Connecticut Boys Division 2 Tournament – First Round Recap: Daniel Hand Wins Last-Minute Stunner; Watertown-Pomperaug Also Rallies Late

Jim Clark
Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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Eighth-seeded Daniel Hand was less than a minute away from having its season end, but somehow managed to score twice in the last 30 seconds to stun No. 9 seed Westhill-Stamford, 4-3 in a CIAC Division 2 first-round game Monday night at Northford Ice Pavilion.

With Hand down 3-2, Jeff Pinover scored off a deflection with 25.9 seconds left to tie the game and set up what looked to be an inevitable overtime. Until the Tigers struck again, with J.J. Barber scoring on a turnaround shot with 5.3 seconds left for the shocking finish.

The dramatic finish also featured a potential tying goal by Pinover that was overturned, just moments after Jordan Grabine had given Westhill-Stamford the 3-2 lead. It was all part of a wild third period that featured five goals in all. Tanner Ball scored his second of the game with 5:07 left to put W-S ahead 2-1, but Spiro Maniatis pulled the Tigers even with 3:35 to go.

After a scoreless first period, Ball and Daniel Hand’s Charlie Wira traded goals in the second.

Watertown-Pomperaug 3, South Windsor 2

Shane Repetto scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:14 to play as #11 W-P struck three times in a span of less than five minutes, erasing a two-goal deficit and stunning the #6 Bobcats at South Windsor Arena.

Repetto camped on the doorstep and banged home a one-timer off a feed from Anthony-Joseph DelCarmine, who circled from the left corner toward the back of the net before slipping the puck to the front.

With W-P down 2-0, DelCarmine also jump-started the rally with a nice move down the slot, his rebound buried by Matthew Christina on a scramble with 7:03 left. Christina then tied it 1:29 later, firing the puck home from a tight angle at the bottom of the right circle.

Zach Morison (first period) and David Morison had the goals for South Windsor.

North Haven 6, Eastern Connecticut 1

William Sullivan scored a pair of goals in the first period and the top-seeded Nighthawks jumped out early and never looked back in topping the #16 Eagles at Northford Ice Pavilion.

Alex Petersen made it 3-0 early in the second and also had a pair of assists on the night. Brian Jooss pushed it to 4-0 before Chase Williams got the Eagles on the board late in the second.

But goals from Ben Gilbert and Owen Quick in the third wrapped things up for the Nighthawks.

Lyman Hall 10, Guilford 4

Jack Roberts had a huge game with four goals and three assists, and the #2 Trojans pulled away from the #15 Grizzlies at Northford Ice Pavilion. Dylan Gay started the scoring just 19 seconds into the game and finished with a goal and two assists. Zach Pettit, Liam Brooky, Austin Zhuo, TJ Reddington and Ryan Arduini added goals for Lyman Hall.

Will Petrick, Michael Torre, Gabe Mongelli and Jacob Corso had the goals for Guilford.

Wethersfield 7, North Branford 4

Jack Millen finished with a hat trick and the #3 Eagles erased a two-goal deficit late in the first period and pulled away from the #14 Thunderbirds at Newington Ice Arena.

Jay Socha scored the first of his two goals in the final minute of the first to get Wethersfield on the board after North Branford had jumped to a 2-0 lead. Shane Mazur and Socha again made it 3-2 in the second, and after North Branford struck quickly to tie it, Millen responded just as quickly for a 4-3 Eagles lead.

Millen added two more in the third, including a shorthanded tally, and Nate Odell finished it with an empty netter.

Sheehan 4, East Catholic 2

Max Festa scored a pair of goals, which were the difference for the #4 Titans in their win over the #13 Eagles at Choate’s Remsen Arena.

Cole Usseglio
East Catholic

Festa’s tallies gave Sheehan a 2-0 lead early in the second period and Matthew Carboni pushed it to 3-0. The teams traded goals in the final minute of the second – a power play tally from Kevin Kolodziejcyk for East Catholic, followed by Andry Guy for the Titans.

Cole Usseglio scored for the Eagles with 5:30 to go, but the comeback ended there.

Farmington Valley 4, East Haven 1

Danny Pauling had a strong game in goal for the #5 Generals, who stopped the #12 Yellowjackets at Avon Old Farms’ Jennings Rink.

Following a scoreless first period, Owen Wahl and Tyler Stoneman connected to give Farmington Valley the lead. Jack Diocchio added a big goal just 17 seconds into the third. It stayed that way until Griffin McGlinchey scored from the slot off a faceoff for East Haven with just 27.6 seconds left, but the Generals iced it on Luke Watson’s empty netter with 21 seconds to go.

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