WEST HAVEN >> Now, this was more like it.
Two weeks after being stymied by goaltender Ryan Wilson and stunned by St. Joseph in the FCIAC quarterfinals, Darien’s boys hockey team repaid the favor with a berth in the Division I hockey semifinals on the line.
Led by roster’s worth of goals, the Blue Wave left no doubts about their championship pedigree this time with a 6-0 victory at Bennett Rink Saturday in the CIAC quarterfinals.
Five different players scored goals, including two in the third period by Herbie Hazelton as Darien advanced to Yale’s Ingalls Rink and the Division I semifinals for the fourth-consecutive year.
The Blue Wave, who have been ranked No. 1 the majority of the year but slipped all the way to No. 3 in the GameTimeCT / Register Top 10 Hockey Poll following their FCIAC, will face Notre Dame-West Haven at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“All we were thinking about coming into this game was what happened in FCIACs,” Hazelton said. “We wanted to come out hard, take it to them and not give them a chance to hang around like last the last time. We just just wanted to put the pucks on net and test this goalie, we know how good he is. And I think we did a good job with that.”
Unlike the last time when Ryan made 43 saves in the 2-1 upset, this time Darien buried their scoring opportunities.
The Wave peppered Wilson with 46 shots and, while he still made 40 saves, 13 Darien players wrote themselves on scoresheet in some form. Jay Dixon got it started by scoring on a 2-on-1 breakaway 8 1/2 minutes in. Ed Glassmeyer made it 2-0 with a goal in front of the crease just a few minutes later.
The dagger was Sam Knowlton’s blast from atop the left circle with 18 seconds remaining in the first period. That made it 3-0 and the rout was on.
— GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) March 12, 2016
“This time of year you want to be playing your best hockey,” Hazelton said. “And it’s awesome that we’re feeling good, feeling the flow and everything’s going well for us.”
Max DeBerardinis made it 4-0 on a wrist shot for a 4-0 lead after two periods. Hazelton put the capper on the afternoon with two goals in the final period. Darien goaltender David Voight turned away 22 shots to complete the team’s seventh shut out of the season.
“I think we played well in the last game,” Darien coach Mac Budd said. “I think the thing we lacked a little bit in the last game was intensity, a little bit of energy.
“We made a few little adjustments, but, listen, the big adjustment in my mind was to come at them with more energy and don’t let them hang around. …And it worked out for us. The bounces went our way. We got up on them early and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Now the focus is on the semifinals Darien lost to the Green Knights 3-1 in the regular season. So, yes, you could say the revenge will continue when the teams resume their inter-conference rivalry on Wednesday.
“Well, you could look at it that way,” Budd said. “Listen, It should never be hard to get your boys fired up to play the semifinals at Yale. But that’ll be a nice little incentive that they (Notre Dame) definitely got the best of us during the regular season.”
Darien 6, St. Joseph 0
St. Joseph 0 0 0 — 0
Darien 3 1 2 — 6
Scoring: First Period — Darien: Jay Dickson (Max DeBeradinis, Connor McCarthy), 8:24; Darien: Ed Glassmeyer (Scott Voigt, Owen Collins), 9:41; Darien: Sam Knowlton (Jake Kirby, Glassmeyer). Second Period — Darien: DeBeradinis (Harry Congdon, Ben Brown), 7:07; Third Period — Darien: Herbie Hazelton (Riley Mullin, Maxwell Romeyn), 3:20; Darien: Hazelton (Voigt), 8:41.
Shots: Darien: 46; St. Joseph 22. Saves: Darien: David Voigt (22); St. Joseph Ryan Wilson (40)