South Windsor hockey needed to finish the game

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Mon., Mar. 7, 2011
Chris Jones races to intercept Glastonbury's run to South Windsor's goal during the CCC North championship game. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Chris Jones races to intercept Glastonbury's run to South Windsor's goal during the CCC North championship game. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The South Windsor High School ice hockey team took on Glastonbury High School for the third time this season in the CCC North championship game on Saturday, March 5, at the Koeppel Community Sports Center at Trinity College in Hartford.  In the regular season games, Glastonbury won the first matchup 3-1 at home on Dec. 22, and South Windsor beat their friendly rivals 4-3 with a hat trick at the South Windsor Arena on Jan. 22.

This was the third year in a row that these two teams competed for the CCC North championship.  Glastonbury won in 2009 and South Windsor won in 2010. The first period was dominated by Glastonbury, showing good control over the puck with long passes and repeating shots at the goal. South Windsor goalie Christian Marchi, a junior, showed tremendous ability with multiple saves, sometimes as many as four excellent saves in a row.  Marchi kept the score at zero throughout the first period, despite his teammates' lack of rebounding and defense overall.

“We came out really slow,” said SWHS junior Joe Bonazelli. “We had a bad warm-up, and weren’t mentally prepared.” He said his team went into the CCC North championship not thinking it was going to be as tough a game as it was.

An entirely different South Windsor team took the ice for the second period.  South Windsor controlled the puck, keeping it away from their goal and taking multiple shots. Senior Kyle Benson got the first goal with only three minutes left in the second period, assisted by Joe Bonazelli. The second period ended 1-0 South Windsor.

South Windsor continued to take multiple shots in the third period, but Glastonbury’s goalie kept them all from going in. South Windsor’s Marchi continued to protect his goal with more outstanding saves. But, with only three minutes to go in the final period, Glastonbury’s Sam Scannell scored with an assist by Aaron Mandell, followed a minute and a half later by a second goal by Mandell, assisted by Avery Clair. South Windsor lost control of the puck at a critical turnover with less than a minute to go. There simply was not enough time on the board for South Windsor to come back.  Glastonbury won the CCC North Championship 2-0.

“Glastonbury played better tonight,” said South Windsor coach Neil Rodman, “ and had more energy.” He did manage to get his team to focus when he spoke to them between the first and second periods. “I told them to start playing hockey,” he said.

According to SWHS senior Tyler Glassman, between the first and second periods, his coach “reminded us what was at stake, and that we needed to step up or we’d lose the championship.” Glassman said his team simply did not finish out the game.

Overall, Rodman said his team made a lot of progress over the season. “We did better in the regular season than expected,” he added, “but where do we go from here.” He will be working with his team to keep emotions in check as they head into the CIAC tournament.

Ranked third in Division I, with a record of 17-3, South Windsor is scheduled to play 14th-ranked Tri-town in the first round of the CIAC tournament on March 9 at the South Windsor Arena.  The game begins at 7 p.m.

“We know we’ll get their best,” said Glassman about the match-up with Tri-Town. South Windsor won both the regular season games against Tri-Town, first 3-1 on Feb. 7, and then 4-2 on Feb. 26.

“We’re excited about it,” added Bonazelli.  “People say it’s hard to beat a team three times.  We’ll use tonight’s game as a lesson.”

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