Tri-Town hockey team putting together a good rebound year

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington/East Windsor/Somers - posted Thu., Jan. 23, 2014
Tri-Town senior and assistant captain Nick Violette carries the puck past the Fermi-Enfield defenders on Jan. 22. Photos by Steve Smith.
Tri-Town senior and assistant captain Nick Violette carries the puck past the Fermi-Enfield defenders on Jan. 22. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Tri-Town (Ellington, Somers, East Windsor) varsity hockey team is having a much-improved season over last year's 1-19 campaign. The team is now 5-3-1, after a tie to Enfield-Fermi on Jan. 22.

Coach Jesse Peters said his team is very young, with his four seniors being complemented by 11 underclassmen and only two juniors.

“We're just trying to find our own,” Peters said. “Our identity is that we are a hard-working, dump-and-chase team. We're trying to put shots on net, and get to loose pucks.”

Sophomore defender Tom Burgess and freshman winger Ryan Sherba have been standouts this season, and senior captains Connor Wyllie, Rudy O'Konis and Nick Violette have anchored the team. Senior goalie Alex Bliesener has also earned compliments from other coaches.

“Every coach I've played has said Alex has been exceptional in goal,” Peters said.

Peters said just a couple more wins should qualify the team for the post-season tournament, and getting there will require maintaining the level of play they have had so far this year.

“We're headed in the right direction,” he said. “We have two division two wins, and a tie. For a D-III team coming of the season we had last year, we're doing well. Going forward is a matter of sticking to our game plan, not trying to do too much, not complicating things, and keeping things as simple as possible.”

Peters said it's also about team chemistry and teaching the younger players how to get used to winning ways. “It's learning how to win all over again, learning how to finish teams out, learning how to be good at the end of games as well as at the beginning of games, and learning how to put three periods together on a nightly basis,” he said. 

Peters said he has pride in what his team has accomplished, and faith that the team's single-mindedness can take them far. “We've all bought in,” he said. “We've all got the right attitude. We need to learn how to come back from losses and overcome adversity, but we'll be able to do that. We have to look at the big goal, which is qualifying for the state tournament.”

Tri-Town hosts North Branford on Jan. 25, and then travels to Daniel Hand on Jan. 29.

For a complete schedule, visit www.ciacsports.com.


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