WEST HAVEN — Even as Hamden took Notre Dame-West Haven out of its game Saturday night at Bennett Rink, the first meeting between the two teams was on Hamden’s minds.
The No. 6 Green Dragons got some vengeance for that blown lead before Christmas on Saturday, striking quickly in the second period to regain the lead and beat No. 5 Notre Dame 5-2.
“We gave that game away to them,” said Michael Gethings, whose deflection tied the game at 2 only 51 seconds after the Green Knights took the lead.
“We only played 42 minutes that game. … We wanted to play 45 minutes and not let up at all.”
Gethings had four points, and A.J. Luedee’s power-play goal put Hamden (9-6, 2-1 SCC/SWC Division I) ahead for good at 5:30 of the second, not quite two minutes after Gethings’ goal.
Luedee’s goal came on the first of two minors to Notre Dame defenseman Kevin Millea, who also picked up a misconduct at the same time.
“We’re trying to break old habits. At five-on-five, we’re a very effective team,” Notre Dame coach Larry Vieira said. “When we lose composure as a team is when results are not positive. That’s a direct reflection on me. I’ve got to do a better job getting these kids disciplined and focused.
“I thought Hamden outplayed us and outworked us. They were tougher, more disciplined. I give Hamden all the credit in the world.”
A power play to start the second period let the Green Knights (6-6-1, 1-1) tie it 1:03 in on J.M. Childs’ redirection. Another penalty let John D’Errico give the Knights a lead on a scramble.
“They’re confident on the power play. They move the puck well, and we didn’t defend particularly well, especially with rebounds in front,” Hamden coach Todd Hall said.
But Gethings’ goal, coming as soon as it did, was “absolutely huge,” the coach said. “You need to do something to take away momentum. … Throw it on net, get a deflection, and now we’re starting to move the other way.”
Back on Dec. 22, Hamden took a late 3-1 lead, but the Green Knights came back with two goals in the last two minutes, then won in overtime.
Not Saturday. Matt Herrmann gave the Green Dragons a two-goal lead midway through the period, and Eddy Fracasso scored off a Gethings pass out of the left corner with 6.8 seconds left in the second for the final margin.
“We stress all year long, just keep going,” Hall said. “You can manage the clock, but just keep going till the whistle blows or the buzzer sounds.”
“Effort. We had guys skating, guys moving. Even if it wasn’t to the right place, at least they’re still moving, giving themselves a chance.” — Hamden coach Todd Hall
“We like to move the puck. We like to skate. We don’t want to get in a street-, small-corner battle. Hamden hemmed us in … and won every single battle.” — Notre Dame coach Larry Vieira
HAMDEN 5, NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN 2
HAMDEN 1 4 0—5
NOTRE DAME-WH 0 2 0—2
Records: Hamden 9-6, 2-1 SCC/SWC Division I; Notre Dame-West Haven 6-6-1, 1-1. Goals: H—Bryce Riccitelli, Michael Gethings, A.J. Luedee, Eddy Fracasso, Matt Herrmann; ND—J.M. Childs, John D’Errico. Assists: H—M.Gethings 3, Luedee, E.Fracasso, Craig Cesare, Joe D’Adamo; ND—Childs, D’Errico, Zach Schroeder, Michael Card. Goalies: H—Donald Moorcroft (29 saves); ND—Connor Smith (32). Shots: H—37; ND—31.