FP -- Matt Beck (20). Shots: WH -- 22; FP -- 40.