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Shorthanded goal from Petronio lifts Newington co-op into CCC South final

Jack Petronio scored a shorthanded goal with 1:49 remaining in the game to help the Newington co-op boys hockey team upset E.O. Smith/Tolland in the semifinals of the CCC South Tournament on Wednesday night on the UConn campus in Storrs.

E.O. Smith/Tolland went 15-5 on the year and earned the No. 2 seed in the four-team tournament. The No. 2 seed Bucks beat the No. 3 Nor’easters twice this season.

Newington was called for a boarding penalty with 1:59 remaining in regulation but Newington’s Kyle Klimas won the draw that Gavyn Munson grabbed and he fired a pass up the ice to Petronio, who was ahead of two Bucks defenders. Petronio drove the goal and popped in the game-winning goal.

Even with the goal, the Nor’easters still had to kill off the rest of the penalty to secure the win. Goalie Anderson Claffey made a tough save with a Bucks skater right in front of him with 32 seconds remaining.

Newington co-op (11-10) stayed one step ahead for most of the game. At one point in the third period, the Nor’easters had a two-goal lead, 4-2, after a goal from Josh Beaudoin. But E.O. Smith/Tolland rallied to tie the game.

Petronio finished a goal and two assists while Paxton Kelly, Mason Buckley and Cole Brandon added goals for Newington co-op, which is comprised of players from Newington, Canton, Berlin, Cromwell and Manchester.

With the victory, Newington co-op advances to the CCC South championship game on Friday night at the International Skating Center of Connecticut Simsbury against top seed Conard at 7 p.m. The Red Wolves also beat Newington twice this season by scores of 8-1 and 7-2.

Newington co-op 5, E.O. Smith/Tolland 4
At Storrs

Newington co-op (11-10)         1  2  2  — 5
E.O. Smith/Tolland (15-6)      1  1  2  — 4
Goals: Jack Petronio (N), Josh Beaudoin (N), Cole Brandon (N), Mason Buckley (N), Paxton Kelly (N), Declaw Bayne (EO) 2, Raheeb Mahood (EO), Nolan Bourquin (EO); Assists: Petronio (N) 2, Buckley (N), Brandon (N), Beaudoin (N), Kyle Klimas (N), Jack Guilmartin (N), Ethan Lindquist (N), Gavyn Munson (N); Saves: Anderson Claffey (N) 15, Liam Petrella (EO) 13

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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