WEST HAVEN — The Amity hockey team is itching to play in the Southern Connecticut Conference Division II tournament. On the cusp of qualifying for the tournament, the Spartans need victories.
Amity took one step closer to attaining that goal with a 6-3 victory over Hand-Madison Saturday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“We definitely came to work today,” Amity assistant coach Mike Richetelli said. “We want to play in an SCC game. We are right on the edge. We are outside on that four-five spot. We are looking to get in. The top four get in and we want to be one of those teams. That has been one of our goals all season.”
Riding the line of Adam Shea, Brett McNeil and Keating Seymour, the Spartans scored early and put Hand in a hole it couldn’t climb out of.
Shea led Amity with a goal and two assists, McNeil had two goals and Seymour had a goal and an assist as the line finished with seven points.
Seymour and Shea scored 12 seconds apart in the first period and the Spartans never trailed in improving to 10-7.
“We came out flat,” Hand coach Ken Mitchell said. “They jumped on us and put us in a hole. I thought we got some momentum, but we got a little complacent. They are a good team. They keep coming at you. You can’t have complacency.”
Seymour put the Spartans on top 1-0 when he ripped a shot past Hand goaltender Chase Briggs to the top-left corner just 2 minutes, 3 seconds into the game.
John Uscilla and Seymour then helped extend the lead to 2-0. After Uscilla connected with Seymour, the Amity left wing sent a perfect pass that McNeil tapped in for a two-goal advantage.
Hand did not go away in the period.
The Tigers (7-9) cut the deficit to 2-1 with 4:41 left in the opening period. Danny Braumann’s unassisted goal sent Hand to the intermission trailing by only one goal.
Amity continued the pressure and again scored the first two goals in the second period. Uscilla scored off an assist from Dalton Luciani with 7:08 left to increase the lead to a pair of goals.
“We stepped up in the game,” Uscilla said. “It was really big win for us. We want to step up and work hard. We did that today.”
Zach Shelnitz then set up Zach DeCola’s first career varsity goal for a 4-1 lead just 49 seconds later.
“That line of Zach, Liam (Caracciolo) and Zach Shelnitz has worked really hard,” Richetelli said. “They cycled the puck and played well. They worked hard out there.”
The Tigers again did not go away.
Dan Healey scored a power-play goal with 1:24 left in the middle period off an assist from Ben Solin and Solin scored another power-play goal 2:43 into the third to cut Amity’s lead to 4-3.
Any thought of a Hand comeback ended 14 seconds later when Luciani set up Shea for a 5-3 lead.
“That group takes it personal when a team scores against us,” Richetelli said of Shea, McNeil and Seymour. “They want to score right away. I am really proud of what they have done.”
Amity goaltender Brian Mosher made sure the lead held up, stopping all five shots he faced in the period.
Mosher finished with 16 saves, his best coming when he denied Solin on a breakaway in the final 25 seconds of the opening period.
Amity closed the scoring with 4:43 remaining in the game when Shea set up McNeil in front for the 6-3 final.
Briggs made 32 saves for the Tigers and Solin finished with a goal and an assist.
Amity’s defense also played well on the offensive side as Uscilla finished with a goal and an assist and Luciani had a pair of assists.