The Newington co-op boys hockey team scored with 35 seconds left in regulation to force overtime but Conard’s Nolan Trent scored in the extra session to lift Conard to a 3-2 in over the Nor’easters Wednesday at Newington Arena. With the win, Conard won their 13th consecutive game.
Both teams had opportunities early in overtime but it was Trent on a partial breakaway who got a backhand shot past Newington goalie Jeremy Wagner to give the Red Wolves (13-1, 9-1 CCC South) the victory.
The win keeps Conard in first place in the CCC South with Newington co-op in second place with a record of 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the CCC South. Newington had won five straight games over Conard, including last March’s CIAC Division III state title game.
The first period was dominated by the visiting Conard squad and they got out to a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Aiden Emery who took a drop pass from Trent and fired a low shot that beat a surprised Nor’easter goalie Jeremy Wagner. Torin McGoldrick also assisted on the play.
True to their pedigree, the Nor’easters, who are comprised of players from Newington, Canton, Cromwell, Berlin and Manchester High, came out strong in the second period testing Conard goalie Blake Ittelson several times.
Newington broke through at the 3:32 mark Newington’s Tanner Jorczak took a Jack Petronio pass, skated down the left side of the offensive zone and rang a hard wrist shot off the inside of the goalpost and into the net to tie the score at 1-1. Josh Beaudoin added the extra assist.
Play in the period settled into a hard, physical battle with a number of hard, heavy hits from both sides and several power play opportunities. But the penalty kill units for both teams held strong and the score remained 1-1 after two periods.
Halfway through the period the Red Wolves’ Jack Eisenberg flicked home a shot shot off an offensive zone faceoff win by Jack Hodgson to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. That lead looked insurmountable as the Red Wolves defense stymied a number of attempts by the Nor’easters to get the tying goal.
With 1:01 remaining in the third period, the Nor’easters managed to get a faceoff in the Conard zone. Pulling the goalie Wagner for an extra attacker they managed several shots which goalie Ittelson was able to knock away.
But with only 35 seconds left, Newington’s Mike Deegan fed the puck to teammate Josh Grimm who circled the Conard net and got off a shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Ittelson blockered the shot down but was unable to control the rebound allowing Newington’s Evan Oliver to find the puck and slide it over the goal line to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Newington returns to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Enfield Co-op at the Enfield Twin Rink.
Conard 3, Newington co-op 2, OT
Conard (13-1) 1 0 1 1 — 3
Newington (10-2) 0 1 1 0 — 2
Goals: Tanner Jorczak (N), Evan Oliver (N), Aiden Emergy (Co), Jack Eisenberg (Co), Nolan Trent (Co); Assists: Torin McGoldrick (Co) 2, Trent (Co), Thomas McGonar (Co), Josh Beaudoin (N), Jack Petronio (N), Josh Grimm (N), Mike Deegan (N); Saves: Jeremy Wanger (N) 25, Blake Ittelson (Co) 13; Shots: Conard 28-15
Paul Helenski contributed to this report.