– Branford trailed early, but Tyler Criscuolo had two goals and an assist to lead the Hornets to the CIAC Division II semifinals with a 3-2 win over Fairfield. The Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Zach Weinstein and Jake Fuss. Criscuolo went end-to-end to score his first in the second period, then scored on a breakaway early in the third. Criscuolo’s shot hit a post, hit goalie Mike Grace and then hit Cooper Bunton and went in. Grace made 32 saves, and A.J. Brink made 24.
– The third-seeded Hornets will meet second-seeded Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks for a second time. Colin MacDougald scored the game-winner as the Wildcats beat New Milford 4-3. Jake King had two goals for Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks, and Dan Bahl also scored. The Wildcats beat Branford 4-1 in the regular season.
– The other semifinal’s a first-time matchup this year: top-seeded Conard vs. fourth-seeded North Branford. The Chieftains had to come from behind but beat Cheshire 4-2. Mark Ehnot’s power-play goal gave Conard a 3-2 lead, its first advantage. Jordon Fongamie put it away with an empty-netter.
– North Branford had the easiest time of it in the quarterfinals, beating Newington/Berlin/Manchester 3-0. Brian McKee, Dominic Raccio and Alec Martone scored for the Thunderbirds.
That meant the top four seeds in the Division II tournament all reached the semifinals for the first time since 2011. No. 2 Cheshire won that year. The top four seeds in Division I all made the semifinals last year. The only interloper so far: Shepaug/Litchfield/Nonnewaug, the No. 12 seed in Division III.