ICE HOCKEY: North Haven denied in Division II state final
HAMDEN — On Monday night, the Wethersfield hockey team did something no one had done since Dec. 31: beat North Haven.
The Eagles also did something no one had done all season: shut out North Haven.
With goals from three different scorers and 22 saves from sophomore Matt Ruck, the No. 3 Eagles beat North Haven 3-0 in the CIAC Division II State Championship game at the People’s United Center in L Quinnipiac University.
North Haven (23-3-0) rode a 21-game title winning streak on Monday in search of its third state hockey championship and first since 2004. Instead, Wethersfield (18-6- 3) won its second and first since 2007.
The Nighthawks and Eagles had reached the final beating both Wallingford sides in the semi-finals – North Haven 2-0 against No 4 Sheehan, Wethersfield 6-3 against No 2 Lyman Hall. The Nighthawks and Eagles had also met in the regular season finale, with North Haven earning a 4-1 win.
On Monday, the three-goal margin was reversed, with Wethersfield scoring two of their three power-play goals. Two Wetherfield goals also came after sparkling chances for North Haven.
After a scoreless first period, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead with 6:53 left in the second when Jack Millen converted a rebound. Less than a minute earlier, at the other end, Ruck had stoned Jake Hines, one of North Haven’s leading scorers, on a shot from the slot.
Wethersfield extended their lead to 2-0 a minute before the second intermission. It was on a power play. Colby Quinn took a pass from Shane Mazur to the near circle and went top of the shelf.
A few minutes earlier, North Haven’s Alex Petersen had put a backhand on the post.
The Nighthawks had a power-play opportunity in the third period, but couldn’t convert as Ruck put the finishing touches on his shutout.
In the final minutes, North Haven was called for too many men on the ice. William McCarter cashed in with 1:17 to go to seal the crown.
Monday’s Division II hockey final was the penultimate of the 2021-22 winter season. The CIAC’s final championship will be decided Tuesday night at the People’s United Center when No. 1 Notre Dame-West Haven (18-4-0) takes on No. 6 Darien (14-7-1) in the hockey final of the Division I at 6:30 a.m.