MILFORD — No. 4 Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury prevailed in the seventh round of a shootout to knock off top-seeded Lyman Hall/Haddam-Killingworth/Coginchaug in the second SCC/SWC Division III ice hockey semifinals Wednesday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
The upset denies Wallingford Round 3 of Sheehan and the Lyman Hall Co-op in Friday’s tournament final at Bennett Rink in West Haven. The No. 2 Titans advanced to the championship game earlier Wednesday night with a 6-2 semifinal victory over No. 3 Daniel Hand.
In the nightcap, the favored Trojans were playing catchup all night. BBD staked itself to a 2-0 lead before the Trojans got on the board in the second period on a power-play goal by T.J. Isleib.
BBD quickly answered that goal to take a 3-1 edge into the third period. There, Isleib scored his second goal on the night to bring the Trojans to within one. Kyle Roberts tied it with 7:33 left to play.
In the shootout, LH had the early advantage, but could not close out the victory.
Lyman Hall and BBD met earlier in the season and Lyman Hall dominated that one, 8-1. Wednesday night, however, ended differently.
From the get-go, Lyman Hall’s night did not go according to plan. A last second goal in the first period by Thomas Delafield beat Sacco, and the buzzer, to shock everyone and give the Icecats the 1-0 lead heading into the break.
“Like I told you the other day, in the SCC, anything can happen,” said Lyman Hall Co-op coach Rich Minnix. “They didn’t come to bring it in the first two periods. BBD took advantage of it and we had to chase down a three-goal lead.”
Patryk Fancher made it 2-0 a little over three minutes into the second period. Fancher’s goal was a combination of luck of the draw and good positioning. A rebound that Sacco couldn’t control popped right onto Fancher’s stick on the doorstep. All Fancher needed to do was swipe it home into the empty net.
But Lyman Hall Co-op’s T.J. Isleib wasn’t going to give up. Back-to-back goals for Isleib rallied the Trojans , but not before a BBD goal made it 3-2 heading into the final 10 minutes of the third period.
“Come tournament time, your big guys need to show up,” said Minnix of Isleib’s goals.
At 7:33, Trojans’ leading scorer Kyle Roberts threw the puck on the BBD net in hopes of creating an awkward rebound and setting up a scoring opportunity. Instead, Roberts’ shot found its way into the back of the net, knotting things up at 3-3.
Once regulation was over, the game went immediately into a shootout. Lyman Hall is no stranger to the notorious SCC/SWC shootout. Last season’s SCC/SWC Division III championship was decided by one, with the Trojans falling to Newtown.
On Wednesday night, after successful attempts on net by Lyman Hall’s Scott Bradley and Kyle Roberts, Sacco in net needed to keep pucks out.
A few BBD misses, a few BBD goals, a few Trojans misses and it came down to Trojan Josh Martinez and BBD goalie Stephen Fanning. Martinez needed to score to send the game into another shootout round. Fanning needed to make the stop for the win.
A Fanning stop on Martinez locked up the upset, sending BBD on to West Haven Friday night to take on Sheehan.
“Of course they are upset,” said Minnix, who will now regroup his team for the CIAC Division III Tournament. “We’ll have five days to get their heads clear. They aren’t going to get clear overnight. We are going to come to practice tomorrow and put work in and prepare.”