NEWINGTON>>East Catholic tallied six goals in the fourth quarter to beat Newington, 11-7 at Clem Lemire Recreation Complex on Thursday afternoon.
Down one after being shutout in the third quarter, Newington’s Patrick Hills scored 12 seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the game at 6-6.
East Catholic scored four more unanswered goals in the final quarter to win its third game in a row and remain undefeated in CCC play. The only two losses the Eagles have are to St. Joseph and Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.).
“It was up for grabs until the last quarter,” East Catholic coach Glenn Boggini said. “I’m proud of these guys, that’s a good win for us.”
The key to the dominant quarter was at the face-off. East Catholic (7-2) won all eight in the fourth quarter and 17 of 20 overall.
“Lucas Niezelski and Tom Callahan were fantastic,” Boggini said. “The face-off game is huge and that’s where we turned it around.”
Hills connected for two more goals in the final quarter, giving him four in the game.
“The fourth quarter they came out a little hotter than we did too,” Newington assistant coach Rob Burdsall said. “Their emotion and momentum in the fourth kind of rattled us a little bit.”
At halftime, Boggini and his coaching staff agreed to get out of the way and let the kids play.
“We were scattered and chaotic,” Boggini said. “So at halftime we said, ‘We’re going to calm down. You guys just play.’ Sometimes coaching is getting out of the way and that’s what we did. We got out of the way and let them play.”
Despite scoring 11 goals, the Eagles were shut out in the third quarter by a tough Newington (5-6) defensive unit.
“It’s a great team we just played,” Newington coach Kyle Bowler said. “To shut them down was big.”
The first half was a different story.
Newington scored the first two goals of the game, the second coming from John McDonald who finished the game with three to lead the Indians.
Niezelski netted the first for East Catholic with 5:46 left in the first and then Billy Heaney tied the score at 2-2 less than a minute into the second.
The Eagles took their first lead with 7:26 remaining in the second when Max Gonzalez fed Heaney. The teams traded goals to end the first half with East Catholic up 5-4.
The Indians reclaimed the lead in the third on two goals from Mike Hoyt and McDonald and went into the fourth leading 6-5.
“Our defense did a great job in the third quarter,” Newington assistant Joe Lovell said. “But they did such a great job in the third quarter, our offense needs to pick them up and give them a break and they never got that break. Things broke down in the fourth because they were tired.”
“The thing is patience,” Boggini said. “Sometimes it’s tough to be patient when it’s chaotic, [when] it’s a close game, but our kids were patient and they scored when they had their chances.”
East Catholic returns home for another CCC West opponent, South Windsor on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Newington has two games in West Hartford next week. Tuesday vs. Conard and then Thursday vs. Hall.