Girls hockey: Wilton holds off Trumbull behind Lane's six goals
After Trumbull-St. Joseph scored three goals in a span of four minutes to tie the game with six minutes left, Pete Maxfield thought of calling a time-out to settle his team down.
But the Wilton-Norwalk girls hockey head coach was confident the Warriors would bounce back — and he was right as they tallied three goals in the final five minutes for a 7-4 win on Thursday at Shelton Rinks.
“I never thought they were going to get down. I’ve never seen them get down,” he said. “I thought about calling a timeout when (Trumbull) tied it up but I wanted to get them right back out there and get them right back in the action and going.”
With a player like Meghan Lane, it’s no wonder the coach would want the team back on the ice. The sophomore center, who led the Warriors with six goals and an assist, set up the go-ahead goal and then scored two insurance goals late in the game.
“Meghan had a great game, obviously. You can’t ask for more than six goals from one player. She always finds a way to put the puck in the net,” said Maxfield.
It was the first win of the season for Wilton, after a disappointingt 0-2 start. Maxfield said it’s clear after three games that there will be no easy victories this season.
“I think girls hockey across the state had really improved a lot. Everybody had improved,” he said.
Caitlyn Hocker, who scored what proved to be the winning goal, finished with one goal and assist, and Molly Thomas had one assist.
For Trumbull-St. Joseph (1-3), Erin Owens had a dominating performance and finished with three goals, with Bailey Delsalto also scoring. Mackenzie Meaney had three assists and Megan McCarthy one assist.
The Eagles came right out and peppered the Wilton goal in the early going, with Wilton goalie Izzy Najah making six or seven saves, mostly from right in front, in the opening five minutes. The Warriors got a goal from Lane about a minute into the game. She made it 2-0 with 5:51 left in the period on a breakaway, after Thomas had nudged the puck clear of the defensive zone to set up the rush.
Despite numerous scoring chances, and 13 to 15 shots on goal, Trumbull was held scoreless in the period, which ended with Wilton up 2-0.
The Warriors made it 3-0 just over four minutes into the second period, just after a Trumbull power play had expired, on another Lane breakaway set up by a clearing pass by Thomas.
Trumbull finally got on the board with eight minutes left in the second period on a great rush up ice by Owens. Both teams had good scoring chances over the second half of the period, but both goalies — Najah and Trumbull’s Tory Coffin — came up with multiple point-blank saves.
Wilton took a 4-1 lead with 12:34 left when Hocker collected a loose puck and got off a shot that was deflected in by Lane. Another rush by Hocker nearly resulted in another goal just 20 seconds later but Coffin made the big save.
Trumbull capitalized on a five-on-three power play to cut the lead to 4-2 with 10:11 left, with Owens scoring in front off a feed from the corner by Meaney.
With the teams playing even, the Eagles made it 4-3 with 7:48 left when Delsalto’s wrist shot deflected into the goal off Najah’s chest.
Trumbull pulled even with 6:01 left on another power play, with Owens stick handling her way down the ice and past defenders to score on a backhander to make it 4-4.
The Warriors went back on top about a minute later when Hocker scored on a breakaway, set up by a beautiful cross-ice pass from out of the defensive zone by Lane.
Another Wilton penalty put Trumbull back on the power play, but Najah came up with a great save on Lydia Prezioso as she crashed the net to knock a rebound to the left post, denying the potential game-tying goal.
Lane then put the game away with two goals in a span of 40 seconds to make it 7-4 with 2:04 left. On both plays she took the puck away from a Trumbull player in mid-ice and took it down for a breakaway.
Unofficially, both goalies finshed with about 40 saves each.