Ice Hockey shakes off rust, goes 1-1 after break

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Matt Ganey leads a Warrior-Knight possession during a loss to WMRP after a two-week hiatus.

After more than two weeks away from action, Hall-Southington boys ice hockey returned to the ice last week in a rematch against one of the state’s best.

While the Warrior-Knights came up short in their quest for redemption, they responded strongly with a win later in the week.

Loss in WMRP rematch

FEB. 5—The Warrior-Knights found the net first but WMRP’s offense eventually began clicking and scored six of the game’s next seven goals in an 8-4 win.  Like in their previous matchup, WMRP was able to control possession of the puck and limit Hall-Southington’s chances.

Duncan Hollander scored twice for the Warrior-Knights while Matt Weir and Christian Mohr each added a goal as well.  WMRP outshot Hall-Southington 27-18.  Noah Behrens-Gould had 18 saves in the loss.

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“It was tough because of the two-week layoff but I don’t think we came out with our best effort against WMRP,” head coach Brian Cannon said.  “We were able to get that first goal but I just don’t think we were totally prepared for their speed and their ability to score in bunches.”

Win at UConn rink

FEB. 7—Hall-Southington made the trip to the University of Connecticut when they took on EO Smith coop.  Cannon’s squad was able to hold EO Smith-Tolland from winning their fourth in the last five as they took a 5-2 victory.

Goals by Sean Roach and Cam Perez put the Warrior-Knights on top in the first period but Bryan Roy of EO Smith responded with a  goal to hold the deficit at one in the first intermission.  Hall-Southington added two more in the second to give a three-goal lead heading into the final period, which was enough to hold on.

The Warrior-Knights took an eye-opening 45 shots on goal, compared to 22 for EO Smith.  Roach had two goals while Weir and Duncan Hollander added a goal each.  Hollander also had two assists.

“I thought we came out and played well against EO Smith,” Cannon said.  “Of course, we could have done some things better but overall, it was a good effort.  We continue to spread out our scoring which can be good for a few reasons.  I think we have had 13 forwards score this season and that does not even count the defensemen.”

Hall-Southington entered this week in the No. 5 spot of the Division III rankings.  They will take on the top-two teams in the same class over the next two weeks.  Cannon said his team has the ability to win against anybody but they have to be prepared for the high-caliber competition.

“It has been a tough season with scheduling but we are capable of beating anybody on our schedule,” Cannon said.  “But we have to put our best effort forward.  These teams are big and they are fast.  Newington looks awfully good this year.  But I think we are up to it.  The kids look forward to playing.”

The Warrior-Knights were back in action on Wednesday (Feb. 12) when they travelled to East Haven coop.  Their scheduled game against Daniel Hand tomorrow (Feb. 15) has been moved up to Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.  That means Hall-Southington will play on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at Sports@SouthingtonObserver.com.