Two interesting boys hockey games will take place on Saturday in a doubleheader at Bennett Rink in West Haven among four of the Register’s Top 10 teams.
No. 5 East Haven, off to an 8-0 start, will take on No. 1 Notre Dame-West Haven (5-1-1) at 5:15 p.m. Notre Dame hasn’t played since a 4-4 tie with No. 3 Fairfield Prep last Saturday.
Also, No. 2 Hamden (3-1) travels to No. 9 West Haven (4-2) for a 1 p.m. game to renew what is considered the oldest boys hockey rivalry in the state. It’s unclear when the two teams first played, but according to the CIAC website Hamden played in the first CIAC state championship game in 1948 and the Green Dragons won 3-2.
This season, the Easties have been on a tear with their high-powered offense led by the front-line forwards of Matt Longobardi, Tristan Goodwin and Mike Falanga. The Green Dragons have depth front to back led by forwards Matt Dumas and brothers Ryan Lynch and Kyle Lynch.
“This is such a huge game for this early part of the season.” East Haven coach Lou Pane said. “There will definitely be a playoff-type atmosphere. I don’t know if we’ll be successful, but we’ll find out if we have the talent to match up with Notre Dame.
“We’re totally prepared for this game. Winning would be nice for our players. But it would also be special for our great fan base that supports us.”
The Easties also have a little motivation since the Green Knights beat the Easties 5-4 in overtime to knock them out of the first round of the CIAC Division I tournament last season.
Another interesting fact is East Haven has four former Notre Dame players who transfered to the Eatsies – forwards Goodwin, Tyler Johnson, defenseman Joe Iannaccone and goalie Devan Avena.
In the other game, it’s always a wild and exciting game in the West Haven and Hamden rivalry.
The Green Dragons are led by forwards Sam Carignan, Dan Chicoine, Anthony Rascati, Stephen Pantera, Matt Barnett and Michael DeMatteis.
West Haven’s strength is defense led by its four returning defensemen Alex Scranton, Joe Ayala, Devin Hines and Don Froelick and goalie Mike Savino. Among the top forwards are Jaeson Puleo, Pete Lynn and Matt Kelly.