Not the outcome we wanted but thanks to Bethel 1st Selectman Matt Knickerbocker and our CT State Rep @raghibct for being apart of the ceremony and giving proclamations from the town and state! #cthk @CTHSHockey @BethelSports @GameTimeCT @fornabaioctp @CGranacker pic.twitter.com/dZjH7myO5o
— BBD ICECATS HOCKEY (@BBD_Hockey) February 2, 2020
This wasn’t knee hockey in the basement, where most of Reed Caney’s time in goal has been spent in his young life (at least in hockey). This was his varsity boys hockey debut for Staples, and it came against the No. 1 team in the state.
No big deal, huh? The junior forward-turned-goalie laughed. Sure, Darien’s pretty good. On the other hand, expectations weren’t as high, either.
“There wasn’t as much pressure as other games,” Caney said.
Caney made 42 saves on Jan. 29 against the No. 1 Blue Wave in a 7-0 Darien win (a couple of out-of-state losses helped knock Darien to No. 2 this week).
Caney has been playing right wing in house leagues for about a decade, starting in Shelton, then going to Darien, and he’d been a forward for his first two years at Staples, too. He’d played goal in street hockey or in the basement a bit.
But this year the Wreckers were going to need a backup and a junior-varsity goalie. The coaches wondered if Caney, who had eight soccer shutouts this year, might be interested.
The transition, Caney said, “comes down to seeing a lot of shots. Graham (Day, his classmate and the Wreckers’ No. 1 goalie) has given me a lot of pointers, and our goalie coach, Ryan Hull.”
Day was out injured on Jan. 29, leaving the cage to Caney.
“He’s a heck of an athlete and has worked his tail off. Reed was ready for the opportunity when it came,” first-year Wreckers coach Matt Bohn said in an email. “Our staff was proud of the boys’ effort and how we all rallied around Reed.”
The Wreckers, in Division III, are 3-9, with five of those losses to Division I FCIAC teams. Two of those came by one goal, including Monday’s overtime loss to St. Joseph, in which Day returned with 30 saves.
Amity has four seniors. Monday against LHK, the Spartans had a few younger players out. They fell to 2-9-2 with seven games to play, seeking the five more wins that will ensure them a spot in the Division II playoffs.
“The flu’s killing everybody, but right now, because we’re young, we get a couple of guys out, and a little bit of inexperience comes in,” Spartans coach Mike Richetelli said.
“But there’s no excuses here. We work hard, we’re successful. We don’t move our feet, we’re not. They know it, and we know it, and that’s all we ask them to do every day out there: Bring your lunchpail and go to work.”
One of those four seniors is goalie Sai Neelam. The Spartans’ two freshmen, Brendan Smith and Aiden Courtney, wound up splitting Monday’s 5-1 loss to LHK after Smith was banged up in a goal-mouth pileup in the second period; Richetelli said it doesn’t appear serious.
Other youngsters are gaining experience, too.
“It’s a learning experience,” Richetelli said. “The junior group (that) didn’t get a lot of playing time is now coming into that, and we’ll be OK. We’ve got seven left. We’ve got to get five our of seven.”
BBD celebrated 50 years of Bethel hockey on Saturday at the IceCats’ game against New Milford.
Head on over the DIA for Bethel night and Check out the tables with all of BBD History and jerseys. Our on ice ceremony will begin at around 5:00. #cthk @fornabaioctp @CTHSHockey @BethelSports @GameTimeCT pic.twitter.com/D4oau3yAfO
— BBD ICECATS HOCKEY (@BBD_Hockey) February 1, 2020
The team’s Twitter account has photos of some of the sweaters, programs and other items that were on display at Danbury Ice Arena.
A couple of teams earned their first wins in the past week. Noah Fleming scored late for the Northeastern Shamrocks in a 2-1 win over JBWA on Saturday. And St. Joseph has two wins in three games after an 0-11 start: The Cadets beat McMahon/Norwalk 2-0 a week ago, and Timmy Finkenzeller scored in overtime Monday to beat Staples 3-2.