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Southington co-op blanks Simsbury for second straight CCC championship

Players from the Southington co-op hockey team celebrate a second consecutive CCC championship Friday night at Trinity College.

HARTFORD, Feb. 24, 2023 – The Southington co-op hockey team received goals from four different players as the Nighthawks won their second consecutive Central Connecticut Conference championship with a 4-0 win over Simsbury at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Center on Friday night.

Tournament MVP Emily Schneider, Emily Moskal, Nina Holm and Nicole Partridge scored goals for Southington co-op (19-3) with goalie Sophia Ojala earning the shutout victory in the championship game.

Southington co-op has players from Southington, Wethersfield, Newington, Avon, Coventry and Lewis Mills in the program. For the first three years of the co-op, Avon was the host team. This year, Southington took over the hosting duties.

It’s been a strong season for the Nighthawks. They went 9-1 in the CCC and 17-3 overall in the regular season including a 7-6 victory over Darien and a 5-2 win over Greenwich. Southington co-op did drop a close 2-1 decision to New Canaan.

Simsbury players drive up the ice during Friday’s CCC championship game at Trinity College. Southington co-op won, 4-0.

Darien (17-1-2) is the top seed in the upcoming Connecticut High School Girls Hockey Association (CHSGHA) state tournament that begins on Monday.

“We started off really strong this year. We had a lot of returning players,” Nighthawks coach Mike Carrera said. “Everyone committed to work in the same way and in the same direction.

“We play all three lines and all five defensemen,” he said. “With each of them, the message is easy. Know your role and focus on hockey. They all know their jobs and do it.”

Southington co-op is the No. 2 seed in the 12-team state tournament and received a bye into the quarterfinals.

Carrera is confident about his team’s chances in the state tournament. “We’ve been able to play with all of the big guys,” he said. “I think we can compete with them.”

Southington co-op hosts their quarterfinal game on Thursday, March 2 at Newington Arena against the winner of Monday’s game between No. 7 Hand and No. 10 Suffield co-op.

Southington co-op 4, Simsbury 0
At Hartford

Simsbury (11-8-2)                      0  0  0  — 0
Southington co-op (19-3)         4  0  0  — 4
Goals: Emily Schneider (South), Emily Moskal (South), Nina Holm (South), Nicole Partridge (South); Assists: Isabella Bonfiglio (South), Kalyn Reynolds (South), Schenider (South); Goalies – Sophia Ojala (South), Kellie Matteo (Sims)

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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