NEWINGTON - The Hall-Southington boys ice hockey team can shoot, thereâ€™s no doubt about that, but the question is, if they can they score consistently enough to contend for a state championship.
Wednesday night against Newington-Berlin, the Warrior-Knights took 49 shots on net to score four goals. In the first period alone, they took 19 shots and didnâ€™t find the back of the net once.
"We're not a particularly good scoring team," Hall-Southington head coach Brian Cannon said earlier in the season. "We can go out [and] play pretty hard, defend, battle well, but we've never been a great scoring team and that's where it gets us.â€ť
It proved costly as the Warrior-Knights fell to the rival Indians 5-4 in overtime to drop to 10-5-1 on the season.
â€ś[Newington] came in with a strong plan, they executed it and our kids didnâ€™t respond to it well,â€ť Cannon said. â€śThey never got going on the way theyâ€™re supposed to play and you end up with a close game.â€ť
â€śWe had good pressure throughout all periods, but we just couldnâ€™t finish,â€ť senior forward Graham Kennedy said. â€śWe didnâ€™t move the puck through the neutral zone, so that limited our ability to enter the offensive zone.â€ť
Hall-Southington has struggled in taking advantage of scoring chances since the season began.
In the season opener against Tri-Town, the Warriors-Knights controlled possession of the puck for almost 80 percent of the game, but scored just twice on a whopping 49 shots.
â€śWe came out of the gate with some really bad performances,â€ť Cannon said. â€śAnd we had some performances that we absolutely dominated, but we just couldnâ€™t put the puck in the net.â€ť
In order to make their postseason run as long as last yearâ€™s, when they made it to the Division III title game, the Warrior-Knights are going to need to find that consistency.
Now in Division II, Hall-Southington will need to be even better with the team facing a different level of competition.
â€śWe need to play a full game,â€ť Kennedy said. â€śWe canâ€™t give up in the end [like we did on Wednesday]. We need to keep pushing toward the playoffs and keep our momentum going.â€ť
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 firstname.lastname@example.org