Huskies can’t erase three-goal deficit in loss to No. 3 BU

UConn senior Cody Sharib scored in the third period but it wasn't enough at No. 3 BU outlasted the Huskies in Hartford, 5-2 on Saturday. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

UConn senior Cody Sharib scored in the third period but it wasn’t enough at No. 3 BU outlasted the Huskies in Hartford, 5-2 on Saturday. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

HARTFORD, Nov. 22 – Trailing by three goals, the UConn men’s hockey team had scored two goals in less than a minute with about 11 minutes left in the game. The crowd of more than 7,000 fans in the XL Center was rocking. The energy was pulsating through the building. 

But No. 3 Boston University didn’t panic. Head coach David Marsh called a timeout. The Terriers regrouped and gave up just two shots in the final 10 minutes and scored two late goals to beat the Huskies, 5-2 on Saturday.

BU (8-1-1, 6-1-1 Hockey East) led 3-0 in the third period. But Connecticut scored twice in 57 seconds on goals by senior Cody Sharib and freshman Corey Ronan to the lead to one goal. 

“I didn’t think the game was over by any stretch of the imagination,” Marsh said. “They were relentless. The crowd was into it and (UConn) was feeding off their energy.” Continue Reading

UConn hockey team beats another top 20 squad for third win

UConn freshman Spencer Naas (8) scored for the Huskies in their 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont in Hartford Friday night. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

UConn freshman Spencer Naas (8) scored for the Huskies in their 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont in Hartford Friday night. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

HARTFORD – The University of Connecticut ice hockey team isn’t fazed by top 20 opponents – especially at home in the XL Center. The Huskies earned their third win of the season over the nationally ranked opponent with a 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont Friday night in a Hockey East contest before 5,072 fans in Hartford.

Quinnipiac was ranked No. 15 when UConn earned a 4-1 win in October and Boston College was ranked No. 3 in the country when the Huskies prevailed in their home opener in Hartford about two weeks ago.

“I’m really proud of our club,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We had a good first period and we were rewarded with a goal and a 1-0 lead. In the second period, they came out and took it to us. But we responded well. We didn’t give up a lot of second chances in front of the net. We stayed on our toes and responded well.”

UConn (3-5-4, 2-2-1 Hockey East) gave up just two shots in the final nine minutes and just five total in the third period as the Huskies beat the first place team in Hockey East.Continue Reading

Defending champion Huskies going back to the NCAA championship game

The Huskies celebrate after scoring in their 1-0 semifinal win over Albany Friday at the Final Four.

The Huskies celebrate after scoring in their 1-0 semifinal win over Albany Friday at the Final Four.

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 21 – The Huskies are going back to the NCAA field hockey championship game. No. 3 Connecticut scored less than four minutes into the game and didn’t look back in a 1-0 win over Albany at the Final Four at the University of Maryland Friday night.

UConn (19-2) will play old Big East foe Syracuse for the national championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. The defending NCAA champion Huskies will playing in the final for the sixth time. UConn won last year and 1981 and 1985. The game will be televised live on NCAA.com.Continue Reading

ADs confirm that Avon, Granby share NCCC championship in field hockey

Granby's Abigail Phillips, right, breaks up a pass from Avon's Emily Stross in Tuesday's NCCC game in Avon.

Granby’s Abigail Phillips, right, breaks up a pass from Avon’s Emily Stross in a NCCC contest in Avon during September.

A week after the regular season was completed, athletic directors from the North Central Connecticut Conference confirmed in a meeting that Avon and Granby are league co-champions in field hockey and established the criteria for determining the league title.

Granby beat Avon, 2-1 in September and the Falcons beat Granby, 3-2 in overtime on October 23. Granby tied the game with no time left on the clock forcing it into overtime where Avon scored 1:30 into the extra session to earn the victory.

There was confusion on how the NCCC was awarding points to determine the league champion. Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a tie.

However, the CIAC has a slight twist in how they award points to schools attempting to qualify for the state tournament. Teams get two points for a win, one point for a tie and one point for losing a game in overtime.

Was the NCCC awarding points for just for victories and ties or would a team get a point for an overtime loss? And why was this important?Continue Reading

Canton beats Avon in OT thriller to win Uncas Division title

Canton's Dan Delos (34) celebrates with his teammates after the Warriors  beat Avon in overtime, 27-24 to win a record ninth game and the Uncas Division title.

Canton’s Dan Delos (34) celebrates with his teammates after the Warriors beat Avon in overtime, 27-24 to win a record ninth game and the Uncas Division title.

CANTON, Nov. 15 – When their back was to the wall, the Canton High football team stood firm. Twice, Avon took a seven-point lead in Saturday’s Pequot Conference Uncas Division showdown. 

“There may have been a small piece of doubt in some of them but their belief in each other was larger than that and they kept on going,” Canton coach Paul Philippon said. 

“We trust our teammates. We trust our coaches and they trust us,” Canton senior Cam Daley said. 

The Warriors forced three Avon turnovers. They missed a potential game-winning field goal with 21 seconds remaining in regulation but made two big defensive stops in overtime. And then, Canton won it in OT when Dan Delos scored on a five-yard run for a thrilling 27-21 victory. 

The victory gives Canton (9-1, 8-0) the Pequot Uncas Division title – its first league championship since 1958 and keeps the Warriors in the hunt for their first-ever CIAC playoff berth. “This game meant everything to us,” Delos said. “Everything was on the line for us.” A loss would have jeopardized the Uncas Division title and playoff berth. 

Avon (6-4, 6-2 Pequot Uncas) saw their Class M playoff hopes all but vanish. Continue Reading

Avon boys share state championship with Branford

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday's Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday’s Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

MIDDLETOWN, Nov. 15 – For the Avon High boys soccer team, the ending of Saturday’s Class L championship game wasn’t quite what they had in mind. 

The Falcons were looking for a state championship – their first since 2000. They outshot Branford High by a 28-2 margin. Falcon goalie Dan Magrini didn’t make a save. Junior Riley Strassner scored his team-leading 33rd goal of the season. 

Yet, when the game was complete, No. 11 Avon and No. 17 Branford stood together as co-champions after the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. There are no penalty kicks  in the championship game after the two 10-minute overtime periods. 

“Coming off the field, they were crushed,” Avon coach Dave Zlatin told the New Haven Register. “But I was trying to be positive with them, that it’s still a state title. By the time they were posing for the pictures, I think it had begun to sink in.” Continue Reading

Immaculate rallies with pair of second half goals to beat Avon girls for state title

Soccer graphic CPWEST HAVEN, Nov. 15 – Throughout the season, the Avon High girls soccer team found a way to win games. On Saturday in the Class L championship, Immaculate-Danbury found the way. The Mustangs converted on a pair of corner kicks in the second half to erase a one-goal deficit and win the Class L title with a 2-1 decision. 

Paige Davis scored twice, including her second goal with 9:32 left in the game to lead the Mustangs. Immaculate won its ninth state championship and first in Class L. The Mustangs won a share of eight Class S titles before moving up to Class L last fall. Meghan McKenna had a first half goal for the Falcons. 

“I thought we played even with them for most of the game,” Avon coach Jim Murray told the New Haven Register. “In the second half, with the wind, they put a lot of pressure on us. They did a good job and finished their opportunities. Those two corners, you know, what are you going to do? It happens.” 

Click here to read more on the game from GameTIme CT.Continue Reading

A perfect season for Mills field hockey concludes with state championship win

Sadie Robinson (14), Kelly Winterbottom (24), Andrah Stone (8) and Alicia Jackson (2) celebrate after Lewis Mills won the Class S title with a 3-0 win over Granby. (Photo by Pete Paguaga, New Haven Register

Sadie Robinson (14), Kelly Winterbottom (24), Andrah Stone (8) and Alicia Jackson (2) celebrate after Lewis Mills won the Class S title with a 3-0 win over Granby. (Photo by Pete Paguaga, New Haven Register

WETHERSFIELD, Nov. 15 – It turns out that the Canton field hockey team was eliminated from the state tournament earlier this month by the eventual state champion – Lewis Mills. 

The Spartans completed an undefeated season (19-0) with a dominating 3-0 win over Granby to win the Class S championship Saturday at Wethersfield High. Mills didn’t give up a goal in four state tournament victories and allowed just four goals all year. Mills goalie Jilian Mazon stopped 10 shots. 

“Defense wins championships and that’s what gave us this opportunity to win a championship,” Mills Katie Neuhausser said. “We played our hearts out against a very strong Granby team.” Click on the following link to read more on the game from GameTIme CT. For Lewis Mills, it was their second state championship in field hockey but the first title they won outright. They shared the 2005 Class S title with Haddam-Killingworth. 

League titles, playoff berths on the line when Canton hosts Avon on Saturday

Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks' Khamri Thomas in Saturday's 37-13 Pequot Uncas victory.

Canton’s defense has allowed 97 points in nine games this year. Above, Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks’ Khamri Thomas earlier this year.

Opportunities that never existed for decades of Canton High athletes stand today in front of the Canton High football team. 

With two games remaining in the regular season, Canton (8-1, 7-0 Pequot Uncas) has an opportunity to win its first league championship since 1958. The Warriors can also earn a berth in the CIAC state playoffs with victories in their final two games. 

They need to beat Avon, a team that has won five Pequot Uncas Division titles in the last seven years and has earned three playoff berths in the last six years. Avon (6-2, 6-1 Pequot Uncas) is hoping to keep their own flickering playoff hopes alive with victories in their two last games. 

With so much on the line for both teams, Avon and Canton will meet for the tenth and final time on the football field Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Canton. Both teams have games remaining on Thanksgiving morning but this week’s game looms as a season-defining contest for both schools. 

The Warriors can clinch the Pequot Uncas Division title with a win over Avon. It would be Canton’s first pennant since claiming the 1958 North Central League title. And it would move Canton one step closer to a berth in the CIAC Class S tournament. Continue Reading

Roots of the Canton, Avon rivalry in football date back to 1930s

In white, the Canton football team was a running team in 1954. The Warriors were made up of players from Canton, Avon and Burlington through the end of the 1950s.

In white, the Canton football team was a running team in 1954. Through the end of the 1950s, the Warriors were made up of players from Canton, Avon and Burlington.

They play for the final time on Saturday. Canton and Avon, whose football roots are intertwined with each other, hit the field on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Canton High.

With a victory, the Warriors can win their first league championship since 1958 when they captured the North Central League title with victories over Gilbert, Housatonic, Berlin, Simsbury and Farmington. Canton (8-1, 7-0 Pequot Uncas) can also take a giant step toward a possible spot in the CIAC Class S tournament with a win.

Avon (6-3, 6-1 Pequot Uncas) is looking to keep their Class L playoff hopes alive along with the potential of claiming a share of the Uncas Division title for one last time. Next fall, Avon will join the Central Connecticut Conference and this rivalry will come to a close.

The two schools have a long tradition together in football. Most of it was playing as one team for nearly 30 years. Until 1958, most Avon and Burlington students went to school in Canton, which was the regional school at the time.Continue Reading

Marcus has two goals as Avon girls return to Class L championship game

The Avon High girls soccer team celebrates earning a spot in the state championship game for the 10th time after a 2-0 win over Mercy in the Class L semifinals Wednesday.

The Avon High girls soccer team celebrates earning a spot in the state championship game for the 10th time after a 2-0 win over Mercy in the Class L semifinals Wednesday.

MERIDEN, Nov. 12 – The Avon High girls soccer team is going back to the Class L state championship game. The Falcons clamped down on Mercy High in a 2-0 semifinal victory Wednesday night at Falcon Field, allowing just three shots on goal.

Avon’s leading scorer Michaela Marcus had two goals to lead the Falcons back to the state final for the fifth time in the last six years. No. 4 Avon (16-1-2) will play No. 6 Immaculate-Danbury (13-2-4) for the state championship on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at West Haven High School.

Marcus scored on Avon’s second shot of the game, connecting from 15 yards away with about 9:58 gone in the game. Marcus sprinted away from two Tiger defenders on the far sideline and before they could catch up with her, Marcus ripped a shot that got past Mercy goalie Alyssa Morrisey and inside the far post.

Avon spent much of the game controlling the ball. Mercy (12-5-3) didn’t get off a legitimate shot against Avon goalie Emma Carlone until the later stages of the second half and the Falcons had a two-goal lead.Continue Reading

Hand rallies with two goals in eight minutes to deny Avon in Class M semifinal

Avon's Molly Sanderson (8) tries to control the ball under pressure from Hand's Erin Mammele (24) in Tuesday's Class M semifinal game in Cheshire.

Avon’s Molly Sanderson (8) tries to control the ball under pressure from Hand’s Erin Mammele (24) in Tuesday’s Class M semifinal game in Cheshire.

CHESHIRE, Nov. 11 – The persistence of the Hand High field hockey team was too much for Avon in Tuesday night’s Class M semifinals. 

The Falcons played with poise and strength but Hand scored two goals in about eight minutes to deny Avon a spot in the state championship game with a 2-1 victory at Cheshire High. 

No. 6 Avon (14-3-1) led by a goal at halftime but the No. 2 seeded Tigers outshot the Falcons, 7-3 in the second half and had an 8-5 edge in penalty corners in the second 30 minutes. Hand (19-2-1) had three penalty corners in the last two minutes to kills off the clock and earn a spot in its fifth state championship game. 

The Tigers, in search of its first-ever state title in field hockey, will face top-seeded and defending champion Wilton in the championship game. Continue Reading

Third annual Thanksgiving Day road race to be held in Collinsville

Runners in the 2013 O'Briley 5K Turkey Trot in Collinsville. (Photo courtesy of Canton Patch)

Runners in the 2013 O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot in Collinsville. (Photo courtesy of Canton Patch)

The Manchester Road Race isn’t the only Thanksgiving Day road race for area runners to burn off a few calories before their afternoon feasts. The third annual O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot and one-mile kids fun run will be held Thanksgiving morning in Collinsville. 

The race will begin near the Crown and Hammer Restaurant in Collinsville and be run along the Farmington River trail. Race proceeds will benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Runners are also encouraged to leave donations for the Canton Food Bank. 

The fun run for kids begins at 8:30 a.m. with the 5K (3.1 miles) race beginning at 9:15 a.m. Race day registration will be accepted. However, those runners who register by Wednesday, Nov. 12 will receive a free t-shirt. Continue Reading

One goal is enough for Avon to punch a ticket to the Class L title game

Avon's Riley Strassner, left, and Matthew Fuge (4) celebrate as South Windsor goalie Josh Inkel can only look at the ball in the net. Fuge's goal 1:58 into the game gave Avon a 1-0 victory.

Avon’s Riley Strassner, left, and Matthew Fuge (4) celebrate as South Windsor goalie Josh Inkel can only look at the ball in the net. Fuge’s goal 1:58 into the game gave Avon a 1-0 victory.

MERIDEN, Nov. 10 – The Avon High boys soccer team scored in the first two minutes of the game and used its defense to shut down South Windsor and earn a spot in the Class L championship for the third time in the last four years with a 1-0 decision Monday night at Falcon Field.

Avon (16-1-3) will play for a state championship on Saturday against either No. 17 Branford (12-5-2) or No. 21 Joel Barlow-Redding (9-4-6) at a time and date to be announced. Branford and Barlow play Tuesday night in their semifinal match.

“We talked last week about try to get back to winning with defense and we did,” Avon’s second-year head coach David Zlatin said. “They threw a lot at us in the second half but we weathered the storm. If we have to rely on defense to win a game, I’m very comfortable with that.”

Avon came up with some big defensive plays in the second half to hold off the No. 18 ranked Bobcats (12-7-1). None was bigger than a play by Jack Keenan and Stephen Dorney with about five minutes gone in the second half. Continue Reading

Goal in final seconds lifts Avon past Guilford and into Class L semifinal

Hannah Davey's goal with one second remaining helped Avon beat Guilford, 3-2 on Saturday.

Hannah Davey’s goal with one second remaining helped Avon beat Guilford, 3-2 on Saturday.

AVON, Nov. 8 – The Avon High girls soccer team had the game in control. They had a two-goal lead with about 20 minutes remaining. But don’t underestimate the heart of a champion. 

Defending Class L champion Guilford scored two goals in the final 20 minutes to tie the game. However, junior Hannah Davey scored with one second left to lift the Falcons to a thrilling 3-2 decision over the Indians in the Class L quarterfinals Saturday at Fisher Meadows. 

The victory, the 400th in the long career of head coach Jim Murray, moves No. 4 Avon (15-1-2) into the upcoming Class L semifinals against Mercy High in Middletown (12-3-3) for the opportunity to play in the state championship game. Avon played in the four consecutive Class L finals from 2009-12, winning twice in 2011 and 2012. 

Davey shot from about 25 yards away toward the back post and beat Guilford goalie Emily Stephens for the game winner. It was Davey’s 14th goal of the season, which ties her for the team lead with Michaela Marcus. Continue Reading