ICE HOCKEY: ‘Distracted’ Warrior Knights fall in CCC South final, with Conard rematch looming

ICE HOCKEY: ‘Distracted’ Warrior Knights fall in CCC South final, with Conard rematch looming

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HARTFORD — The Hall-Southington hockey team lost to Enfield-East Granby-Stafford 6-1 in the CCC South championship game late Saturday night at Trinity College.

The Warrior-Knights were still clearly distracted and unable to recapture the success they found when they hit their stride in the middle of the season. 

“Trinity has not been kind to us over the years,” said Hall-Southington coach Brian Cannon. “We haven’t been the same team for the last week. It’s unfortunate. Not to take anything away from that group over there, but we did a lot of beating of ourselves tonight.”

Hall-Southington has been distracted because of the situation with senior captain Drew Booth, who went down on Senior Day against Conard from a five-minute major boarding penalty that broke his nose and both of his eye sockets, putting him in the hospital. 

Booth recently came out of intensive care, but still resides in a hospital bed as he recovers from his injuries.

“He’s done a little walking; he’s been able to eat a little bit,” said Cannon. “It’s going to be a long, hard road to recovery. I’m told that he looks good, which is nice, but there’s still a whole lot of injury that is going to take forever to heal.”

Booth’s wellness is affecting Hall-Southington’s play, according to Cannon.

“You’re seeing it out there,” said Cannon. “Our concentration just is not where it normally is, and what follows there is your energy level, your execution level. We’re never the smoothest team out there, but we usually are able to execute far better than we have.”

Cannon continued by saying that the Warrior-Knights need to work their way out of this slump of distractions.

“We got to see if we can get this out of our system Monday morning at practice,” said Cannon.

The Warrior-Knights do need to figure out how they will get back to their winning ways. They drew the Conard Chieftains in the first round of the CIAC Division II state tournament. 

“There’s a lot of things that aren’t going to be said,” said Cannon, trying to express his feelings about seeing Conard again. 

Sources close to the team have said that a meeting for the Hall-Southington and Conard hockey families was held at West Hartford Town Hall. The result of that meeting was to move Tuesday’s state tournament game from 8:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m.

“I missed 85 percent of the meeting,” said Cannon. “I think the teams and the players on each team are OK. The problems are not going to be generated on the ice. I think if any problems are to happen, it will be with outside people.”

Cannon said he is hoping to have a clean game and expects both sides to come to the rink competitive and ready to play hockey. 

“That’s all we are ever looking for,” said Cannon. “We are not always angels, but we’re not asking anybody to be angels. When something happens that is so far outside of the game of hockey, and it is ignored, that’s egregious.”

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