For Farmington Valley senior forward Tim Arena, there was only one main reason the Generals boys hockey team had a dominating performance to win the team’s first CIAC Division II title — camaraderie.
The CIAC Division II championship game reflected the dominating tone set by Farmington Valley in the first round, quarterfinals and semifinals. The Generals scored the first seven goals of the game and went on to a 7-3 win over then-defending champion Guilford at Ingalls Rink in New Haven. Farmington Valley dominated on both ends of the ice and outscored its four opponents 29-10 in the tournament.
Arena had a goal in that seven-goal run in the CIAC Division II final. But his best game of the season came in the semifinals. He had a hat trick and an assist in a 4-1 win over CCC rival Conard.
Arena ended up with 41 goals and 51 assists and finished his career with 200 points (112 goals, 88 assists). He passed Nick Bonino to be Farmington’s all-time point leader (Bonino had 160 points). The Generals finished the season 22-3-1 overall and 11-1 in the CCC North division.
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For his effort, Arena has been named the Register’s Area Hockey MVP.
“We knew we had a lot of experience and talent going into the season with 13 seniors returning,” Arena said. “We also knew we had to work hard to get to the (CIAC) Division II final. We had a great group of guys who played together in youth hockey. As we went deeper into the season we all stuck together and had each other’s back.
“In the state tournament our teamwork was on display and that was our strength. There was always pressure for me to produce, pressure I put on myself, but our top two lines produced all season.”
The win over Conard in the semifinals also was memorable for Arena.
“The semifinal win over Conard was a special game because they are CCC rivals,” Arena said. “Conard was a team we played twice in the regular season and they were tough games (both wins for Farmington Valley).
“In the state tournament, there were six guys who produced over 30 points. Another factor that helped us is there is a lot of open ice at Yale because of the big rink size. Our speed took advantage of that open ice. Everyone wanted to show up and contribute and they did. We also had some motivation against Guilford. They knocked us out of the tournament in the quarterfinals last season.”
Arena also was named the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Player of the Year and the CHSCA Division II MVP. He is a two-time CHSCA first team All-State selection and a three-time All-CCC and All-CCC Academic selection.
“Timothy’s skill level exceeded the skills of many players I have coached in the past,” Farmington Valley co-coach Mike Barone said. Farmington Valley is a co-op team comprised of players from Farmington, Avon, Lewis Mills and Windsor. “He was captain his junior year because of his leadership on and off the ice along with his poise and composure as a student athlete. His IQ on the ice was impeccable.
“He would make players around him successful. There were times where he should have taken the shot on goal and opted to pass to his teammate. Will I ever have a player with his skill level and success again? I thought after Nick Bonino had the success he did with our program I would not have anyone close. I guess Timothy proved me wrong.”
Arena hopes to continue his career by playing club hockey at a yet-to-be-determined college.