Breaking a scoreless tie with 9 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the third period, the Greenwich Academy ice hockey team was in prime position to begin its 2019-2020 season with a victory.
Yet Canterbury had other plans.
Scoring two unanswered goals, the second of which occurred with only 23.7 seconds remaining in the third period, Canterbury pulled out a 2-1 comeback win over Greenwich Academy Saturday at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford.
Sophomore forward Hamilton Doster scored the Gators’ goal and was assisted by senior forward and tri-captain Eliza Bowman. Greenwich Academy generated scoring chances throughout the game and outshot Canterbury, 26-15, over the first two periods, before Canterbury rallied in the third period.
“We got better each period as it went on,” GA coach Erin Brawley said. “It was our first game, so I was excited to see what we had. We looked crisp, our passes were good and we were aggressive on the puck.”
Junior forward Anika Flik scored the winner for Canterbury, with junior defender Autumn Mish assisting on the tally.
Doster gave GA a 1-0 edge, scoring from close in, while falling to the ice with 9:29 to go in the final period.
Hamilton crashed the net and as she went down, tapped it in between the goalie’s legs,” Bowman said. “We went over to her and told her she scored, because we knew she didn’t know she scored.”
Following a scoreless first period in which GA created a good amount of chances, it continued to apply pressure on Canterbury in the second period. Doster tested Canterbury goalie Lucianna Robertelli with a shot on goal early in the second period, while junior defender Ada Shaffer sent several shots her way, while shooting from the point.
Junior Kayla Ketchabaw, sophomore Cameron Brower, sophomore Ava Butz, Doster and senior captain Grace Schulze enabled the Gators to generate scoring opportunities during the second period, posting an array of shots on goal.
“This was a tough one, but I am proud of the team,” Schulze said. “We came out strong and were working really well together, but I just think Canterbury had more energy at the end, which allowed them to finish. Overall, we played well though.”
Schulze said the tough loss will motivate the squad going forward.
“Every game is a learning experience and I think what we can take from this that you have to keep working until the last whistle, because we were up 1-0, so we have to finish strong,” Schulze said.
Freshman Lianna Seeley played well in goal for GA, holding Canterbury scoreless the first two periods. Sophomore forward Meghan Montanaro scored the equalizer with 5:44 left in the third period, then Flik notched the winner. On the game-tying tally, Montanaro’s shot from the slot took a funny bounce and the puck seemed to change directions, before finding its way into the net. Flik’s game-winner came from off a rebound on a shot from Mish.
“I think that everyone works really hard and we all put into that game the hard work we put into practice,” GA senior tri-captain/defender Sydney Pittignano said. “We looked really good.”
Added Bowman: “It looks good for the rest of the season. We had a lot of great opportunities to score, we just need to finish.”
The Bruins dropped a 61-51 decision to host Taft School on Saturday. The non-conference road loss evens the Bruins’ overall record at 1-1. Brunswick opens FAA conference play on Tuesday at King.
Trailing 28-27 at the break, the Bruins kept pace with the Rhinos for most of the second half, staying within two possessions of the hosts until the final minutes of action.
Khari Wilson led Brunswick with 20 points, scoring 12 points in the second half. Tristan Joseph netted 15 points, while Colin Mulshine added eight for Brunswick. Dan Arnold chipped in six and Henry Caponiti scored two points in the loss.
On Friday, finishing the second half strong, Brunswick posted a 64-60 road win over Hackley School in its season-opener.
Brunswick concluded Friday’s game against Hackley with a 10-5 run. The Hornets held a 55-54 edge with just over a minute remaining, before the Bruins’ decisive 10-5 run.
Joseph began the spurt with a fastbreak layup, giving the Bruins the lead for good at 56-55. Brunswick’s Kevonne Wilder drove baseline for a layup, while being fouled with 28 seconds remaining. Wilder made the ensuing free throw to give the Bruins a 59-55 advantage.
Two free throws by Arnold extended the Bruins’ lead to 63-55. Joseph’s 17 points powered Brunswick, which received eight points from Wilson and eight from Jack Michalik. Mulshine also sparked the Bruins, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first half.