GREENWICH — Trinity Catholic goalie Jeff Reda kept his team in Monday’s hockey game against Greenwich for as long as he could, making 25 saves in the second period alone, as the Cardinals peppered him with shot, after shot.
Yet the Cardinals were relentless at getting the puck to the net and eventually their shots found their mark.
Senior forwards Julian Ribushofski and Matt Davey registered two goals and two assists apiece and junior goalie Connor Brust earned his first career shutout for Greenwich in its 7-0 victory over Trinity Catholic at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
With the much-needed win, Greenwich upped its record to 5-6-2 overall and 3-2-1 against FCIAC competition.
Greenwich tallied twice in the first period, once in the second and four times in the third period.
“We went to the locker room knowing that we had to score and keep playing as hard as we could,” Ribushofski said. “If we kept doing that, we knew we would put them in, eventually.”
Brust made 18 saves in goal for the Cardinals. The senior was awarded the team’s hard hat, which goes to the squad’s player of the game.
“It feels good to get the shutout, it’s one of the best feelings as a goaltender,” said Brust, who backs up junior goalie Ben Nash. “This is my first, full-game shutout, so it’s pretty rewarding.”
Said GHS coach Chris Rurak: “Connor played great, it was a good opportunity for him to prove himself and have fun.”
Reda made 51 saves for the Crusaders (3-9), as he stopped and turned away shots from all angles and directions.
“He was incredible; that’s the norm for him,” Trinity Catholic coach Tucker Grose said of Reda. “He doesn’t take a night off. He gives us a chance to win, even against a good team like Greenwich.”
Davey’s power-play goal gave GHS a 1-0 lead tallying at the 5:11 mark of the first period. Senior forward Charlie Graves’ shorthanded tally made it 2-0 with 2:27 to go in the opening period.
Greenwich had numerous chances to widen its advantage in the second period. Davey, Wesley Zolin, Thatcher Danielson and Jack Hutchins each tested Reda in net several times. Yet a bunch of Reda saves and some near misses kept it a two-goal game.
Zolin put Trinity Catholic in a 3-0 hole, when he knocked in a rebound with 1:04 to go in the second period.
In the third period, Greenwich broke the game open, getting two goals from Ribushofski, one from senior defenseman Andrew Frost and one from Davey.
“The third periods are always tough for us, because we have such a light bench,” said Grose, whose squad is a Division III team. “We typically run out of gas. We’re working on it, but against a good team like that, that has four lines deep, we run out of gas. I’m incredibly proud of the way they battled and kept it to a three-goal lead after two periods.”
Brust was strong in goal throughout. Making saves off attempts from Jack Kinahan and Billy Schaner in the final period preserved his shutout.
“Our defensemen such as Nic Pelletier-Martinelli did a really good job,” Brust said. “They were strong all night in front of me, in front of the net.”
The Cardinals know they must continue to ascend to qualify for the postseason.
“We have to go on a big streak, I feel like it’s coming,” Ribushofski said. “We are finally getting it together and eventually we have to start winning against some of the better teams.”
Added Rurak: “We’re still trying to find our way, everything leads up to the tournament. We’re still trying to find our groove, but we’re generating more scoring opportunities.”