Connecticut Highlights: Seven Conference Tournament Champions are crowned

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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Harrison Chuma

Nicky Cullinan’s rebound goal with 3:19 to play broke a tie, and two late goals finished off Ridgefield’s 5-2 win over New Canaan in the final. Sean Keegans, with 29 saves, was named MVP. New Canaan tied the game twice in the third period on goals by Chase Glover and Tyler Hill, but the Tigers answered quickly both times, on Harrison Chuma’s power-play goal and Cullinan’s, on a rebound of a Will Forrest shot. Joe Signorelli, Matteo van Wees and Jeff Pracella (empty net) also scored for Ridgefield. Ridgefield made the final with a win over Westhill/Stamford, which had scored three late goals to beat St. Joseph in the play-in round. New Canaan pounded Greenwich in the semis after Greenwich beat Fairfield in overtime.


Hamden came from behind to defeat Notre Dame-West Haven 4-2 in the championship game. Mike Bencivengo gave Notre Dame a 2-1 lead in the third period, but Mike Gethings tied it, Zach Owens gave the Green Dragons a lead, and an empty-netter finished it off. Hamden goalie Steven Turner was the game’s MVP.

Anthony Ceolin
Northwest Catholic

CCC North

Anthony Ceolin got Northwest Catholic off to a fast start, then finished off a 5-3 win over Simsbury with an empty-netter. The Lions built a 3-0 lead before Simsbury chipped away, cutting it to 3-2 and then, after a Ryan Sherba short-handed goal late in the second, 4-3 in the third. Simsbury reached the final on David Zalozhin’s overtime goal in the semis to beat Glastonbury 2-1. Northwest hung on to beat East Catholic 3-1.


John Delucia’s second goal, in the first minute of overtime, gave Guilford a 3-2 win over East Haven. Jack Ring gave Guilford a 2-1 lead, but East Haven tied it on Joe Aloi’s goal late in regulation. Joe Lorello opened the scoring for East Haven. Guilford knocked off New Fairfield/Immaculate 2-1 in the semifinals; East Haven shut out Watertown/Pomperaug 3-0 a day later, needing an extra day to complete its regular season because of several postponements.

CCC South

Farmington Valley scored four in a row after giving up the first two goals, and the Generals rode the see-saw from there to beat E.O. Smith/Tolland 7-4. Tim Arena scored the goals that tied it at 2 and gave the Generals the 3-2 lead; he finished his hat trick with the last goal of the game. Sam Buchanan scored two goals for the Generals. Owen Stacey had a goal and two assists for the Bucks; David Apgar had three assists, and Evan Valenti scored twice. Farmington beat Hall/Southington 4-2 in the semifinals, and E.O. Smith/Tolland bested WMRP 3-1.


In the morning, it became official: Newtown was out of the CIAC tournament because it accumulated too many majors and misconducts. All that was left for the Nighthawks was the SCC final, and it almost lost that one, too; Lyman Hall/HK/Coginchaug’s Kyle Roberts scored in the last minute and nearly scored again. But Newtown won the tie breaking shootout to take the conference title. Ryan Murphy made 41 saves in victory. The Nighthawks got to the final with a 2-1 win over rival Masuk, while the Trojans got there with a win over BBD on Matt Pettit’s overtime goal.

Nathan DeLuca


Nathan DeLuca’s hat trick helped Woodstock Academy build a lead, and the Centaurs held on to beat Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks 6-5 for the Nutmeg Hockey Conference title. DeLuca’s first goal broke a 2-2 deadlock just before the first-period buzzer, and the Wildcats never caught up despite Jake Bourdeau’s four goals. Gunner Moore, Patrick Delaney and Ryan Black also scored for Woodstock; Brendan Looney had one for Sufffield. Suffield reached the final with a 10-1 win over Housatonic/Northwestern in the only semifinal.

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