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Newington co-op team outlasts Wethersfield in 5 OT to earn spot in final – The Collinsville Press
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Newington co-op team outlasts Wethersfield in 5 OT to earn spot in final

The Newington co-op hockey team advanced to the CCC South finals with a 5 OT win over Wethersfield on Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy Newington co-op hockey)

It was one for the ages and the history books.

The Newington High co-op ice hockey team and rival Wethersfield played a five overtime contest Wednesday night with the Blue and Gold winning the CCC South Tournament contest, 3-2, at Newington Arena with a goal from Sam Davies with 3:09 remaining.

The victory lifts Newington (10-1-1) into the CCC South title game with Tri-Town on Friday at Newington Arena. Tri-Town stunned top-seeded Hall/Southington, 3-1 in the other semifinal contest.

In front of the net, Davies took a pass from Blake Blackwood and finally got a shot past freshman goalie Matthew Ruck, who played with poise throughout the marathon contest, making 28 saves. Newington’s Evan Howard also had an assist on the game-winning score.

Is it the longest high school hockey game in state history? That’s a great question. There is no state high school ice hockey record book so its hard to say. In 1999, there was a five OT contest in the CIAC Division I finals at Yale’s Ingalls Rink.

Notre Dame-Fairfield beat New Canaan, 3-2 in 5 OT over a two-day span. The title game was suspended after three OT so that Yale could play an ECAC playoff game with Colgate. Notre Dame-Fairfield and New Canaan came back on Sunday morning to finish the game.

On Wednesday, Newington and Wethersfield played for nearly three hours. The contest began at 8:45 p.m. and the game-winning shot went into the net at 11:50 p.m.

Newington goalie Andrew Fogarty made some big saves including in the fourth overtime when Wethersfield was peppering the senior with shots in the later half of the eight-minute period. Fogarty made seven saves in that OT period — the most of any overtime period. Fogarty finished with 36 saves in the game.

Ruck made a spectacular save on Davies in the fourth OT with about 46 seconds remaining. Davies stole a pass and went 1-on-1 with Ruck, who made a pad save to keep the game going.

Braeden Humphrey, the defenseman from Canton, made several good plays in OT to prevent Wethersfield skaters from getting good shots on net. The Newington co-op has players from five towns on the squad – including Canton, Cromwell, Berlin and Manchester.

Wethersfield (8-2-1) had a one goal lead before Newington tied the game at 2-2 on a power play goal from Evan Howard with 8:13 left in regulation. Killian Ranger and Humphrey had assists on the goal.

The Eagles led 1-0 after one period but Newington co-op tied the game at 1-1 with Ranger scoring on the power play just 43 seconds gone in the second period.

It didn’t last long when Will McCarter scored for Wethersfield off an assist from Aaron Cholewa feed 1:13 later to take a 2-1 lead. Spencer Bartone also had an assist on the play.

Ranger finished with a goal and two assists while Howard had a goal and assist for the Blue and Gold.

Each OT period was eight minutes long — a normal period in high school is 15 minutes. From the second OT on, the teams played with four skaters on the ice and a goalie. In regulation, they played with five skaters and a goalie.

Newington 3, Wethersfield 2, 5 OT
At Newington
Wethersfield (8-2-1)          1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  — 2
Newington (10-1-1)            0  1  1  0  0  0  0  1  — 3
Goals: Kilian Ranger (N), Evan Howard (N), Sam Davies (N), Chase Millen (W), William McCarter (W); Assists: Ranger 2, Howard 1, Sam Hedlund (N), Braeden Humphrey (N), Blake Blackwood (N), Aaron Cholewa (W) 2, Colby Quinn (W), Spencer Bartone (W); Saves: Matthew Ruck (W) 28, Andrew Fogarty (N) 36; Shots: Wethersfield 38-31

2021 CCC South
Championship tournament
Wednesday, March 24
Game 1: (3) Newington co-op 3, (2) Wethersfield 2, 5 OT
Game 2: (4) Tri-Town 3, (1) Hall/Southington 1
Friday, March 26
Game 3: Final – Tri-Town at Newington
NOTE: Suffield co-op and Conard withdrew due to the COVID-19 protocols

Pool B
Monday, March 22
Game 1: (8) E.O. Smith/Tolland 2, (9) Northeastern 1
Wednesday, March 24
Game 2: E.O. Smith/Tolland vs. (7) Enfield co-op
NOTE: Rocky Hill co-op is not competing due to COVID-19 quarantine

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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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