Greenwich is certainly entering its showdown against FCIAC hockey rival New Canaan on Thursday in top form.
The Cardinals are a perfect 7-0 in FCIAC play and sport a record of 11-5-1 overall, after registering its 10th win in 12 games on Monday.
Wesley Zolin recorded a hat trick for Greenwich, which scored four times in the first period in a 7-1 victory over Norwalk/McMahon at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.
Greenwich is 10-1-1 over a 12-game stretch that has seen it take over first place in the FCIAC West Division standings.
“The first period was great, we were hitting on all cylinders,” GHS coach Chris Rurak said. “We’ve been focused on mental toughness. The kids are engaged and we have tried to reduce the mental lapses.”
Junior defenseman Sean Duffy opened the scoring for Greenwich, tallying off assists from junior forward Jack Hutchins and junior defenseman Chris Cataldo 58 seconds into the first period.
Zolin’s first goal gave the Cardinals a 2-0 advantage. Sophomore forward Liam Matthews registered a shot on net that bounced off the pads of Norwalk/McMahon’s goalie and Zolin, skating hard to the net, stuffed in the rebound at the 11:07 mark of the first period.
An unassisted tally by Zolin, with 6:27 to go in the first period and a goal from junior forward Dylan Kronengold with 2:40 still left in the opening standza put GHS on top, 4-0.
“Everybody is buying in and playing their roles and giving an effort,” Zolin said. “Everybody wants to contribute to this team and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get to Ingalls Rink,” (the site of the state championship game).
Norwalk/McMahon lit the scoreboard with 12:48 remaining in the second period. Senior forward Jeb Boyrer tallied for Norwalk/McMahon, with the assists going to Mike Widmer and Nathaniel Gibson.
Matthews scored a rebound goal off a shot from freshman Peter Lewis with 3:09 to go in the second period. Hutchins was also credited with an assist on the tally, which gave the home team a 5-1 advantage.
In the third period, junior Thatcher Danielson’s knocked in a rebound off his own shot and Zolin finished in front to compete his hat trick.
“I just beared down and finished my chances, which is key to scoring,” Zolin said.
Senior Ben Nash was impressive in goal once again for Greenwich in its latest win. New Canaan, which posted a 3-2 overtime win over Greenwich in the season-opener on Dec. 16, visits Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
“We are a little bit of a different team than we were back then,” Rurak said. “We learned a lot watching that game, so we’ll have a good game plan going into that one.”
GREENWICH HIGH GIRLS HOCKEY
Greenwich and Hall/Conard skated to a 2-2 tie in a non-conference girls hockey game held on Saturday night at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink in Greenwich.
The Cardinals’ record stands at 11-2-2 following the tie. After a scoreless first period, Caroline Lawrence gave Greenwich a 1-0 lead with a goal at the 13:54 mark of the second period. Emma Wingrove assisted on Lawrence’s goal.
Greenwich added to its lead in the third period. Elizabeth Anderson tallied of a Sydney Orszulak assist, making it 2-0 with 12:34 remaining.
Hall/Conard responded with two straight goals to forge a tie.
Bridget McGann cut the Cardinals’ lead in half by scoring with 10:06 left to play. Maddie Levesque and Jordyn Trent each assisted on Hall/Conard’s first goal.
At the 5:17 mark of the third period, Avery Bloom scored, for Hall/Conard, evening the score at 2-2. Abby Gonalves set up the game-tying tally.
Greenwich held a 30-16 shots-on-goal advantage of Hall/Conard. Hannah Goldenberg made 14 saves in goal for the Cardinals, while Sofia Levesque stopped 28 shots for Hall/Conard.
Greenwich hosts Simsbury at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor visits Greenwich on Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
The Cardinal tied Simsbury, 1-1, on Jan. 24, in a road matchup.