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Enfield tops Avon for NHC North title, 3-1

HARTFORD, March 7 – Enfield High kept peppering Avon High senior goalie Mike Munoz and the Falcon goalie kept making saves to give his a team an opportunity to win a championship. Munoz made 22 saves including stopping a few breakaway scoring opportunities.
But in the end, Enfield had too much in a 3-1 victory to win the Northern Hockey Conference’s Northern Division Tournament Saturday at Trinity College.

A slow start put the pressure on Avon from the start. The Falcons had just two shots on goal in the opening period and the Raiders (17-5) scored a pair of first period goals. With just 4:22 gone, Robbie Baillargeon took a pass from Christian McNair for a 1-0 lead. About nine minutes later, Enfield made it 2-0 when McNair tipped in a hard shot from Wes Kaufman.

The Falcons (12-9-1) had 12 shots in the final two periods and cut the lead to one on Kevin Demers goal off the stick of leading scorer David Muench with 7:44 to go in the game. But the Falcons couldn’t get the game-tying goal past Enfield goalie Justin Boice (14 saves) despite hard shots from Max O’Connor and Adam Lebowitz.

Enfield, the top seeded team in the CIAC Division II tournament, scored a clinching goal with 10 seconds left off the stick of Reilly Higgins. Avon, the No. 4 seed in the NHC North tournament, opens play in the CIAC Division I tournament vs. No. 15 Darien Monday in Stamford at 5 p.m. Avon, which had won four straight games, is seeded at No. 18.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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