NORTHFORD — Even though Lyman Hall controlled play for much of the game, the East Haven Co-op put more pucks in the back of the net. That’s just how hockey goes.
The Trojans outshot East Haven 40-24, including 27-12 in the final two periods, but only converted once as East Haven won 2-1 in a SCC/SWC Division II matchup Saturday at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
With the loss, the Trojans fell to 3-10-1.
“I told them in the locker room that I’m super-proud of them,” said Lyman Hall head coach Dave Sagnella. “I thought we dominated the hockey game; they just put more goals in than us
“It’s a moral victory for us,” Sagnella added. “Our record does not indicate how well we’ve been playing and I’m very proud of them today.”
The scoring opened at 12:14 in the first period with a goal by East Haven’s Tyler Weinzimmer. With the puck in the right corner of Lyman Hall’s zone, an East Haven forward flicked the puck at the side of the net and it popped in the air toward Weinzimmer in front of the blue line, who fired a wrist shot that deflected past Lyman Hall netminder Dylan Florio.
Florio made 22 saves, including a few robberies, but fell to 3-9-1 on the season.
Lyman Hall prioritized physicality from the start, laying down repeated big hits throughout the game. Forward Liam Brooky made multiple crushing hits, including a classic hip check that sent the East Haven player to the ice.
Trojans captain Peyton Durant made a vicious hit on East Haven’s Nicholas Perillo that sent Perillo’s stick flying nearly into the rafters.
“We talked about laying the body a little bit because last game we were very conservative,” Sagnella said. “I keep telling the boys we’re playing with house money right now. Everyone thinks that they’re going to have a win next to our name when they play us, so lets just play our game.”
One minute into the second period, Brooky tied the game at one with his fifth of the year, assisted by defenseman Alec Brockett. Brooky took the puck from the red line to the net and wristed the puck between the East Haven goalie and the post for the score.
Five minutes later, Brooky made a similar rush after a takeaway and this time drew a tripping penalty, the game’s first.
That set off a string of penalties.After they killed off the first, the Yellowjackets committed another penalty at 9:16. This time it ended with an interference penalty by Lyman Hall’s Jimbo Cohrs at 10:50 to make it a four-on-four.
Until that point, East Haven had just two shots on goal in the period. The Yellowjackets managed three on their first power play.
It seemed to give them momentum, as they managed a dominant penalty kill and scored at 13:27 to take a 2-1 lead. On the goal, Florio made an initial save on a two-on-one rush, but Joseph Vocatura put in the rebound.
Lyman Hall drew another penalty at 14:24, which carried into the third period, but it again ended with a Trojans penalty halfway through.
“When we have an opportunity it’s frustrating to flush it down the toilet,” Sagnella said. “We have a short bench; only 11 guys dressed today. We can’t make those mistakes.”
Weirdly, in the second period, the net came off the hinges three separate times behind the East Haven netminder, twice interrupting good scoring chances for LH.
The third period saw Lyman Hall outshoot East Haven 12-4, but the score remained 2-1 until the end.
Lyman Hall had its chances, including a shorthanded two-on-one rush in which Cohrs had an open net for a one-timer, but the East Haven goalie made a nice sliding shoulder save.
Durant nearly tied it on a rush with one minute to play, but the puck hung on the goal line before an East Haven defenseman batted it away.
With under 15 seconds to play, the net once again came off the hinges behind the East Haven goalie, the whistle interrupting another possible scoring chance on a loose puck in front of the net. This drew the ire of the Lyman Hall fan section as time wound down to zero.
The Trojans rest until their Wednesday night matchup with crosstown rival Sheehan at the Northford Ice Pavilion, a rematch from their 2-2 tie on Jan. 16. Puck drop is 8:30 p.m.