No. 2 Darien boys hockey shuts out No. 5 Fairfield co-op.

DARIEN — The Fairfield co-op’s last major chance to tie the Darien boys’ hockey team came in the glove of Blue Wave goaltender Finn Hegerty.

It only seemed fitting.

Hegerty and the Wave defenders ruled the game as 2-ranked Darien defeated 5-ranked Fairfield 1-0 at Wednesday night’s Darien Ice House.

The performance was crowned with the wave (9-1-3) that prevented a 6v4 power play in the closing minutes.

The Mustangs’ golden opportunity came and went after Alex Melillo’s shot from the slot was blocked by Hegerty, who then gloved Charlie Swanson’s bat rebound attempt with 37 seconds on the clock.

“That’s what I was out there for (6v4) and it was tough,” said Darien defender Glaf Ely. “Call Finley – he made an incredible save with 30 seconds to go and crammed it into the back door. I can’t give my defense and especially my goalkeeper enough credit. They really stepped up at that moment.”

Darien newcomer Jack Marisca was responsible for the game’s only goal when he took a pass from senior Bobby Whittaker during a 2-on-1 game and carried it high once into the left corner, 35.2 seconds ahead End of the second section.

The Mustangs (10-2-1) had the better offensive opportunities during the game, but were consistently repelled by the wave defense.

“We had a lot of opportunities to put the puck in the net,” said Fairfield coach Mark Mongillo. “The power play was great, we moved the puck but Darien is one of the top teams in the state. I feel like we’ve outplayed them, we just have to finish.”

Just one goal separates the Wave and Mustangs in two games after playing to a 2-2 draw in their first meeting at Wonderland of Ice.

Much of the Mustangs’ frustration this time had to do with the wave defense, which featured Ely, Asa Beach, George Persinger, Russell Tarrant, Tom Holland and Gardiner Ely. Hegerty accumulated 20 saves.

“Our defense is incredible and we work together, all six of us. We change our pairs at certain points and we just roll with the changes. We were great at penalties and getting three of those was great.”

Like Darien, the Mustangs’ defense, led by senior goalie Connor Zavory (19 saves) and James Kohm, was on good form and kept Wave’s attack off balance.

According to Mongillo, Fairfield’s dressing room was quiet after the game.

“In games like this you could hear a pin drop in the dressing room,” said the coach. “You have to build on that. We will see her again, and that’s how I see it.”

player of the game

Defense, Darien: The Blue Wave defenseman held his own against a tough Fairfield offense and limited shots at the net to 20, all of which were stopped by Finn Hegerty for the shutout.


“We played a pretty solid team defense but we need to find a way to score more goals at this stage. We just won’t be able to win games 1-0 and 2-1, so we can’t be one and done in the offensive zone. We need more puck possession and more shots.” – Darien Coach Mac Budd

[email protected]; @dstewartsports

#2 Darien 1, #3 Fairfield Co-op 1

Fairfield 0 0 0 – 0

Darien 0 1 0 – 1

Second period: D – Jack Marisca (Bobby Whittaker), 14:25.

Goalkeeper: FF – Connor Zavory 19 saves; D – Finn Hegerty 20 saves

Records: Fairfield Co-op 10-2-1, Darien 9-1-3.

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