WEST HAVEN — In both 2016 and 2017 the Darien girls ice hockey team won the Connecticut High School Girls Hockey Association state title. Both times were by one goal—the latter in overtime.
The Blue Wave had little interest in sweating No. 3 out.
Second-seeded Darien got three goals in the first period and coasted to a 5-2 win over the No. 4 Suffield Co-op Sunday afternoon at Bennett Rink in West Haven, making it three-straight.
“We played great the whole game,” Wave coach Jamie Tropsa said. “That was the best game we’ve played all year, without a doubt. We brought out a lot of speed and a lot of energy and moved the puck well, got pucks to the net, everything we talked about all year and produced tonight.”
Caitlin Chan got the scoring started with a rebound goal in the first. Kate Bellissimo added one on a breakaway and Shea van den Broek went five-hole on a power play to put Darien up big early.
“We were really pumped up and ready to go,” van den Broek said. “We knew we had to get shots on goal and we did.”
Lucie Edwards added Darien’s fourth goal in the second and the lead remained there until Suffield’s Sophia Lupone found the net with 4:20 left in the third.
Just when it looked like the Wildcats might have a little life, Darien’s Sally Cassidy put the nail in the coffin, roofing a shot less than a minute later.
“That felt so good,” Cassidy said. “Being able to score in my last game ever, it just meant so much playing with this team for our last game. It felt amazing.”
Suffield’s Ana Tittmann scored the final goal of the game at the 1:36 mark.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
During the trophy ceremony, Darien goalie Hallie Kreppein was named the most outstanding player of the tournament, allowing just three total goals.
“That was amazing,” Kreppein said of winning the award. “I worked hard all season and it’s just unbelievable.”
Darien’s five goals came from five different players Sunday, and each class was represented.
Cassidy is a senior, van den Broek a junior, Chan a sophomore and Edwards and Bellissimo are both freshman.
“It’s our youth hockey program and our depth,” Tropsa said. “We skate really, really well. We keep coming at you, that’s the difference between us and a lot of other teams”
While Tropsa doesn’t like to play favorites, even he had to admit this season had that something extra as it was his final year coaching his daughter, Kiki.
“It’s a little bit more special because she’s there,” said the misty-eyed coach. “I’m going to miss her.”
NO. 2 DARIEN 5, NO. 4 SUFFIELD CO-OP 2
SUFFIELD 0 0 2—2
DARIEN 3 1 1—5
Goals: S—Sophia Lupone, Ana Tittmann; D—Caitlin Chan, Kate Bellissimo, Shea van den Broek, Lucie Edwards, Sally Cassidy. Goalies: S—Caitlyn Caldon (30 saves); D—Hallie Kreppein (20). Shots: S—22; D—35.