Newtown rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Wilton High boys hockey team, 5-4, in overtime on Monday evening at the Winter Garden in Ridgefield in the season opener for both squads.
Sean Ferris scored the winning goal for Newtown off a rebound in overtime.
The Warriors entered the season after losing 12 players to graduation, leaving Wilton with only seven upperclassmen. Newtown, however, was in a similar situation with just four seniors on its roster.
Newtown appeared more disciplined and determined at the start of the game. The Nighthawks' precision passing led to several chances, including a breakaway by Dominic Cartelli that bounced off the crossbar.
Then the Warriors started to find their stride.
Following a series of shots by Wilton, senior defenseman Henry Hovland was able to find junior forward Peter Koch with a pinpoint pass, allowing Koch to get a great look at the net. Koch capitalized, scoring a goal to put Wilton ahead, 1-0.
As Wilton started to pick up momentum, tensions ran high between the two teams, leading to a scrum in front of Newton's net involving Hovland and Koch when two Nighthawks begin shoving other Warriors.
The ensuing power play gave Newtown just the chance it needed to get back in the game as the Nighthawks fired a barrage of shots and eventually converted on a one-timer to tie the score.
But Wilton dominated the second period, getting goals from Jake Tucker (John Fung assist) and Alec Biegen (unassisted) to open a 3-1 lead. When Biegen scored again later in the second period to make it 4-1, the game seemed to be over. But Newtown thought otherwise.
The Nighthawks reeled off three unanswered goals to tie the game midway through the third period. Ferris then supplied the game-winner in OT.