GREENWICH — Brunswick School’s 0-2 start to its hockey season certainly seems like a distant memory.
Since then, the Bruins have skated to victory at an eye-opening pace, registering a record of 11-1-1 over an impressive 13-game span.
And victory No. 11 came in decisive fashion for the Bruins.
Seizing a three-goal, first-period lead, Brunswick cruised to a 6-2 win over Taft School in a NEPSAC matchup held at Hartong Rink.
Showcasing the depth they possess on each line, the Bruins received goals from six different players en route to their latest triumph.
“The boys have found a good rhythm, they’ve found confidence and they’ve come together as a team,” said Brunswick second-year coach Mike Kennedy, whose squad has won five straight games. “We’ve seen contributions from different guys every game and not relying on one line, one particular group to carry us. The fact that we are able to use our depth and wear teams down by throwing line after line on them is key for us.”
The Bruins (11-3-1), who are two seasons removed from winning the NEPSAC Division I Large School Tournament title, outshot the Rhinos (3-6), 33-25.
“Coming off our Christmas break it’s a challenge to play a top team like Brunswick,” Taft coach Ryan Shannon said. “Looking at their record and the success they’ve had and beating Belmont Hill prior to us, we knew we were going to see a really strong defensive unit and skilled forwards.”
Senior forward/tri-captain Henry Foster tallied the game’s opening goal. Crashing the net, Foster scored off a tap-in off a shot from sophomore forward Connor Welsh with 13:17 remaining in the first period.
At the 11:54 mark of the opening period, Bruins junior forward Matthew McGroarty finished a 2-on-1 rush up the ice, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Senior defensemen Jude Brower helped Brunswick maintain its early momentum converting a snap shot from the high slot, making it 3-0 with 9:42 still to go in the first period. His tally came with the Bruins on a power-play and was assisted by McGroarty and senior Jakub Teply.
“I stepped in and shot it and Foster was screening in front of the net, so I shot it right around him,” Brower said of his goal. “The key is the man in front of the net, we’ve got to take away the goalie’s eyes.”
The Bruins took plenty of momentum into the second period.
“We came into the game prepared, we came out flying,” Foster said. “We have been riding our forecheck,which helps us control the game. Getting out to a three-goal lead set the tone of the game.”
Taft, which played for the first time since Dec. 22, registered nine shots on goal, but couldn’t solve Bruins junior goalie Alexander Rohlf, who made 23 saves for the game.
“We’re getting timely goaltending and we’re scoring on the power play,” Kennedy said.
Freshman forward Beanie Richter scored from the right wing at the 14:21 mark of the second period, putting Taft in a 4-0 hole. Junior Michael Salandra and senior Connor Sullivan each added third-period goals for the Bruins, who received an assist apiece from junior Henry Dale, sophomore Connor Welsh, senior Will Forrest and Shannon in the final period.
Henry Molson and Thomas Ricciardelli tallied in the third period for Taft, which received 27 saves from goalie Mikey Roberts.
“Mikey came into the game with back-to-back shutouts and the goals that were scored today were not the result of poor goaltending,” Shannon said. “They were caused by defensive breakdowns. Our team will learn their lessons from this.”
“This is a special year,” Foster said. “We have four lines that are threats to score every time on they are on the ice.”
Said Brower: “We have been playing so well together, all the lines are rolling and we are moving the puck so well.”
The Bruins, ranked eighth in the NEPSAC, hosts third-ranked Salisbury School on Friday at 5 p.m.