Connecticut D1 quarters: Glastonbury, Greenwich, Darien, Xavier advance

Michael Fornabaio
Michael Fornabaio
Michael writes for Hockey Night in Boston, covers the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the Connecticut Post, and once covered the Beast of New Haven. He grew up at the New Haven Coliseum. Story, blog links @BSTSoundinOff

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– After Glastonbury caught a break, Tyler MacLean’s double-overtime goal gave the Tomahawks a 3-2 win over Notre Dame-Fairfield, sending them into the CIAC Division I semifinals.

Notre Dame led twice, taking a 2-1 lead on Tyler Henchcliffe’s goal with 3:46 left, but Adam Yeager tied it seconds later. The Lancers put home a loose puck in the crease for an apparent game-winner early in double overtime, but a whistle had blown.

K.C. Cunningham Greenwich
K.C. Cunningham
Justin Blanchette Fairfield Prep
Justin Blanchette
Fairfield Prep

– The Tomahawks move on to face top-seeded Greenwich, who beat defending champion Fairfield Prep 5-2. The Cardinals took a 4-0 lead with three goals in the second period, including K.C. Cunningham’s second goal and a beauty by Brian Silard as he fell forward.

The Jesuits got two back in the second, Jack McGowen on a long shot and Justin Blanchette on a deflection, but Bryan Archino made big saves for the Cardinals in the third. Greenwich reached its first semifinal since 2002, which was 10 years after its last state title. Glastonbury is seeking its first championship in Division I; it won two in Division II and has reached the Division I final twice.

– In the other half of the bracket, Darien sweated out a 3-1 win over Ridgefield, one of the only two teams to beat the Blue Wave this year. Jake Kirby finished his hat trick into an empty net with 24.6 seconds left. Kirby gave Darien a 2-1 lead midway through the third, finishing off a scramble for the puck after Patrick Sheehan-Delany made a beautiful point-blank blocker save on Brendan Cassidy. Kirby opened the scoring 9:25 into the second period on a breakaway off a lead pass by linemate Craig Miller, but the Tigers’ Alex Fugazy tied it on a rebound 2:06 later.

– Darien will meet Xavier in the semis after the Falcons beat Hamden 10-3. The Falcons scored six goals in the third — the last of them Dave Piekut’s fourth — to earn their first trip to the Division I semifinals, a spot that Hamden had denied them in 2006 and 2009.

* * *

Someone’s long unbeaten streak will end in the semifinals: Darien is 16-0-1 in the past 17, while Xavier is 11-0-3 in 14. If Darien emerges, it’ll set up just the fifth all-public-school Division I final since Fairfield Prep moved up to the division in 1978, and the first since Hamden beat Glastonbury in 2009.

If Darien emerges, also, it’ll send the Blue Wave to their fifth final since their last championship in 1969; they were runners-up last year, falling in overtime. Xavier, on the other hand, could complete a curious set: It’s the only program currently in Division I that has never reached a state final in any division. East Catholic, Northwest Catholic, South Windsor and Ridgefield have only made it in lower divisions.

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