WEST HAVEN >> West Haven coach Joe Morrell has a basic “go-go-go” philosophy he tries to instill in his players. He wants the Westies to play hard, play focused and play aggressive for a full 45 minutes.
The philosophy worked to perfection in the first period against cross-town rival Notre Dame-West Haven on Saturday. The Blue Devils scored three unanswered goals to take control of the game. But in the final two periods, Notre Dame, coming off two straight losses, was the team that got it go-go-going.
The Green Knights (11-3-1) scored six unanswered goals over the final two periods, getting a natural hat trick from forward Matt Dumas, as No. 2 Notre Dame came away with a 6-3 SCC-SWC Division I win over No. 9 West Haven in front of about 800 at Bennett Rink.
“Coming in here after losses to (No. 1) Darien and (No. 6) New Canaan, that first period was probably our lowest point of the season,” Notre Dame coach Tim Belcher said. “I had a nice hearty coach-player talk in the locker room between the first and second periods. West Haven’s goalie (Mike Savino) is a good one and I knew we needed a lot of shots on him if we were going to win this game.
“The turning point was getting that first goal in the second period. I could see how it gave everyone on our bench a lift.”
Wyatt Condon scored at 9:45 of the first period, Kevin Coyle scored at 11:17 and Condon scored again at 13:58 to give the Westies (5-6-1) a 3-0 lead.
At the start of the second period, Belcher replaced starting goalie Wade Conlan with Justin Daddio. After both teams traded a pair of shots on goal, Ryan Lynch started the Green Knights’ comeback with a score at 3:05. Alec Andreucci scored at 8:52 and Eric Austin at 11:10 to tie the game at 3.
“We needed to play the entire 45 minutes and we didn’t do that,” Morrell said. “We needed to go, go, go. I told our players between the first and second period to keep it going the way we did in the first period. But those last two periods we just stood around and watched.
“Mike Savino (42 saves) did a great job to keep us in this game.”
The third period belonged to Dumas, who scored a power-play goal at 5:31, an even-strength goal at 12:11 and another at 13:10.
“We came out flat-footed in the first period, but things picked up after a spirited talk from our coach between periods,” Dumas said. “That first goal we scored really fired us up and got us going. For me, to be able to contribute in the third period with three goals felt great. But the only reason we got this win is because we had a team effort. Everyone contributed.”
Notre Dame outshot West Haven 48-23. Conlan made eight saves and Daddio 12 for the Green Knights.
Notre Dame-West Haven 6, West Haven 3
(at Notre Dame-West Haven)
West Haven 3 0 0 — 3
Notre Dame-West Haven 0 3 3 — 6
First period—WH: Wyatt Condon (Jaeson Puleo) ; Max Lynch ; Wyatt Condon (Devin Hines) ; Second period—NDWH: Ryan Lynch (Kyle Lynch, Jim Davins) ; Alec Andreucci (Casey Hoban, Joe Ansaldo) ; Eric Austin (Casey Hoban) ; Third period—NDWH: Matt Dumas (Colin OConnor) ; Matt Dumas (Kyle Lynch) ; Eric Austin (Casey Hoban, Alec Andreucci) ;
Shots—WH: 23; NDWH: 48;
Saves—NDWH: Justin Daddio 12; Wade Conlan 8; WH: Mike Savino 42;
Records—Notre Dame-West Haven 11-3-1; West Haven 5-6-1