No. 1 Fairfield Prep spreads out scoring, tops No. 10 ND-Fairfield
SHELTON — The state’s preseason No. 1 hockey team was 0-2 coming into Saturday but managed its first win Saturday at The Rinks at Shelton before the Christmas break.
Fairfield Prep got two Calyb Reeves goals at key moments, including the goal that put the Jesuits ahead for good, and went on to a 5-2 win over No. 10 Notre Dame-Fairfield.
“The main focus is to keep it rolling,” Reeves said. “We started off the season pretty slow, but every game, I feel, we’ve picked it up. We got a couple of bad bounces against Darien (a 2-1 loss Wednesday), but it was nice to come out here and get everyone contributing, all the way down the line.”
Each of the three players on the Jesuits’ “Green Line” scored a goal, spreading the offense around after Colin Bella (who had two assists Saturday) scored the first three goals of their season over the first two games.
“We were strong defensively (against Darien), and today I thought we continued that defense and did a better job of getting pucks to the net,” Jesuits coach Matt Sather said.
“We’re not, in terms of systems, polished enough to cut anybody up at this point. We’ve got to be a little more blue-collar, and today, we did that.”
The Lancers (1-3) scored both goals on the power play, but even strength belonged to the Jesuits, who finished the game with a 41-20 edge in shots on goal.
“The biggest takeaway is a mindset, a winning mindset versus a mindset where we don’t expect to win games, finding ways to lose games,” Lancers coach John Longo said. “Fairfield Prep, whether they have 12 seniors or two seniors, they expect to win every night and find ways to win every night.
“We’ve got to find that next gear to be able to compete with teams like that consistently. We were very careless with the puck tonight, losing just about every loose puck.”
The Lancers killed off a couple of Fairfield Prep power plays in the first period, and Notre Dame goalie Kacy Adams made a couple of saves to keep it scoreless.
The teams traded goals in short order late in the second, Anthony Clericuzio for the Jesuits off a bounce off a prone Notre Dame defender, Nate Stiles on a power-play deflection for the Lancers.
Then Reeves scored on a breakout up the right wing with 1:29 left in the first, shooting inside the left post to give the Jesuits a 2-1 lead.
“Bella made a great play on the boards and poked it by the defenseman,” Reeves said. “I picked it up looking for him, because he’s got the hot hand, usually. Last-minute I thought ‘I’ll take one’ and just fired it where we talked about firing it.”
Goals by Matt Wenger and Reeves again made it 4-1 two and a half minutes into the third.
“We’ve got to recognize important points of the game. We’ve got a 1-1 game, end of the second period, we’ve got to know No. 10 (Reeves) is on the ice,” Longo said.
“We can’t get three guys trapped low and let them score, which is a huge turning point in the game. ... Calyb Reeves is one of, if not the best, high school hockey players. We’ve got to be aware when he’s on the ice.”
Aaron Martino’s power-play goal gave the Lancers life with just under four minutes left, but Mason Whitney scored short-handed for the Jesuits to finish it off.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Calyb Reeves scored twice for Fairfield Prep.
GET OUT OF TOWN
After Christmas, the Jesuits will make their usual trip to Rhode Island for the Mount Saint Charles Holiday Faceoff, beginning with defending Rhode Island state champion LaSalle Academy on Thursday. Notre Dame heads to Maine for the St. Dominic’s Christmas Classic, where Smithfield (R.I.) will be its first opponent on Wednesday.
“Getting shots to the net is something coach was preaching, trying to get a shot every minute. Our goal was 45, so we didn’t live up to it. We got to 41, so we’re not where we want to be, but we’re making progress. That’s great.” —Reeves
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FAIRFIELD PREP 5, NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD 2
FAIRFIELD PREP0 2 3—5
NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD0 1 1—2
Records: Fairfield Prep 1-2; Notre Dame-Fairfield 1-3. Goals: FP—Calyb Reeves 2, Anthony Clericuzio, Matt Wenger, Mason Whitney; NDF—Nate Stiles, Aaron Martino. Assists: FP—Colin Bella 2, Chandler Dumont 2, Teddy Gravanis, Whitney; NDF—Tom Kuryla, Kevin Kelly, Matt Ward. Goalies: FP—Jake Walker (18 saves); NDF—Kacy Adams (36). Shots: FP—41; NDF—20.