HARTFORD, Feb. 22, 2023 – The Newington co-op ice hockey team scored two goals with 1:09 left in regulation including a score from Josh Grimm with one second left on the clock to rally and beat Glastonbury, 5-4, Wednesday night at Koppel Community Center at Trinity College.
The visiting Guardians took their first lead of the game with 7:11 remaining in the game on a power play goal from Benjamin Howey. It was the second of two Glastonbury goals in the span of 1:11 to give the Guardians a 4-3 advantage.
With less than two minutes remaining, Newington pulled goalie Jeremy Wagner for an extra attacker. On the ensuing faceoff, Grimm found a loose puck behind the net, circled up to the half boards and fired a shot that deflected off the stick of Harrison Ranger and past Glastonbury goalie Patrick Sullivan to tie the game with 1:09 remaining in the third period.
As overtime loomed, there was a faceoff in the Glastonbury end of the ice. With 9.8 seconds remaining in regulation, the Guardians managed to clear the puck from their zone.
But a rush led by Ranger allowed the Nor’easters to get back into the Glastonbury zone with just 3.8 seconds remaining. Ranger managed to backhand the puck into the crease where with less than a second left, Grimm managed to wedge a shot over the sprawling Sullivan for the game-winning goal with 0.01 of a second left.
Ranger had three goals and an assist while Evan Oliver had four assists for Newington (17-2). Evan Howard also scored for the Nor’easters.
Wagner made 21 saves in net for Newington, which is comprised of players from Newington, Canton, Cromwell, Berlin and Manchester.
Newington took an early 2-0 first period lead with Ranger scoring two goals.
The Nor’easters came out with their usual second period fire and scored just 1:29 into the perriod when Howard, a defenseman from Canton, intercepted an errant Glastonbury pass between the top of the faceoff circles and wristed a quick shot past Sullivan for a 3-0 lead.
But the game took an ominous turn just over a minute later when the Guardians’ Sean Huempfer sent a shot toward the Nor’easter net. A bit of miscommunication between Wagner and his defense allowed the puck to slip over the goal line and cut Newington’s lead to 3-1.
The Glastonbury squad, needing a win to clinch a state tournament berth became energized and began to tilt the ice in their favor. Only some stout defensive play by Nor’easters Ben Fialkievicz, Mason Buckley and Gavyn Munson helped to maintain the two-goal lead going into the third period.
The third period opened with Glastonbury pressing the attack. They were rewarded when some solid forechecking caused a Nor’easter turnover and the Guardians’ Max Hersom took advantage and scored to cut Newington’s lead to 3-2.
Glastonbury (6-12-1) then caught a break when Howard was called for a penalty. After the officials huddled, they tagged him with a five minute major penalty for tripping. With Newington’s Josh Grimm already in the box, the Guardians took advantage of this two-man advantage.
Glastonbury’s Benjamin Jean scoring to tie the game at 3-3, then two minutes later Howey scored to give the Guardians their first lead of the night at 4-3.
Newington wraps up the regular season on Saturday night with a CCC South match with the Rockville co-op program, known as the Northeastern Shamrocks at 6 p.m. at Newington Arena. The Nor’easters can clinch the league title outright with a win.
Newington 5, Glastonbury 4
Newington (17-2) 2 1 2 — 5
Glastonbury (6-12-1) 0 1 3 — 4
Goals: Harrison Ranger (N) 3, Evan Howard (N), Josh Grimm (N), Sean Humphrey (G), Ben Howley (G), Benjamin Jean (G), Max Hersom (G); Assists: Grimm, Josh Beaudoin (N), Ranger 2, Evan Oliver (N) 4, Humphrey, Jack Christina (G) 2; Saves – Pat Sullivan (G) 27; Jeremy Wagner (N) 21; Shots: Glastonbury 32-25
Paul Helenski contributed to this story.