The New Canaan Rams began a promising girls ice hockey season on a winning note, as they skated past the Hall/Conard co-op team, 5-2, Saturday night at the Darien Ice House.
Five players scored for New Canaan, including three freshmen who kicked off their varsity careers with goals.
The game is part of an imposing start to the winter season for the Rams, who will host Simsbury at 4:50 p.m., Tuesday, and square off against rival Darien at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17.
“Hall/Conard always plays us tough,” head coach Rich Bulan said. “We’ve got this one, and Simsbury and then Darien next Monday, so three out of the first four are real tests.”
New Canaan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes of the openers, with freshmen Kaleigh Harden and Angelica Megdanis scoring goals. Hall/Conard answered with one from Caitlin Flaherty, and the Rams led 2-1 after one period.
A 2-0 second period, with goals from senior co-captain Jess Eccleston and freshman Jade Lowe put New Canaan comfortable in front at 4-1, and the Rams went on to win by three.
Bulan said he was happy with the play all around, as New Canaan was able to use five defensemen — Eccleston, senior co-captain Katelyn Sparks, junior Sophie Potter and sophomores McKenna Harden and Sadie Frame — in front of sophomore goalie Blythe Novick (10 saves).
“We rotated all five defensemen and that turned out to be fantastic,” Bulan said. “They were really good.”
The Rams top three lines all scored goals, and they received two goals and five points from the all-freshman line of Lowe, Maddie Kloud and Caitlin Tully, whom the coaches have jokingly nicknamed the “Hanson Sisters” after the brothers from the movie “Slap Shot.”
“They’re all together, all freshmen, and they had two goals and three assists in their first game,” Bulan said. “They can skate, they can play and they create all kinds of havoc.”
Eccleston, Lowe, and Kloud each had a goal and an assist, while sophomore Anika Curri and Tully had two assists apiece. Kayleigh Harden and Megdanis each scored, and sophomore Courtney O’Connell had an assist.
New Canaan 5, Hall/Conard 2
Saturday, Dec. 8, at Darien Ice House
Hall/Conard 1-0-1 2
New Canaan 2-2-1 5
H/C: Caitlin Flaherty 1g; Gracie Cho 1g; Abby Goncalves 1a
NC: Jess Eccleston 1g, 1a; Jade Lowe 1g, 1a; Maddie Kloud 1g, 1a; Anika Curri 2a; Caitlin Tully 2a; Kayleigh Harden 1g; Angelica Megdanis 1g; Courtney O’Connell 1a
H/C – Nora McGowan 34 saves
NC – Blythe Novick 10 saves
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