WETHERSFIELD - For the winless Wethersfield High School hockey team, it looked like the start of another rough night--the Eagles fell behind early on two East Catholic first period goals at Newington Arena.
As Wethersfield struggled to generate scoring chances through the first and most of the second period, it fell to Eagles goaltender Domingo Rodriguez to hold the line and keep his team in it. After fending off a slew of point-blank East Catholic shots through the first two periods, he would make possibly his most important save of the game in the closing minutes of the second.
An East Catholic player stripped an Eagles defenseman of the puck at the Wethersfield blue line, breaking in all alone on an angle going toward the left post. He shot high, and Rodriguez was there with the blocker. The Eagles defense recovered, sprung the forwards on a rush of their own, and a bad angle shot coming into the East Catholic zone along the left boards rebounded into traffic in the slot and was driven home to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But the Eagles weren’t done--they rode their newly established momentum into the third period, which they opened with a quick goal off of a seemingly unlikely rebound off of a shot from the high left boards with no Wethersfield traffic in front. Suddenly, the seemingly down and out Eagles had renewed energy, a tied game, and a chance to snap a two-game winless streak.
But East Catholic had other ideas. Wethersfield’s problems began when an Eagle was sent to the box for an East Catholic power play. This time the surprise bounce went against the Eagles--an East Catholic shot from the point whizzed past a splitting Rodriguez into the boards behind the right post. It careened back out for an East Catholic player crashing the net to slide it underneath Rodriguez as he was still getting to his feet.
East Catholic would strike again with around 6 minutes left in the game with the goal that would ultimately seal the Eagles’ fate and their third loss of the season. Taking a blue line to blue line pass, the East Catholic skater took the puck into the zone one-on-one with a Wethersfield defenseman. Cutting inside and leaving the defender off balance, he fired a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Rodriguez to the glove side for the 4-2 East Catholic lead.
The visitors hit the scoreboard early after a wrist shot from the point beat Rodriguez high to the glove side in the opening minutes of the first period.
East Catholic’s second goal came shortly after minutes, when Wethersfield gave up a 2-on-1 break following a blue line turnover. The puck carrier slid a pass across the slot to a teammate, who deked Rodriguez into sliding out of position and leaving a gap between himself and the open net. Gliding off angle, the East Catholic forward managed to cut the puck back in and maneuver it around the post and over the goal line for the 2-0 lead.