WEST HAVEN -- To the end Friday, Zak Bouve had the big save for Notre Dame-Fairfield.
And to the end, his teammates kept Notre Dame-West Haven away from a second chance, preserving the Lancers' 5-2 win in the SCC/SWC Division I boys hockey championship.
Bouve made 24 saves, including one diving across the crease to stop Eric Austin on a late Green Knights' power play, and was named MVP at Bennett Rink.
"Everybody always helps out," Bouve said. "Forwards, defense, goalies, everybody's doing their part."
The Lancers (16-4-1) scored the last four goals after the Green Knights (13-6-1) took a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Ryan Gawricki tied it on a power-play scramble. On the rush 14 seconds later, Christian LaCroix buried the rebound of A.J. Lucatino's shot.
"Coach likes to preach going to the net," LaCroix said, pointing over to coach Steve Hetherman. "I was just doing my job, listening to this guy."
Aside from Garrett Gintoli's two goals -- one from the left-circle faceoff dot, the other an empty-netter -- the Lancers' goals came from right around the net (Nick Carloto finished a scramble in the third period).
It was the difference, Green Knights coach Tim Belcher thought.
"We definitely had chances. We had plenty," Belcher said. "We didn't put the dirty ones away in front. They did. We didn't."
They had some brilliant chances in the first, stretching out the Lancers' defense, though their shots edge was only 11-10.
"It's good to get a couple of shots early in the game," Bouve said. "You're not standing there cold. We kept it close when the game went back and forth in the first period."
The teams traded goals early in the second, the Green Knights twice taking a lead. Matt Dumas came up the right wing to score after Jimmy Davins' first pass sprang the rush; after Gintoli's first goal, Davins scored from the right point off Austin's faceoff win.
A holding penalty not two minutes later led to Gawricki's goal. LaCroix scored the winning goal with 6:01 left in the period. Read Full Article
"We had a couple of defensive lapses," Belcher said. "We were doing a good job limiting their chances. ... I told the guys, if we're giving up those shots from outside, we can't give up those second and third.
"I give them credit. They did what they had to do to win."
Wade Conlan made 34 saves for the Green Knights.
This was the first year the SCC and SWC competed for a combined conference tournament (the Lancers are the only SWC Division I team at the moment), and only the second year the SCC resumed a Division I playoff after a long layoff.
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ND-WEST HAVEN 0 2 0--2
ND-FAIRFIELD 0 3 2--5
Records: ND-West Haven 13-6-1; ND-Fairfield 16-4-1. Goals: NDWH--Matt Dumas, Jimmy Davins; NDF--Garrett Gintoli 2, Ryan Gawricki, Christian LaCroix, Nick Carloto. Assists: NDWH--Joe Ansaldo, Eric Austin; NDF--Jonny Suporn 2, Cooper Demchak, Craig Hessenius, A.J. Lucatino, Danny Walsh, Seamus O'Rourke. Goalies: NDWH--Wade Conlan (34 saves); NDF--Zak Bouve (24); Shots: NDWH--26; NDF--39.