STAMFORD — Offense was on display Saturday night as the Stamford-Westhill-Staples girls ice hockey team battled the Wilton-Norwalk-McMahon Co-op at Conners rink.
The two programs showed once again they are evenly matched as Stamford-Westhill-Staples held on for an exciting 8-7 triumph.
“Wilton is a good program and has gone through a lot of the same experiences as we have,” said SWS co-head coach Andrew Stallings. “As much as we should have done to stay safely ahead, Wilton did everything they could to rally.”
Indeed. Stamford-Westhill-Staples led 8-4 with 8:44 left to play.
However, SWS drew four penalties down the stretch and Wilton closed to within 8-7 with 38.1 seconds to play before SWS secured its second win of the season.
The No. 1 forward lines for each team put together a highlight reel Saturday night.
For Stamford-Westhill-Staples freshman Meadow Gilchrist had five goals and one assist. It was the third time in the last four contests that Gilchrist had scored scored three or more goals.
For Wilton, junior center Meghan Lane collected four goals and three assists. Her linemate, junior Caitlyn Hocker finished with one goal and four assists.
Both teams are breaking in young goalies where experience is the only path to learning and improvement.
For SWS, junior goalie Tori Morgan made her second varsity start of the season and earned her first varsity win.
She amassed 21 saves including nine in the second period as SWS built a 6-3 cushion.
“Tori made some excellent saves,” Stallings said. “Our defense has to clear the puck better from out front to support her. But Tori is making good strides.”
For Wilton, freshman Emily Johnson had 16 saves.
“Emily is a first-year goalie who is learning about the FCIAC as trial by fire,” said Wilton coach Peter Maxfield. “She is resilient and always provides her best effort. Our top forward line accounted for all seven goals. But overall, we are a very young group. We feel there is a good group of kids coming up from youth hockey. So we are excited about the future in this very tough FCIAC.”
SWS 8, WILTON 7
WILTON 2 1 4—7
SWS 4 2 2—8
Goals: W—Caitlyn Hocker, Meghan Lane 4, Alex Cullen, Holly Corper. SWS—Meadow Gilchrist 5, Carolyn Gray, Rachel Mensah 2.