Wilton rallies for first win over Ridgefield since 2011

Goalie Erin McMorris (shown in a game last season) and the Wilton girls hockey team got a rare win over Ridgefield last Friday.

Goalie Erin McMorris (shown in a game last season) and the Wilton girls hockey team got a rare win over Ridgefield last Friday.

Gretchen McMahon / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Midway through the first period last Friday, it looked to be business as usual.

The Ridgefield-Danbury girls hockey team had taken a 3-1 lead over Wilton-Norwalk-McMahon and appeared headed for yet another victory over the Warriors.

But Wilton scored two straight goals to tie the game going into the second period and then added four more unanswered goals — three in the middle period — to rally for a 7-3 triumph at the Winter Garden in Ridgefield.

It was Wilton’s first win over the Tigers since a 2-1 victory back on Jan. 19, 2011.

“From our point of view, it was the most solid game of the season for us so far,” said Wilton coach Peter Maxfield, whose team evened its record at 2-2. “We're starting to play much better team defense. Our forwards are making sure they get back to support the D through the neutral and defensive zones.”

After Wilton went ahead 1-0 on Meghan Lane’s unassisted game-opening tally, Ridgefield responded with two goals from Kate Zangre and one from Rebecca Gartner to take a 3-1 lead.

Leila Stacy scored on assists from Jane Hulse and Natalie Richardson to get Wilton back within one goal, and Lane tied the game on assists from Caitlyn Hocker and Kaelin Burke.

Assisted by Richardson, Burke put the Warriors in front, 4-3, early in the second period. Isabel DiNanno made it 5-3 off assists from Hulse and Ella Noonan, and Lane completed her hat trick (assists by Hocker and Burke) to give Wilton a three-goal lead.

Lane’s fourth goal accounted for the only scoring in the final period. Hocker and Burke were credited with assists on the goal.

“[Goalie] Erin [McMorris] is starting to feel more comfortable in net and we’re getting contributions on forward and from the defense in the offensive zones,” Maxfield said. “Meghan [Lane] is still able to find the back of the net despite other teams focusing on her. As our other players contribute more ... which they're starting to do now ... it's going to open Meghan up for more opportunities.”

Notes: Wilton’s next game is Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. against Trumbull-St. Joseph at the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton.

The loss was the fourth straight for Ridgefield, which fell to 2-4 this season.