NEWINGTON - The Newington-Berlin boys ice hockey team carried loads of promise after a 17-3 regular season, but untimely injuries ended the Indians’ season much sooner than expected.
After falling to Hall-Southington in the conference tournament, Newington-Berlin was silenced by Housatonic on Monday night, falling 4-0 at home in the opening round of the Division-III state tournament. The Indians, who struggled with injuries down the stretch of the season, are eliminated after reaching the semifinals last year.
Newington-Berlin battled hard through most of the first period, keeping a scoreless tie until Housatonic snuck one past goaltender Andrew Fogarty shorthanded with 1:30 left in the period to grab a 1-0 lead. Another goal in the second put the deficit at 2-0, while the Indians continued to struggle generating chances.
A pair of empty netters late in the third sealed the win for Housatonic, and sent Newington-Berlin home after coming into the tournament with championship aspirations.
Hall-Southington 6, Staples 2: The third-seeded Warrior-Knights used a fast start on Monday night to advance into the second round of the Division III state tournament, where they will host the winner of Wilton and Masuk.
The Warrior-Knights struck early, scoring on an odd-man rush with 11:40 left in the first to grab a 1-0 lead, and kept rolling from there. Another goal 70 seconds later made it 2-0, and yet another with 8:15 left in the opening period made it 3-0 before Staples could blink.
The Wreckers finally had a response on a goal by Jason Wolgast with 7:45 left in the first, and the scoring barrage continued when Ben Epes scored for Staples less than two minutes later to suddenly pull the Wreckers within one.
Hall-Southington settled back down and extended its lead in the second with a power play goal, then added another with 8:09 left to regain a three-goal lead. In the third, the Warrior-Knights continued to pour it on, taking a 6-2 lead with 7:30 remaining and cruising the rest of the way to move one step closer to a state championship.