MIDDLETOWN — Xavier’s best success against Hamden on Wednesday at Spurrier-Snyder Rink came on the power play, scoring two of its three goals with the man advantage.
The No. 4 Green Dragons made sure the Falcons didn’t get a third, killing a late penalty, getting a Conor Gethings empty-netter and beating No. 5 Xavier 5-3.
“I thought we were doing a pretty good job controlling the outside, especially the last (penalty kill),” said Hamden goalie Donald Moorcroft, who made 21 saves.
“They kept feeding the guy in the center, and I thought we adjusted to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Hamden (2-1) scored 14 seconds into the game and never trailed. The Falcons had a big shots edge over the last two periods but fell to 0-2.
“I thought we played well. I thought we carried the play in the third period, evident by the numerous icings they had,” Xavier coach Nick Costanzo said.
“The black unit for our power play was pretty solid. Pretty disciplined; we had one penalty. The guys are kind of buying into the systems.”
Hamden took a 4-2 lead five minutes into the second on Craig Cesare’s pass through the right circle to Bryce Riccitelli, who backhanded a shot home.
Kellen Beauton took over in goal and kept Hamden off the scoreboard for the last 10 minutes of the second period.
Xavier cut it back to a goal at 4-3 when freshman Ryan Drust went to the net to roof a rebound with 3:00 left in the second.
That was the Falcons’ first even-strength goal of the night. Nick LeClaire scored their second power-play goal 2:58 into the second. Green Dragons goalie Donald Moorcroft had stopped him twice on that man advantage, but couldn’t do it a third time.
Moorcroft stopped Evan Pace on a breakaway from the blue line, gloving a low shot, not long before the Falcons’ third goal.
Jack Shane capped a busy first six and a half minutes of the game, putting the Green Dragons up 2-1. He found the puck at the top of the right circle and fired high on Jake Woznyk, with an assist from Matt Herrmann.
A.J. Luedee put Hamden up two goals late in the period after Riccitelli got in on the forecheck in the left corner. The puck came to Luedee at the left half-wall, and his shot eluded Woznyk to the glove side.
It took only 14 seconds for Hamden to get a lead.
Off a draw to Woznyk’s left, Conor Gethings got it behind the net to Luedee, who centered to Michael Gethings for the first goal.
Xavier answered on the power play, Pace in the slot off Chase Maxwell’s pass out of the right corner.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Donald Moorcroft made 21 saves, 19 of them in the last two periods.
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