Connecticut Boys Division 3 Tournament – First Round Recap: Enfield Pulls Out OT Stunner; Top Seeds E.O. Smith/Tolland, Newington Advance

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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Just when it looked like #6 seed Masuk was on its way to a Connecticut Division 3 first-round victory Monday, Josh Tyler stole the show.

Tyler scored the tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, then capped his hat trick in overtime as the #11 Enfield co-op stunned Masuk, 6-5, at The Rinks at Shelton.

Enfield trailed throughout as the Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals from Jack Cirillo, Austin Braiewa and Alex May. Colin Tavernier finally got the Eagles on the board 4:59 into the second and Tyler followed with his first, but AJ Michetti responded to push Masuk’s lead back to 4-2 after two.

A Declan Higgins tally pulled Enfield within one again, and Drew Scalia countered for the Panthers. It stayed that way until Jack Jones started the Eagles’ final surge with 2:52 to go, making it 5-4 and setting the stage for Tyler’s fantastic finish.

E.O. Smith/Tolland 7, Housatonic 2

Cam Sterling netted a hat trick for the #1 Bucks, who scored four times in the first period and cruised past the #16 seed Mountaineers at UConn’s Freitas Ice Forum.

Sterling opened the scoring at 2:12, then followed a Cole Mollica goal for the Mountaineers with the go-ahead tally 1:27 later. Sterling also set up Quentin Wry’s tally, and Cole Schoen added another – the last two coming in the final minute to make it 4-1 after one.

The Bucks’ Kaleb Van Horn and Housatonic’s Steve LaVigne (goal, assist) traded scores in the second. Sterling capped his hat trick to make it 6-2 in the third, and Braiden George (goal, two assists) closed the scoring. Wry also had a pair of assists and Schoen an assist.

Dan Polgun made 13 saves as the Bucks had a 34-15 advantage in shots. Landon Good made 27 stops for the Mountaineers.

Newington 5, Rocky Hill 2

Harrison Ranger and Evan Oliver scored second-period goals to give the #2 Nor’easters the lead for good and they held off the #15 Terriers at Newington Ice Arena.

Andrew Stribling added a big insurance goal in the third for Newington, as Jacob Nelson brought Rocky Hill within 4-2 with 6:37 left. Newington finally put it away on Evan Howard’s power play blast from the right point with a little more than two minutes to go.

Josh Grimm (Newington) and Tyler Poulin (Rocky Hill) traded goals in the first period.

JBWA 8, Shepaug Valley 0

Niko Tournas netted a hat trick and Duncan Craine scored a pair of goals as #3 JBWA cruised past the #14 Spartans at Danbury Ice Arena.

Tournas and Craine each netted goals along with Tommy Kane and Spencer Thomas as JBWA jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one. Tournas wrapped up his hat trick to push it to 6-0 after two, and goals from John Samuell and Shane Bardin finished the scoring in the third.

Connor Thomas earned his seventh shutout of the season as JBWA had a 47-12 advantage in shots. Dylan Staunton and Stephen Theall had two assists apiece, with Samuell, Craine and Bardin each adding one.

BBD 5, Newtown/New Fairfield 2

TJ Miller netted two of his three goals in the third period as the #4 Icecats broke out with four in the final 15 minutes to put away the #13 Nighthawks at Brewster Ice Rink in New York.

Kevin Dykes and Liam Gelfand added third-period goals for BBD, which picked up its first CIAC tournament win in nine years.

New Milford 5, Hall 1

Nick Solomon scored a pair of goals and the #5 Green Wave were in control throughout against the #12 Warriors at the Canterbury School.

Alexander Sweeney and Solomon both scored in the first on assists from Ryan Parker, and Solomon later added his second on the first of two assists from Theo Dietter. Graham Mitchell and Trevor Sweet rounded out the scoring.

Ben Epes

Staples 4, SGWL 3

Nikos Ninios scored a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner at 5:58 of the third period that gave the #10 Wreckers the victory over the #7 Wildcats at Enfield Twin Rinks.

Ninios converted a feed from Ben Epes to make it a 4-1 game, and the insurance goal certainly was needed for Staples when SGWL stormed back with goals from Ben Wosko and Dylan Gadzik just 1:12 apart, making it a 4-3 game with 1:53 to go. But Aaron Kail (31 saves) and the Wreckers held on from there.

Ninios got the scoring started 5:14 into the game and Epes doubled it just 49 seconds later. Austin Renggli responded for SGWL, but Tyler DiMaio added another to give the Wreckers a 3-1 lead after one.

Conard 4, Tri-Town 1

John Wenz took advantage of a weird bounce off the end boards to open the scoring 55 seconds into the second period and send #9 Conard on its way to the win over the #8 Terrorcats at Enfield Twin Rinks.

Brian Fehl made it 2-0 on a clean break-in with 8:46 left in the period, and it stayed that way until 4:46 to go, when Nolan Trent snapped one home in front for Conard on the power play.

Jack Neves finally got Tri-Town on the board with 2:27 left, but Aiden Emery sealed the win with his empty-netter with 39 seconds to play.

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