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Connecticut HS Boys Hockey: New Canaan’s Jack Johnson, Westhill-Stamford’s Jordan Grabine Net Hat Tricks As Six Conference Champions Crowned

There were no state tournaments this winter in Connecticut boys hockey as a result of the pandemic, but the usual conference champions were crowned in seven leagues. Six championship games were played over the weekend, while Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven were declared co-winners in the SCC/SWC Division 1 after COVID protocols forced the cancellation of the final game.

Here is a look at the championship game action:

FCIAC DIVISION 1

Jack Johnson scored all three goals and fourth-seeded New Canaan took home the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division 1 championship, holding off No. 3 seed Greenwich, 3-1.

Johnson’s second goal was not only the game-winner, but a huge momentum-turner for the Rams. New Canaan had a 1-0 lead after one period as Johnson scored on a power play, but Peter Lewis’ power-play strike 2:19 into the second period pulled the Cardinals even.

However, it took Johnson just 24 seconds to give the Rams the lead again. Then he scored again with two seconds left in the period to cap the hat trick.

Luc Lampert had a pair of assists for the Rams, and Beau Johnson finished with 33 saves. Charlie Zolin had 25 stops for the Cardinals.

FCIAC DIVISION 2-3

Jordan Grabine’s hat trick was more than enough for top-seeded Westhill-Stamford to roll past No. 3 Norwalk-McMahon, 6-1.

Grabine had the only goal of the first period, then followed an early power play strike from James Leydon with his second goal for a 3-0 lead. Tommy Waterbury pushed it to 4-0 before Will Coale finally got NorMac on the board to end the second period.

Westhill-Stamford didn’t let up in the third, as Tucker Healy got on the scoresheet before Grabine’s third goal capped the championship win.

SCC/SWC DIVISION 2

Andrew Sacco made 20 saves and third-seeded North Haven ended No. 5 Cheshire’s late-season run, blanking the Rams, 3-0.

It was a scoreless game entering the second period until Aaron Racino scored 3:04 in on an assist from Jake Hines. The two then combined to set up Justin Pniewski to give the Indians a 2-0 lead after two.

Finally it was Hines’ turn from Racino to ice the win in the third. Amaan Chaudry made 20 saves for Cheshire, which had won five straight to reach the title game after an 0-5 start.

Louis Alfidi
BBD

SCC/SWC DIVISION 3

Kyle Boller had a had in all of BBD’s scoring with two goals and a pair of assists, and the top-seeded IceCats skated away with a 4-1 victory over No. 3 Newtown/New Fairfield. Anthony Britton also scored twice and had an assist in the win.

With the game tied 1-1 after one period, Boller scored his second goal of the game 3:26 into the middle period to put BBD on top for good. He then set up Britton’s first goal with 21.1 seconds left in the period for a 3-1 advantage.

Britton capped the scoring from Boller early in the third. It was Boller’s on the receiving end of a Britton assist to open the scoring late in the first before James Celentano pulled the Nighthawks even with 23.2 seconds left in the first.

Louie Alfidi backboned the IceCats with 32 saves, while Markus Paltauf had 27 saves for Newtown/New Fairfield.

CCC SOUTH

Sam Hedlund and Kilian Ranger scored a pair of goals apiece, and Andrew Fogarty needed to make only 11 saves to backbone No. 3 Newington to a 5-0 win over No. 4 Tri-Town.

Hedlund also had a pair of assists and Ranger one for the Indians, who also got a goal from Joey Petronio. Newington, which was coming off a five-overtime thriller against Wethersfield in the semifinals, wasted no time with goals from Petronio and Ranger in the first five minutes. Fogarty and the defense locked down the Terrorcats from there.

Jack McDermott
Northwest Catholic

CCC NORTH

Jack McDermott had a hat trick, scoring twice during a three-goal flurry in 1:47 in the second period that broke the game open and led No. 1 Northwest Catholic to a 7-3 victory over third-seeded Simsbury.

Bobby Lachance also had a pair of goals for the Lions, with Connor Melanson and Cory Alissi scoring the others.

Things looked good for Simsbury when Aaron Livingston scored just 12 seconds into the game. Melanson and Lachance responded quickly for a 2-1 lead before Reid Bulger tied it again for the Trojans at 8:30 of the first. Even though Cory Alissi gave Northwest Catholic a 3-2 lead after one, it still was anyone’s game entering the second period.

But McDermott got his first on a power play at 5:22, Lachance followed at 6:47, and McDermott added another at 7:09. Just like that, it was 6-2 Lions after two.

McDermott capped his hat trick with 11:58 to play. Even though Ryan McCormick answered 24 seconds later, the uphill battle was too much for Simsbury.

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
- 22 mins ago
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