WEST HAVEN – The West Haven hockey team may not have started the season the way coach Joe Morrell would have liked, but they sure are trying to make up for it. Paced by six different players in the point column, West Haven won its second straight contest with a 6-3 decision over Simsbury in a Division I contest at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven Wednesday evening.
“After the win against St. Joseph, we talked about getting ourselves in a position to get to 3-3,” Morrell said. “We knew Simsbury was going to be tough and we know Guilford is a tough team. But, we have put ourselves in that position to go 3-3 now.”
The Westies, who started the season with three straight losses and allowed 26 goals in their first four games, also seemed to right the ship a bit in the goals against column, holding the Trojans to just three goals, but Simsbury was able to muster 38 shots on goal in the loss.
With plenty of goals scored in the contest, West Haven had five players with multiple points, including Niko Kyle with a pair of goals, Kevin Moriarty with two goals and two assists, and E.J. Pacapelli and Collin Braziel with a goal and an assist apiece.
“We are working harder in practice and doing new drills to try and get going,” Kyle said. “We have been playing together. These are good wins for us. We want to get on a roll and go with that momentum.”
With the game even at two after one period of play, West Haven (2-3) put the game out of reach with three second period goals for a 5-2 lead.
Moriarty got things going in the middle period when he picked a rebound of a Pacapelli shot and fired into an empty net for a 3-2 advantage 4 minutes, 56 seconds into the period. Just 1:14 later, the lead was two goals as Braziel’s initial shot was denied by Simsbury goaltender Jackson Bulger, but Kyle knocked in the rebound.
West Haven goaltender Logan Cole kept the lead at two as he turned aside all 15 shots Simsbury put on goal in the middle period, with several coming from in front.
“At 2-2, he (Cole) kept us in the game,” Morrell said. “He made some big saves when it could have easily been 4-2 them. We are a team of momentum and we were able to hold on to it. We did not give it back to them.”
The Westies kept the pressure on and scored their second power play goal of the period in the closing seconds when Robbie Forleo’s shot was turned aside, but Kyle knocked in the rebound with 2.5 seconds to go.
“That was a great play by Robbie,” Morrell said. “He saw the ice very well and saw the open guy.”
The game started with plenty of buzz around both nets as the two teams combined for 27 shots in the opening 15 minutes. When all was said and done after one period of play, the teams went to the intermission even at two.
The Trojans opened the scoring 3:16 into the contest while short-handed as Matthew Reese picked up a loose puck in the defensive end, skated the length of the ice, and deked Cole for a 1-0 lead.
That advantage for Simsbury lasted less than three minutes as the Westies struck twice in a span of 23
That advantage for Simsbury lasted less than three minutes as the Westies struck twice in a span of 23 seconds to take a 2-1 lead.
Pacapelli scored his third goal in two games when he picked up a rebound of a Moriarty shot and beat Bulger to even the game at one. Braziel followed less than 30 seconds later with a snipe from the left circle past Bulger for a 2-1 lead with 8:31 to go in the opening period.
Simsbury (2-3) had 15 shots in the opening period and evened the contest with 3:07 to go on a great second effort by Cole Chapman, who deflected a point shot by Timothy Kratzer on goal. After Cole made the initial save, Chapman put the rebound home to even the game at two.
“We started off strong and put a few in to come back to tie the game,” Chapman said. “We had shots, but he (Cole) played a great game. It’s a tough loss.”
Each team scored in the final period to cap the scoring as Moriarty scored with 2:53 to go and Nicholas Pugmire scored for Simsbury in the final minute.
Cole finished with 35 saves in the win for West Haven, while Bulger finished with 32 saves in the loss for the Trojans.
S – 2 0 1 – 3 (2-3)
W – 2 3 1 – 6 (2-3)
S – Matthew Reese 11:44
W – E.J. Pacapelli (Kevin Moriarty, Ryan Smith) 8:54
W – Collin Braziel 8:31
S – Cole Chapman (Timothy Kratzer) 3:07
W- Kevin Moriarty (Robbie Forleo, E.J. Pacapelli) 11:04
W – Niko Kyle (Collin Braziel) 9:50
W – Niko Kyle (Robbie Forleo) 0:03
W – Kevin Moriarty 2:53
S – Nicholas Pugmire (Cole Chapman) 0:32
(S) Jackson Bulger – 32
(W) Logan Cole – 35
S – 38
WH – 38