GREENWICH — Northwest Catholic forced the Greenwich High School boys ice hockey team to work overtime on Monday, scoring two straight third-period goals. Yet Alex Mozian made sure the Cardinals didn’t have to put in too much extra time.
Mozian, who entered Monday’s matchup with several game-winning goals to his ledger, ended another tight game, much to the delight of the Cardinals.
The senior forward’s goal 13 seconds into overtime gave Greenwich a hard-fought 4-3 win over Northwest Catholic in a non-conference game at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
The victory was the fifth straight for the 14-2 Cardinals, who conclude their regular season with four consecutive games against FCIAC opponents.
On the game-winner, junior defenseman Isaac Cadigan’s shot bounced off the pads of Lions junior goalie Mike Kaliff and the puck found the stick of Mozian, who finished off the play with a goal off the rebound. This all happened after Greenwich won the face-off to start the overtime session.
“We are happy we came out on top and despite missing five key players, we showed we can push through,” Mozian said. “Because of injuries, we were missing a little bit of chemistry and then once the second and third periods began, things started to click.”
Injuries have decimated the Cards on the blue line, as defensemen Connor Santry, Nic Pelletier-Martinelli and Dylan Madden are currently sidelined, but expected to return for the postseason.
Junior forward Matt Davey sparked the Cardinals offensively, registering two goals and one assist.
“We were down a few men in this game, so it took a lot of hustle and a lot of younger kids to step up and they did well,” Davey said. “The other team fought really hard too.”
STRONG SECOND PERIOD
The Lions seized a 1-0 lead with 6:25 left to play in the first period. Sophomore forward Luke Gfeller gathered the puck off the boards and converted a snap shot from close in, giving the visitors a one-goal edge. Sophomore Brennan Horn, who centered the Lions’ top line, assisted on the tally.
Outshot, 10-9, during the opening period, Greenwich held a 13-4 shots-on-goal advantage in the second. On a power play, the Cardinals evened the score when Davey beat Northwest Catholic starting goalie John Lewis to his stick side with a shot from the right face-off circle at the 12:02 mark of the second period.
With 10:10 left in the second period, Davey struck again, this time putting a blistering shot from the high slot past Lewis, making it 2-1. Kaliff replaced Lewis in goal following the Cards’ second tally and the home team extended its lead with 7:34 remaining in the second period.
Senior forward Oliver Fulton went top shelf with a wrist shot just below the blue line, putting Greenwich on top, 3-1. Sophomore forward Nikita Kovalev assisted on all three goals for the Cardinals.
“The second period gave the guys a confidence boost, we really got the momentum going,” Davey said.
Said GHS coach Chris Rurak: “I never got nervous. We were playing extremely well and with the firepower we have up top, it’s just a matter of time before we score. It was just a matter of sticking to our game plan.”
Drew Hungerford, a senior defenseman, brought the Lions to within 3-2, going top shelf off a feed from behind from sophomore forward Nate Loitz at the 10:01 mark of the third period. He tied the game with 3:52 in the final period, finishing a 2-on-1 off a nice pass from Horn.
Northwest Catholic, which has lost four of its last five games, has a record of 7-8-1.
SOLID IN GOAL
Sophomore Ben Nash turned in another stellar effort between the pipes for the Cards, making 21 saves. The Lions’ two goalies combined to stop 31 shots.
“I am really happy about our record, especially now with the injuries,” Davey said. “The younger kids and captains are stepping up, which is keeping the team going. We just need to work on our forecheck and transition game.”
GREENWICH 4, NORTHWEST CATHOLIC 3
NORTHWEST CATHOLIC 1 0 2 0 — 3
GREENWICH 0 3 0 1 — 4
Goals: NC — Drew Hungerford 2, Luke Gfeller; G — Matt Davey 2, Oliver Fulton, Alex Mozian; Assists: NC — Brennan Horn 2, Nate Loitz; G — Nikita Kovalev 3, Sean Pratley, Davey 2, Isaac Cadigan; Goalie: NC — John Lewis (15 saves), Mike Kaliff (16 saves)
Records: Greenwich 14-2; Northwest Catholic 7-8-1