BRIDGEPORT — Kenneth Kochiss and his fellow senior linemates have played together for three years building chemistry — and it was on display Wednesday night at the Wonderland of Ice.
The line of Kochiss, Matt Wikman and Dean Lockery put on an offensive show, combining for 13 points, in an 8-2 victory over West Haven.
“We have played together for three years,” Kochiss said after finishing with one goal and four assists. “We have a lot of chemistry. We know where we are going to be.”
The Jesuits, ranked second in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, trailed 2-1 after one period before responding with seven unanswered goals, including four in the second period, to close the game.
Trailing 2-1, the Jesuits (6-2-1) wasted no time setting the tone for the rest of the game.
After controlling play in the first period but trailing by a goal, the Jesuits needed only 1 minute, 33 seconds of the second period to steal the momentum.
Positioned to the side of the net, Lockery took a quick shot that slipped past West Haven goaltender Mike Savino to even the game at 2.
Wikman, who along with Kochiss assisted on Lockery’s second goal, started a run of three goals in 3:01 for the Jesuits to put the game away early.
After Wikman gave Prep a 3-2 lead, Brandon Powell scored from in front 1:01 later for a 4-2 lead. Exactly 1 minute later, Kochiss and Jack Quinn set up Wikman in front for a 5-2 advantage.
“We started to move the puck a little better and win the races,” Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said. “We got a couple of good breaks and capitalized on them.”
The Westies (5-3) were thoroughly outplayed in the second period and were fortunate to go to the intermission trailing by just three goals.
“We stopped moving our feet,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. “We can’t rely on skill. We have to rely on our ability to keep moving and compete.”
West Haven, ranked fifth in the Register poll, started the third period on a power play and had numerous scoring opportunities early.
Devin Hines’ blast from the point was stopped by Prep goaltender Matt Beck, before Beck denied Peter Lynn in front and a rebound by Matt Kelly seconds later.
West Haven’s best opportunity of the period came just 1:31 in when Hines raced to the slot and fired a shot that Beck turned away.
The Jesuits ended any thoughts of a West Haven comeback with three power-play goals in the final period.
John Hoey set up Justin Blanchette’s power-play goal with 10 minutes remaining, Kochiss scored off assists from Lockery and William Overby 1:55 later and Ryan Deering completed the trifecta with 1:53 remaining.
“I thought we moved the puck well on the power play,” Sather said of his team’s four power-play goals. “We capitalized on a few opportunities.”
The Jesuits started the scoring when Lockery was positioned perfectly on an angle to the net and snapped a shot past Savino for a power-play goal 4:20 into the contest.
The Westies, despite doing plenty of chasing, evened the game with 8:29 remaining in the opening period when Wyatt Condon scored off an assist from Jaeson Puleo.
After Savino denied Wikman in front, Michael Ventricelli in close and a Jack McGowen blast from the right faceoff circle, Peter Lynn tipped in Alex Scranton’s point shot to give West Haven a 2-1 lead after one period of play.
Lockery and Wikman each finished with two goals and two assists, while Overby had two assists.
Beck made 20 saves for the Jesuits, while Savino and Joseph Bepko combined for 32 saves. Bepko stopped seven of eight shots in relief of Savino.
Fairfield Prep 8, West Haven 2
West Haven 2 0 0 — 2
Fairfield Prep 1 4 3 — 8
First period—FP: Dean Lockery (Matt Wikman, Kenny Kochiss) 4:20; WH: Wyatt Condon (Jaeson Puleo) 6:31; Peter Lynn (Alex Scranton, Matt Kelly) 13:26; Second period—FP: Dean Lockery (Matt Wikman, Kenny Kochiss) 1:33; Matt Wikman (Kenny Kochiss, Dean Lockery) 5:32; Mike Ventricelli 6:33; Matt Wikman (Jack Quinn, Kenny Kochiss) 8:33; Third period—FP: Justin Blanchette (Jack Hoey, Mike Ventricelli) 5:00; Kenny Kochiss (Billy Overby, Dean Lockery) 6:55; Ryan Deering (Billy Overby, Burke Smith) 13:07; Shots—WH: 20; FP: 38; Saves—FP: Matt Beck 18; WH: Mike Savino 23; Joe Bebko 7;
Records—Fairfield Prep 6-2-1; West Haven 5-3