Wilton hockey beats New Milford, makes it two straight wins

Following an overtime win against Amity last Friday, the Wilton High boys hockey team defeated New Milford, 5-3, on Monday afternoon in Ridgefield to earn its second straight victory.

Wilton (4-5) grabbed the lead just 48 seconds into the game. After receiving a pass from Alec Biegen, Ned Zawislak fired a wrist shot from the slot past New Milford goalie Chris Montavalo.

Scoring first has been a struggle for the Warriors so far this season; something they know is crucial.

“It’s a lot easier playing with confidence and a lead,” said Zawislak after the game. “If we can do that every game we will have a great chance to win no matter who we play.”

Senior goalie Kyle Buckley was sharp early on, keeping the Warriors one-goal lead stand up through the first period.

In the second, Wilton got out to a fast start once again, with tri-captain Kyle Jonas backhanding the rebound from a shot by fellow captain Jameson Hill into the net after just 34 seconds of play. New Milford responded quickly, however, as Matt Delafield capitalized on a lucky bounce off the boards, ripping a shot past Buckley nearly a minute later to make it 2-1.

Late in the second period, a wide shot by Henry Hovland bounced right to Ryan Emerson, who then banked the puck in off Montavalo to give the Warriors their two-goal lead back.

“I pretty much just set myself in a good position for a rebound for a shot from the point,” said Emerson. “I saw the goalie was not completely in position yet so I threw it on net and it went off his shoulder and in.”

New Milford got back into the game early in the third period, with Jameson Steinhardt sending a hard wrist shot from the point past a screened Buckley on the power play. Steinhardt’s goal came with 13:50 left to play in the game, forcing Wilton to dig in defensively.

The Warriors did just that, killing off another power play shortly after New Milford’s goal, with Buckley coming up big to preserve Wilton’s 3-2 lead.

After some heavy pressure by New Milford, Wilton restored its two-goal lead with 2:41 left through a goal by David Craven. On the play, Craven and Jonas broke out on a 2-on-1 rush before Jonas’s shot caromed off the post right to Craven for an easy tap-in.

After Tommy Nisco scored for New Milford, making it 4-3 with 1:55 remaining, Jonas scored an empty net goal with 33.9 seconds left to seal the Warriors’ victory. Luke Rizzo made a great defensive play to chip the puck out of the defensive zone to Craven, who then fed Jonas for the goal.