NEWINGTON, March 26, 2021 – It had been about 42 hours or so since the Newington co-op ice hockey team had come off the ice after their epic five overtime win over Wethersfield on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the CCC South tournament.
The game, one of the longest in state high school history, went on for nearly four hours before Sam Davies got his shot over the shoulder of valiant freshman goalie Matthew Ruck of Wethersfield to end the contest.
Would the Blue and Gold be out of gas after such an emotional victory? Would Tri-Town be able to capitalize and pull off another upset as they did in the semifinals with their win over top-seeded Hall/Southington?
Not a chance. Newington scored twice in the first 4:37 of the game and the Blue and Gold defense pitched a shutout as Newington won the Central Connecticut Conference South title with a dominating 5-0 victory on Friday night at Newington Arena.
Sam Hedlund had two goals and two assists for Newington (11-1-1) while Kilian Ranger had two goals and an assist. Goalie Andrew Fogarty made 11 saves in the net to earn the shutout in his final scholastic contest.
“It was hard (to come back from Wednesday’s marathon win),” Fogarty said. “I bet this team thought we would be tired but we wanted to win this so bad and we finally got the win we wanted.”
Newington, which is a co-op program with players from Canton, Cromwell, Berlin and Manchester, was making their first appearance in a CCC South Tournament title game since 2012 – the last time they had won the league tournament. Over the past three seasons, the Indians had won 45 regular season games but had yet to bring home a championship banner.
“The kids were just motivated to win this championship,” long-time Newington co-op coach David Harackiewicz said.”The (Wethersfield) win which was a very emotional win and very exhausting. But they recovered well. They were rested and they were just determined to win this game. We played outstanding by moving the puck and forechecking. (Tri-Town) couldn’t get out of their own end.
“We played as a team and our goaltending was outstanding just as it was the other night,” he said.
Braeden Humphrey, one of four Canton players on the squad, said, “We came out with the exact same fire we had against Wethersfield (on Wednesday) and this team wasn’t ready for it. It was a pure battle of who was more ready in the beginning.”
Petrino scored just 51 seconds into the game off an assist from Davies. Kilian Ranger made it 2-0 for Newington with a goal with 4:37 gone in the contest.
Tri-Town, a co-op team based in Ellington with players from Somers and East Windsor, usually plays in the Nutmeg League but due to the pandemic, they were added to the Central Connecticut Conference this season. The Terrorcats went 6-6 during the regular season before stunning Hall/Southington, 3-1 in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Tri-Town (7-7) had a few opportunities but the Newington defense, anchored by Humphrey and sophomore classmate from Canton – Evan Howard, gave up few opportunities. And Fogarty was there to make the necessary saves.
“This means everything,” Fogarty said. “It was the senior’s last game and we’re not having a state tournament so this win means everything to us.”
Newington co-op 5, Tri-Town 0
Tri-Town (7-7) 0 0 0 — 0
Newington (11-1-1) 2 1 2 — 5
Goals: Sam Hedlund (N) 2, Kilian Ranger (N) 2, Joey Petronio (N); Assists: Hedlund (N) 2, K. Ranger (N), Evan Howard (N), Harrison Ranger (N), Sam Davies (N); Saves: Andrew Fogarty (N) 11, Reave Stafford (TT)
2021 CCC South
Wednesday, March 24
(3) Newington co-op 3, (2) Wethersfield 2, 5 OT
(4) Tri-Town 3, (1) Hall/Southington 1
Friday, March 26
Final – Newington co-op 5, Tri-Town 0
Recent CCC South championship games
2020: Wethersfield/Middletown/Rocky Hill/Plainville 5, Hall/Southington 2
2019: E.O. Smith/Tolland 9, Hall/Southington 5
2018: Enfield co-op 6, Hall/Southington 1
2017: Farmington Valley 7, E.O. Smith/Tolland 4
2016: Farmington Valley 5, E.O. Smith /Tolland 2
2015: Fermi/Enfield/Stafford/E. Granby 4, E.O. Smith/Tolland 1
2014: Bolton/Coventry/Rockville/Lyman 5, Hall/Southington 2
2013: East Catholic 4, Farmington Valley 1
2012: Newington/Berlin 3, Hall/Southington 2
2011: Newington/Berlin 5, Windsor/Avon/East Granby 0
2010: Newington/Berlin 2, E.O. Smith/Tolland/Windham 1, OT
2009: Hall/Southington 4, Newington/Berlin 2