EAST HAVEN >> The Hamden boys hockey team had its moments against No. 7 East Haven on Wednesday, outshooting the Easties in the first and second periods and dominating the second period with three goals. But the Easties’ first line of Tristan Goodwin, Matt Longobardi and Mike Falanga, the top-scoring line in the state, used its speed and relentless pressure to come away with a one-sided victory.
The first line ended up producing 19 points. Goodwin had a single-game career-high seven points (four goals, three assists), Longobardi added three goals and three assists and Falanga had a goal and five assists to lead East Haven to a 10-4 SCC-SWC Division I Hockey League win over Hamden at DiLungo Rink.
The win was the first for East Haven over Hamden since the Easties won 3-1 on Jan. 17, 2008.
“For me and the guys in our lockerroom, this is the first time we ever beat Hamden,” Goodwin said. “We were pumped up for this game, but we expected a closer game because they’re a good, well-coached team.
“We wanted to start strong. But after taking a 4-0 lead in the first period we all got complacent and Hamden took advantage of that complacency with three straight goals. The turning point for us was when Mike (Falanga) scored our fifth goal. That took away their momentum and got our team back on track.”
The Green Dragons (5-9-1) outshot the Easties 13-12 in the first period. But East Haven (13-2) finished their opportunities with a goal from Longobardi at 3:33, from Goodwin at 5:39, another from Longobardi at 12:45 and one from Anthony Avallone at 13:57 for a 4-0 lead at the first intermission.
Hamden starting goalie Chris Feldman was replaced at the start of the second period with Steven Riccitelli. The Green Dragons played inspired hockey early in the second period as John Battick scored 1:07 into the period to cut the Easties’ lead to 4-1. Jeremy Routh scored for Hamden at 3:45 to make it 4-2 and Hamden’s Anthony Rascati added another at 8:25 to make it a one-goal game at 4-3.
Falanga ended the comeback with a quick wrist shot at 11:19 to make it 5-3 and Longobardi scored a power-play goal with 44 seconds left in the second period for a 6-3 lead. The Easties scored four unanswered goals in the third period before Battick made it 10-4 with 41 seconds left in the game.
“We played great hockey in the first period but we just didn’t play good defense in the second period,” East Haven coach Lou Pane said. “What scared me about Hamden coming into this game is they’re a good offensive team and they had the momentum when they cut the score to 4-3.
“But our speed wore them down at the end and we were able to make a couple key plays to switch the momentum to our side.”
Feldman and Riccitelli combined for 20 saves for Hamden and East Haven goalie Tom Delucia had 30 saves.