By John Torsiello
The Simsbury High School girls hockey team, coming off a 17-win season and fourth Southern Connecticut Conference championship in a row, opened up its 2013-14 campaign with six wins in its first seven games.
“We gradated three top defensemen and didn’t think defense was going to be a strength of ours but it has been,” said head coach Kris Arnold, whose teams have compiled an 88-32-5 record in six-plus seasons at the helm of the Lady Trojans. “I think we are in a position to make a run at another SCC title and maybe a state title. We will be right there with the best teams in the state, like Darien, East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor and Hall/Conard. We’ve been close to winning a state title with a couple of very close overtime losses in the semifinals the last few years.”
In its first six contests of the season Simsbury beat Branford, 10-0, lost to Darien, 6-0, beat Hall, 3-1, topped New Canaan, 5-0, beat Notre Dame of Fairfield, 8-0, and topped North Haven/Amity/Cheshire 6-0 this past Tuesday.
The final score of the loss to Darien was not indicative of the closeness of the game for much of play, said Arnold. “We were losing, 2-0, late in the second period and had a 5-on-3 power play where we probably should have scored two goals. Not only did we not score we gave up a shorthanded goal. We had 14 shots on goal during the power play and not scoring and giving up a goal during that time really took the wind out of our sails.”
Top players for the Lady Trojans have been defensemen Nathalie Melanson, a junior, senior Julianna Beloga, junior Sarah Franklin, and junior Sara Colglazier.
Leading players on the attack have been Arnold’s daughter, senior Jordan Arnold, who was a first-team All-SCC player and most valuable player in the league tournament a year ago, junior Sutton Wunderlie, senior Hayley Aubin, sophomore Katie Grigley, and sophomore Annie Deliso.
“We have two strong lines and two other lines that can give us some good minutes,” said the head coach.
Simsbury returned two goalies from last year, junior Dani Sullivan and junior MacKenzie Dubois, with freshman Jaime Allan seeing a lot of time during the first portion of the season.
“We have been doing great with a goalie by committee but Jaime has really been playing real well. I would like to have one of the girls emerge as the starting goalie because I think that is the way the team plays best.”
Simsbury has some critical games on its upcoming schedule, with a huge matchup against East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor looming Jan 25.