Division I hockey: Notre Dame-Fairfield routs East Haven to reach semifinals

NEW HAVEN >> It was the last quarterfinal game of the day, but it took the shortest amount of time to determine a winner. Scoring three times in a span of 1 minute, 7 seconds, the Lancers of Notre Dame-Fairfield punched their ticket to the CIAC Division I semifinals with a convincing 11-1 victory over East Haven at Ingalls Rink Saturday night.

Before the game was even 6 minutes old, the Lancers had jumped on East Haven for a 3-0 lead and for good measure added a fourth tally 55 seconds later.

With the victory, Notre Dame will play Darien a 5-0 winner over South Windsor, in Wednesday night’s semifinals at Ingalls Rink at 5:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. for the right to play in Saturday’s title game.

“We talked before the game about how do we simplify a game we make so complex,” Notre Dame coach Steve Hetherman said after his team improved to 18-4-1. “We do that with hard work. We wanted to keep it simple and we were able to do that.”

With a three-goal victory over East Haven earlier in the season, the Lancers knew what they would be up against and made sure the second meeting was not a contest.

Christian LaCroix scored the first of his four goals just 4:27 into the contest when he beat East Haven goaltender Tom DeLucia through traffic off a faceoff. Just 49 seconds later, Notre Dame led 2-0 as Jonny Suporn had a partial break and fought off the East Haven defense to backhand a shot past DeLucia.

Before the Notre Dame faithful could settle down, Garrett Gintoli scored the first of his two goals 18 seconds later. The roof really came off the Ingalls Rink when LaCroix scored his second of the period off an assist from A.J. Lucatino 55 seconds later for a 4-0 advantage.

“The first period killed us,” East Haven coach Lou Pane said after his team closed the season at 17-5. “That carried through the whole game.

“They have a great team. You have to give them credit. Their offense is so strong. All the credit goes to them.”
The Yellowjackets had 11 shots in the opening period, but eight came after the Lancers led by four goals, and Notre Dame goaltender Zach Bouve turned them all aside. Bouve finished the game with 25 saves against his former team.

“This is definitely a big win for us,” Bouve said. “It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week. The team just came out on fire. My guys did a great job.”

The Yellowjackets kept their pulse alive with a power-play goal 1:32 into the second when Matt Longobardi set up a one-timer by Mike Falanga to cut the deficit to 4-1.

East Haven never got closer.

The Lancers scored three more times in the middle period as Danny Walsh scored off a turnover 3:31 in, LaCroix scored from a sharp angle for his hat trick 2:33 later and Walsh scored his second with 3:24 left for a 7-1 lead after two periods.

“It felt good,” LaCroix said. “We knew we had to get off to a quick start and play a complete game. It all comes down to preparation.”

The onslaught continued in the third period when Justin Dupuis scored 2:11 in and Gintoli scored his second 12 seconds later. LaCroix helped cap the scoring with his fourth with 8:36 to go and Ryan Gawricki and Mark Russo set up Brendan Barger with 2:08 left on the power play for the 11-1 final.

Gawricki had three assists, Tyler Henchcliffe had two assists and Dupuis had a goal and an assist for the Lancers. DeLucia made 28 saves for East Haven.

EAST HAVEN 0 1 0 — 1
ND-FAIRFIELD 4 3 4 — 11

Goals: First period: NDFF-Christian LaCroix; NDFF-Jonathan Supporn; NDFF–Garrett Gintoli; NDFF–LaCroix. Second Period: EH–Michael Falanga; NDFF–Dan Walsh; NDFF–LacRoix; NDFF–Walsh. Third period: NDFF–Justin Dupuis; NDFF–Gintoli; NDFF–LaCroix; NDFF–Brendan Barger.
Assists: EH–Matthew Longobardi; NDFF– Ryan Gawricki 3, Tyler Henchcliffe 2, Nick Carloto, AJ Lucatino, Cooper Demchak, Mark Russo, Dupuis.
Saves: East Haven–Tom DeLucia 28; Notre Dame-Fairfield–Zak Bouve 25.
Shots: East Haven–26 Notre Dame-Fairfield–39.

Updates every minute – View full tournament


  1. Bob Manzella says

    And once again the school that recruits easily beats the school that must get its skaters from withing town limits. It’s time for the CIAC to put catholic schools in their own division.

    • kc says

      Amen. And before anyone begins with the tired response that private schools don’t recruit, I have the voicemails saved on my phone of these coaches calling to “recruit” my son.

      Also not fair that some of these privates schools, that are not members of the CIAC, have kids make All-Area and All-State teams, taking away spots from kids at CIAC schools.

      Just make a private schools divisions and give them their own trophies. Heck, if we already have 52 “State Champs” in football, what’s a few more?

  2. JB says

    I think the New Jersey model should be looked at. The private or prep schools are in their own division with the public in their own. Then have different classes according to student population. CT being smaller should have 3 State Champions , one private school, and 2 public, where one is a large group and one is a small group. Not sure where the cut off should be.

  3. Vincent says

    Please people you lost by 10 goals not 1 or 2 but 10 that’s not very good. You will cry every year that you get beat which is very often. Last I checked you did get beat by d3 teams and d2 what’s the excuse for that!!!!

    • Guru says

      I think your wrong here Vince, they lost to prep, ndwh, Xavier, Ndf 2, they had 5 loses, right???? What d2or d3 did they lose to??

  4. FYI says

    The coaching staff should be ashamed of themselves for keeping the first line on the charge until the very end. The game was over after the 6th goal. This was a disgrace to Catholic school athletics.They should have shown more class then that. Not to mention saving your top line for the next play off game.
    To comment on DT16 were you raised by wolves…

  5. Andrew says

    As a former player from the 07-08 EHVH team that went 19-3 while beating all the big teams besides prep,they beat us twice by one goal respectively ,I think it’s sad you say it couldn’t happen to a better town or team, you have zero clue the effort those boys put in. What a shame.

  6. CryMeARiver says

    For all the whining, how good would East Haven have been if they didn’t recruit a goalie this year or did they forget?

  7. DT16 says

    East Haven got exactly what they deserved with that joke of a schedule they played. As for my comment above, EH is by far the most classless whether it be their fans, coaches or players.

  8. Guru says

    Well I just wanna say, EH had a great year, but with that said the so called best line in the state, just can’t do it against top d1 teams.? But to their defense it is a shame how many kids run from east haven to goto prep, or catholic schools. It’s been going on for years. At least 3 kids this year from EH! Lockery Bouve, Lucatino, … Also this is not an even playing field. How does EH have to watch 1 of their goalies sit 10 games, but Bouve goes to NDF starts game 1??? Avena left NDWH cause his fathers job $$$ a real reason, Bouve left cause of other reasons! Same standards right?? I could go on for a while

  9. Ma says

    Why can’t the solution be play a private school division, catholic school division, and a co op division.? That way this argument ends. EH had a great year winning 17 games. Just had one bad night. Hope Darien wins it all for the public schools.

    • willie says

      for the catholic schools success begets success…. like immaculate conception. just joking. i have alot of respect for the catholic schools and the success they have in sports. they dont have to recruit actually because the programs’ success feed on themselves and are the calling card. if you are a 13 year old catholic kid who is good at hockey would you like to go to ndwh or say prep? yes you would. good teachers, good coaches, winning program, tradition.
      do you really want to throw all catholic schools into one catholic league or playoff class that would, by the way, span the state of connecticut because there are not that many catholic schools? just to ensure the public schools get their own trophy? isnt the competition between the catholic and public schools a good thing? for example, havent the catholic schools raised the quality of hs hockey in ct immensely in the last 20 yrs by playing out of state games? same seems to be happening in lacrosse.

      • Guru says

        No you’re wrong on that part, they weaken public schools, 1-2 times a year public schools might get a team to beat them, but never consistently like the other ways dominance. They do have that drawing power though

  10. JDP says

    Sounds like a great idea, let’s create a whole separate division, all because 3 teams are consistantly good. NW Catholic goes back and forth between D1 and D2 often. Xavier always seems to be hovering around .500 and has never made it to the semifinals if I am not mistaken. Then you have St. Joes, that was good in D3, then D2, and made it to the final in D1 until they graduated all of their good players, and had the worst point total in D1 this year.

    And breaking it out like NJ? You mean the state that has more than double the number of CT teams? Jersey can do it because they have 30 private schools. That is almost double than what CT has just in their top division.

    And who made the all-state team that was not a member of the CIAC? And if you were receiving phone calls recruiting your kid, maybe you should report that to the CIAC?

    Face it, CT is too small to break up into public and private. The good private schools play in D1. If you do not like it, then petition heavily for your team to play down in D2. But don’t play a predominantly D2 schedule just to make the state tournament, and then wonder why you get slammed.

    • Guru says

      They should do it like they do in youth hockey. CHC has tier 1 witch is mid Fairfield, and a couPle others, their state title is between them, you can be tier 2,3 and play tier 1 teams, but at the end you Play your tier in states

  11. Guru says

    To dt16, why EH get what they deserved?? They’re in D1 look at north haven Cheshire amity all dropped out?? Whose a real d1 team besides catholic schools who get kids from all over?? HAmden, WH, Darien, ridge field…. Are they real D1 teams?? Maybe on certain years they can compete look at ham no players no wins in d1

  12. says

    You people all make me sick who gives a crap one bad game and and everything’s got to change forget it ! EH had a great great year breaking all kind of records even our goalie broke a shut out record our 3 first line players scored over 200 pts for the season and We certainly got the most TV time this year
    On any given day or night any team can beat any team don’t forget EH beat WH last week and in the beginning of the year ND//FP was beaten by WH…so put that in your pipe and smoke it

    • DT16 says

      When you play more than half your games against D2 and D3 competition it is called padding your stats. By the way, try doing some research, West Haven did not beat Prep nor ND-WH this year.

      • Rd says

        Dt 16 Just as I thought you are a complete idiot do some research before opening YOUR mouth December 28 th WH played nd prep score WH 4 prep 2. I refuse to continue with people who don’t know what they’re talking about!

        • proud parent says

          Dt16 ND//FP stands for Notre Dame of Fairfield Preparatory school .
          I know its hard when you only have a second grade education…

        • PrepFan says

          Translation: On December 28, West Haven beat NDFairfield 4-2. On Jan. 15 Fairfield Prep beat WH 8-2 and NDWH beat WH 6-3.

          Also, referring to NDF as ND//FP is confusing since no one else uses that abbreviation. I mean, the school’s own website gives the correct name as Notre Dame Catholic High School, and Fairfield Prep (FP) is officially known as Fairfield College Preparatory School.

          • RD says

            to prep fan thanks for making that clear for me but dt16 knows what team and what game we were referring to Sorry if I confused anyone !

  13. gobballfan says

    I love EH people. They use kids from all over for their youth/travel teams and beat their chests of how good they are. And then when these kids get to HS, they all end up at private/catholic schools and the parents whine about that. EH youth dominates the area in baseball, basketball and football. HAve you checked the high school records of these teams. There’s a reason for that.

  14. Forgive thy neighbor says

    Dt16 deserving of what they get , classless , who the hell are you sounds like a very bitter person hope you didn’t get your education at one of those catholic schools!

    • DT16 says

      If I really cared about your opinion, I’d write a response. Fact is they got smoked and everyone is laughing at them because you look good when you play more than half your games against D2 and D3 competition.

  15. Vincent says

    Nobody from east haven should be crying your coach wanted D1 said D2 was no good. Now he is in D1 they want back in D2 why!!! Also don’t talk about kids within town limits because I could name at least 20 kids that skated for East Haven High School that didn’t live in town oh no that’s different !!!

    • Guru says

      As for the coach wanting d1, good for him, look at my previous post, Cheshire & amity 2 d2 state titles each nort h haven 1 all went d1 then dropped out to hard EH won d2 98?

  16. Vincent says

    RD says even though East Haven got beat they still got the most TV time that’s impressive really!!!!! maybe if they didn’t talk so much on social media about the other teams goalie and players they might have only put up 8 goals instead of 11 you got a good old fashion whooping stop the crying and deal with it!!!!!

  17. Rd says

    You bet it was impressive Vincent because those kids worked hard and got on TV through their hard work and made those points with talent not talk and eh stands tall with all they’ve accomplished this year regardless of one games outcome looks like you got the cry babies!,

  18. JDP says

    I think that maybe the best solution would be to look at the way Massachusetts does it, with their annual Super 8 (or Division 1A) tournament. The top teams are selected each season to participate in the tournament. The losing team of the 7v10 and 8v9 play-in games goes back to their respective division tournament. Why not have CT do something similar, but with 6 or 8 teams max instead of the 10 Mass does? That way you will most likely always have your FP’s, ND’s, and the top 2-4 public school teams in the state to compete for the top.

  19. Vincent says

    Guru read what I posted do u want me to start from 20 years back or let’s make it further back if you want oh no you wouldn’t want that would you!!!! Let’s not talk about this year you would be wrong about that too shhhhhhh !!!!!!

    • Guru says

      What does 20 years ago have to do with anything?? I’m stating teams that won d2 titles moved up but they cried and got moved down to d2, sometimes you take the bad with the good, amity is going for 3 in last 7-8 years, same goes for d3 Berlin mewing ton wins d3 & stays there and wins back to back?? Not saying its not fair but it’s not right

  20. Vincent says

    Guru just so you know posting a kids name on a post is not very mature it kinda speaks to someone’s character that’s the difference between me and you I wouldn’t and you did !!!

  21. Guru says

    Why is it immature, it’s a fact those kids are from EH, I know all of them, they all started in EH youth hockey, I didn’t slander them for leaving its just a quote,… So calm down

  22. DT16 says

    First off….it is ND_Ffld not ND//FP….it is also not Notre Dame of Fairfield Preparatory school…it is Notre Dame Catholic HS…..FP is for Fairfield Prep which refers to Fairfield College Preparatory School…but what can one expect with your East Haven education.

    • proud parent says

      Sorry to disappoint you Dt16 but I never lived in EH and I am a catholic school boy all the way through college .Played hockey all my years as well. I was helping Rd with his abbrev.
      Ct hockey will never move in the right direction until people like yourself realize that Private institutions have a huge advantage over public schools. Most public school coaches get between 25-35 kids try out . Private more like 60-100 the pool is just bigger.Its the law of averages. Everyone recruits,private schools just have an unlimited audience. Public schools do it to try to keep the kids in town. The CIAC needs to rethink their system.It is going to be the death of CT Hockey…

  23. DT16 says

    @proud parent…..First off….it is ND_Ffld not ND//FP….it is also not Notre Dame of Fairfield Preparatory school…it is Notre Dame Catholic HS…..FP is for Fairfield Prep which refers to Fairfield College Preparatory School…but what can one expect with your East Haven education.

  24. DT16 says

    You realize that there are only 3 private schools that can be considered elite. They are FP, and both Notre Dames….what is your suggestion, have them play in their own division? The rest of the private schools are average: St Joes, Xavier, East Catholic, Trinity Catholic, and Northwest Catholic. Immaculate and St Bernard’s are co-ops. Fact is since 1980, the champion in D1 has generally been one of these programs: FP, ND-WH, ND-Fld (starting with Marty Roos arrival as coach is when they got better), Hamden, West Haven…..Greenwich, Enfield and Simsbury all won it once at D1 in that time.

    • Guru says

      Dt16 great observation the big 3 have won 25-26 out of 33 since 1980 ,.. So let them have a D1A champ & then have aD1 champ game.. I think TC won 1 too? But all the other private schools should compete against each other. If anypuic team wants to plaything they can schedule them

      • DT16 says

        11 Public schools have won the championship since 1980….Hamden (4), West Haven (4) and one each for Simsbury, Greenwich and Enfield. Trinity Catholic did win in 98.

  25. Guru says

    So 22 out of 33 that’s more then majority . Let them have their own title game, let the public schools have a chance too.. I’ll bet if you check Hamden won back to back so they were exceptional teams. And from 80-90 were 6 of the public school titles. So that’s 7 champs & Greenwich win in 92. So in last 21 years 4 public state champs Hamden back to back

  26. JC says

    EH had a great year. Yes they fattened up on D2 & D3 teams but they held their own against D1 teams as well. Maybe NDFfld should have called off the dogs but EH waxed the 3 D3 teams they played pretty good so maybe it came back to bite them?

  27. A PROUD GRANDMA says


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