WETHERSFIELD - They say the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the story and, in the case of Wethersfield High School’s ice hockey team, this year the record hasn’t either.
The Eagles stand winless through seven games this year, but with the exception of two shutout and blowout losses to Newington and Fermi/Enfield, they have not gone down without a fight in any of their contests. For one thing, Wethersfield is very good at improbable comebacks--the Eagles surged from being behind two goals in Dec. 30’s loss against East Catholic before falling 4-2.
The four-goal deficit the Eagles faced late in the second period of Jan. 8’s home contest against Hall/Southington seemed to put them all but completely out of it, but then they came alive.
It started toward the end of the second period, with about 1:50 left to play. An Eagle player took an outlet pass from his blue line and made a break for open ice, getting tripped up by a Warrior Knights skater in the process. No penalty was called, but he managed to shovel the puck along to a teammate as he was falling, continuing the rush. The puck carrier crossed the Hall/Southington blue line, drove to the net, and cut across the crease to slide the puck past the Warrior Knights goaltender to get the Eagles on the board.
The Wethersfield offense would continue in the second period, making what appeared to be just a consolation goal into the start of a unfathomable comeback. Two minutes in the Eagles got a two-on-oen chance that fell short when the one-timer attempt that resulted from a feed into the slot was blocked by a defenseman. But the Eagles shocked the opposition when a Wethersfield forward took the puck from behind the net on the same possession and dished a centering pass to a player crashing off angle down the left post. The resulting one-timer found the back of the net to cut the deficit to two goals.
Then, there was the power play. With a Warrior Knight skater in the box, the Eagles capitalized again. This time it was a feed from the right boards that found a Wethersfield player parked in front of the Hall/Southington crease. Although the goaltender stopped the initial shot, he couldn’t find the rebound, but a Wethersfield player did-banging it home to make it 4-3 Hall/Southington with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
But with eight minutes left, momentum would swing back to the Warrior Knights. A scramble in front of the Wethersfield net sent the puck up to a Hall/Southington player camped at the left circle, and the shooter snapped it through traffic and underneath the cross bar to give his team a 5-3 lead.
A slap shot--this one from the left circle around two minutes later--would find the back of the net and seal the 6-3 loss for the Eagles.