All of the higher seeds advanced out of the first day of the CIAC Division 1 boys’ hockey tournament, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any intrigue or drama among the six games.
Chris Hamilton scored the winning goal with 5.4 seconds left and #8 seed Ridgefield survived a tough battle with #9 Simsbury for a 2-1 victory at Ridgefield Winter Garden.
Evan Pereira scored the tying goal for the Tigers with 2:20 left in the second period after Jack Becconsall gave the Trojans the lead at 3:10 of the middle frame.
Ridgefield advances to the quarterfinals against top seed Notre Dame-West Haven, which earned one of the two byes in the 14-team Division 1 bracket.
Northwest Catholic 3, Notre Dame-Fairfield 1
The #3 Lions scored a pair of goals late in the second period, overcoming a huge 51-save performance from NDF goalie Colby LaSalle to take the win over the #14 Lancers at the International Skating Center.
Ethan Porter scored the go-ahead goal with a tap-in at the left post with 2:18 left as all three goals came in the middle period. But Robert Lachance got perhaps the biggest tally when he snapped one home to make it 3-1 with just 4.4 ticks on the clock.
ND-Fairfield led 1-0 after one on a Kevin Barrett goal in the final minute. Finn Boyd tied it for the Lions at 2:37 of the second when his shot from the right point snuck through a crowd of bodies in front.
New Canaan 5, St. Joseph 3
Nick Megdanis had two goals and an assist, and Carter Spain scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:30 to play to propel the #4 Rams past the #13 Cadets at Darien Ice House.
The Rams trailed until Megdanis netted his second goal of the game with 4:24 to go to tie it at 3. After Spain’s winner, Doster Crowell added an empty-net goal with 9 seconds left to seal the win for New Canaan.
Crowell also finished with two goals for New Canaan. MJ Torre, Andrew Tata and Johnny Karafa had the goals for the Cadets.
Fairfield Prep 4, West Haven 3
James Murphy scored with 26.6 left and the #5 Jesuits survived the upset attempt from the #12 Blue Devils at Wonderland of Ice.
Fairfield Prep seemed safely in command with a 3-0 lead in the second period on goals from Tiernan Curley, Lucas Carfi and Luke Noonan before West Haven surged back. Ryan Bernardi netted a pair of goals in a 48-second span to slice it to 3-2 after two, and Mike Alfano tied it for the Blue Devils with 8:13 to play.
Hamden 8, Immaculate 5
The #7 Green Dragons continued their late-season surge, getting a hat trick from Kellen Sargolini as well as five points from Jesse Fracasso to eliminate the #10 Mustangs at Louis Astorino Arena.
Ryan Shane, Bode Becker and Anthony Malonis added goals for Hamden, which led 5-1 after one period but had to hold on after Immaculate closed it to 6-5 in the third.
Jovanni Smeriglio and Malcolm Thompson had a pair of goals for the Mustangs, and Drew Butera added the other.
Darien 3, Greenwich 0
Chris Schofield made 19 saves to back the #6 Blue Wave in their shutout of the #11 Cardinals at Darien Ice House.
It was scoreless deep into the second period before Arthur Devillers finally broke the ice. Billy Branca then added a pair of goals in the third to clinch the win for the Blue Wave.
Cole Studwell made 17 saves for Greenwich.
Woodstock Academy 5, Trumbull 2
Don Sousa and Maxx Corradi had two goals and an assist apiece as the #10 Centaurs continued their late-season roll by knocking off the #7 Eagles at The Rinks at Shelton.
Woodstock used a three-goal second period to break open a 1-1 game and take control. Troy Daviau added a goal and Dante Sousa made 35 saves for the Centaurs.