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Newington co-op dumps Hall to clinch a share of CCC South title

The Newington High co-op hockey team won a share of the CCC South title on Wednesday — their second straight year winning a piece of the league title. (Photo courtesy Newington Hockey Booster Club)

NEWINGTON, Feb. 16, 2022 – The Newington High boys hockey team clinched at least a tie for the CCC South championship on Wednesday night after beating Hall, 6-1, at Newington Arena.

The Nor’easters improve to 13-3 and 6-0 in the CCC South. Newington’s co-op program, which includes players from Canton, Cromwell, Berlin, Manchester and Newington, can win the conference title outright with a win over the Northeastern co-op squad on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Bolton Ice Palace.

E.O. Smith/Tolland is currently 5-1 in the CCC South and would win a share of the championship if the Nor’easters stumble on Saturday against Northeastern, a co-op program hosted by Rockville that also includes players from five other schools – Bolton, Coventry, East Hartford, RHAM and Windham Tech and E.O. Smith/Tolland beat Northeastern next week.

Newington’s special teams were the difference Wednesday against Hall as the Nor’easters scored three power play goals and added a short-handed goal as well.

The first power play goal came five minutes into the contest as Canton defenseman Braeden Humphrey (Canton) ripped a shot past Hall goalie Aeden Mallett to give the homestanding Nor’easters a 1-0 lead. A second power play goal by Tyler Leavitt off of a Harrison Ranger pass gave the Newington squad a 2-0 lead.

In the second period, Newington continued to swarm around Hall’s net and the pressure paid off with an early goal by Mike Deegan, increasing the lead to 3-0. Hall’s Harry Fingold scored on assists from Ben Gerken and Rafael Fichandler to bring a glimmer of hope to the visitors, but Newington’s Andrew Stribling knocked in a pass from Deegan less than a minute later to reestablish the Nor’easters’ hold on the game at 4-1.

Newington’s Josh Grimm added a short-handed goal in the second period and a power play goal in the third period.

Hall goalie John Mallett stopped 30 of 36 shots he faced while Newington goalie Jeremy Wagner was solid in net, stopping 15 of 16 shots to earn the victory.

The Nor’easters have back-to-back games against the Northeastern co-op this weekend with a home game on Friday and a non-conference game on Saturday.

This is the third year of the Canton’s participation in the co-op program and the team has won a share of the CCC South title in two of the last three years. In 2019, the squad finished second. A year ago, Newington shared the title with Hall/Southington and Wethersfield.

Newington co-op 6, Hall 1
At Newington
Hall (6-9)                       0  1  0  — 1
Newington (13-3)         2  3  1  — 6
Goals: Josh Grimm (N) 2, Andrew Stribling (N), Mike Deegan (N), Tyler Leavitt (N), Braeden Humphrey (N), Harold Fingold (C); Assists: Deegan 2, Grimm, Stribling 2, Harrison Ranger (N) 2, Evan Howard (N) 2, Evan Oliver (N), Ben Gerken (C), Rafael Fichhander (C); Saves: Maillet (H) 30, Jeremy Wagner (N) 15; Shots on goal: Newington 36-16

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

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