Wildcats fall in overtime thriller
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Wed., Jan. 16, 2013
The first of what will be many intense local battles between two of North Central Connecticut’s elite hockey programs saw a back-and-forth battle before the Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks fell to local rival Fermi/Enfield/East Granby/Stafford Falcons 3-2 in an overtime thriller on Jan. 12 at the Enfield Twin Rinks.
“It’s a great rivalry,” said Suffield head coach Nick Boorman. “It’s a lot of fun to be a part of the game; obviously we want to be on the other end of it. It’s a good rink rivalry and we will be ready for them next time we play them.”
The inexperienced Wildcats (2-5-1) have shown great resilience early on in the season, but that has not translated into the win column, as their five losses have come by a combined seven goals.
Suffield controlled play early on putting pressure on the Enfield (3-5-1) defense. Suffield’s defensemen played the blue line, keeping the puck in the zone, allowing for some opportunities but no goals. Boorman was pleased with the early intensity and effort, but hoped the offense would create better opportunities in the zone to take an early advantage.
Enfield took the lead with just over a minute and a half left in the first period when senior Nick Ferracci netted his first goal of the game on an assist from sophomore defenseman Ryan Gothers. Sophomore goalkeeper Garrett Matthews deflected a shot from senior Avery Boissy, but sophomore Brian Riley was there for the put-back and the two-goal advantage.
“Part of hockey is learning life lessons throughout, and we really preach that, so no matter what happens we will never quit,” Boorman said. “When you never quit or back down, great things can happen.”
Great things happened for Suffield after surrendering the early lead. The Wildcats went on a four-on-three power play and junior Scott McWhirter scored on a pass from sophomore Jake King to draw the Enfield lead to one. A few minutes later on a five-on-four power play, senior captain Drew Ash scored on an assist from McWhirter and King to swing the momentum and tie the game.
The Wildcats controlled the third period but could not net the game-winner. Ferracci scored the game-winner for Enfield in overtime, with just over a minute and a half left in the game.
Matthews recorded 40 saves for Suffield.