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Connecticut HS Boys Hockey – Conference Tournaments: New Canaan, Greenwich Win OT Thrillers; Norwalk-McMahon, Newtown/New Fairfield Advance

New Canaan and Greenwich both had to work extra hard to pull upsets of higher-seeded teams in Thursday night’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division 1 semifinals.

Jack Johnson banged home a centering feed from Boden Gammill, and fourth-seeded New Canaan stunned No. 1 seed Darien, 2-1. Gammill tucked the puck toward the end boards away from a pair of Blue Wave defenders, then slipped a pass back to the front of the net, where Johnson quickly snapped it home at 6:17 of the extra session.

The Rams trailed heading into the stretch before Jack Eccleston notched the tying goal with 6:25 left in regulation. Beau Johnson played a strong game in the New Canaan net after giving up a goal to Darien’s Teddy Dyer on the power play at the 12:20 mark of the first period.

Meanwhile, No. 3 Greenwich continued its late-season run with a 3-2 win over second-seeded Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe. Liam Mathews had the game-winner just 44 seconds into overtime for the Cardinals, who twice had one-goal leads in regulation only to see the Mustangs battle back.

Jack Hutchins gave Greenwich a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game, but Rhys Davies brought FWL back with a second-period power play tally. It stayed that way until Wes Zolin gave Greenwich a 2-1 lead with 5:11 left in regulation, but the Mustangs soon got a power play opportunity and Davies again converted to tie the game and force overtime.

Saturday, March 27 — Division 1 Championship

  • No. 3 Greenwich vs. No. 4 New Canaan (Dorothy Hamill, TBA)

FCIAC DIVISION 2/3

Second-seeded Staples put up a valiant fight with only six skaters available, but No. 3 Norwalk-McMahon overcame an early two-goal deficit and pulled away for a 6-3 victory. Finn Cullen notched his 100th career point as part of a two-goal performance to spark the comeback for NorMac.

Cullen’s second goal snapped a 3-3 tie in the third, then Will Coale and Michael Widmer put it away. But before that, NorMac had to fend off the Wreckers, who took a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes on power play goals from Owen Sherman and Andrew Gebicki. NorMac surged ahead, 3-2, after two as Nat Gibson scored twice sandwiched around Cullen’s first goal, but Zach Schwartz and the Wreckers kept fighting and tied it early in the third.

Saturday, March 27 — Division 2 Championship

  • No. 1 Westhill-Stamford vs. No. 3 Norwalk-McMahon (Milford, 5:30 p.m.)

SCC/SWC DIVISION 3

Edward Faircloth’s goal with 10:20 left was the difference for No. 3 Newtown/New Fairfield in its 3-2 win over second-seeded Milford in a semifinal matchup.

Cam Gouveia and Giovanni Cucco added goals for the Nighthawks. Milford had tied the game, 2-2, early in the third period as captain Kyle Kosh buried a carom off the end boards on the power play. Chad Stryker gave the Mariners an early 1-0 lead before Newtown/New Fairfield responded.

Saturday, March 27 — Championship

  • No. 1 BBD vs. No. 3 Newtown/New Fairfield (Bennett, 1 p.m.)

CCC SOUTH

Friday, March 26 — Championship

  • No. 3 Newington vs. No. 4 Tri-Town (Newington, 8:30 p.m.)

CCC NORTH

Friday, March 26 — Championship

  • No. 1 Northwest Catholic vs. No. 3 Simsbury (ISCC, 8:20 p.m.)

SCC/SWC DIVISION 2

Saturday, March 27 — Championship

  • No. 3 North Haven vs. No. 5 Cheshire (Bennett, 4 p.m.)

SCC/SWC DIVISION 1

According to a report by GametimeCT, the championship game between No. 1 Fairfield Prep and No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven was canceled because of COVID protocols. The Jesuits and Green Knights will be declared co-champs, the report said.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark

Jim Clark has covered Massachusetts high school hockey for three decades, and joins Hockey Night in Boston for the 2019-20 season. Previously he was the lead high school hockey writer for 19 years for the Boston Herald, where he also worked full-time on the copy desk in the sports department and served as the paper's 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 and reporter for the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, Mass.
Jim Clark
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