The East Haven ice hockey club continued its stellar campaign with two big games against Guilford and top-ranked Fairfield Prep in the final week of the regular season before heading into state tournament play.
The Yellowjackets kicked off the week with a convincing 7-3 home victory over SCC foe Guilford to take one in the win column in their first of back-to-back games to close the regular season. East Haven started out firing on all cylinders to take a 3-0 lead after the first period of play and increased the lead to 5-1, but Guilford stormed back in the second with two goals late in the period to cut the deficit to three heading into the third. East Haven then capped off the Indians with a late third-period goal.
“The game versus Guilford was a highly motivated game,” East Haven Head Coach Lou Pane said. “DiLungo [Rink] is the home ice for both clubs so the boys really wanted to win that game, especially after being motivated by chants from the Guilford student body.”
Stephen Marsico proved that two was the magic number on the night, grabbing himself two goals and two assists. Also contributing to the Yellowjackets’ sting were Brian Flanagan, Matt Longobardi, Rich DeCarlo, and Tristain Goodwin, each lighting the lamp for East Haven. Mike Falanga and Frank Latella were the main helpers for the Yellowjackets, both with three assists in the game. East Haven goalie Zak Bouve stopped 32 of the Indians’ 35 shots in the net.
“Guilford has a very good team,” Pane said. “We got aggressive offensively in the first period, which took them off guard. Guilford played hard, but we offensively clicked all night.”
It was not the same just 24 hours later as the Yellowjackets (12-6-2)-despite their best efforts-fell to Fairfield Prep 5-0 on Feb. 28 at DiLungo Rink. East Haven showed it could hold its own with one of Connecticut’s best, trailing only 1-0 after the first period of play and only giving up one goal in the final period. yet the Jesuits broke the collective back of the Yellowjackets behind two goals and an assist from Ken Kochiss. Will Brophy, Sean Henry, and Matt Wikman also scored for Fairfield. Bouve stopped 36 of 41 shots from Prep in this major tune-up for the postseason.
“Prep has highly skilled individuals on each one of their lines,” Pane said. “In the first, we had two or three opportunities to score to be up 2-1 after the first. Their goaltender [Chris Gutierrez] played well. Prep exposed a couple of lapses in us and that’s why they are the no. 1 team in the state. I am proud of the effort we gave, though. I’m also proud of our team that we hung with them in the first and third periods.”