Darien girls ice hockey earns some revenge in 1-0 win over Greenwich

It may have been a long wait — more than 10 months to be exact — but the Darien Blue Wave has finally tasted a little bit of revenge against the Greenwich Cardinals.
Darien junior Shea van den Broek netted the game’s only goal and sophomore goalie Hallie Kreppein was unscathed in the net, as the Wave knocked off Greenwich, 1-0, in a rematch of last year’s FCIAC final Tuesday night at the Darien Ice House.
The Wave’s second straight victory boosted their records to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the FCIAC, while the Cards, who had been the state’s last unbeaten team, suffered their first loss and are now 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the FCIAC.
Beyond the records, however, the victory was a welcome one for Darien, which lost to Greenwich 2-0 in the conference title tilt at Terry Conners Rink last February.
This time around, the Wave dominated the play for much of the game, despite the one-goal margin.
Darien outshot Greenwich 33-15, but the play of both goalies was outstanding. Greenwich’s Hannah Goldenberg, a freshman, made 32 saves, while Kreppein collected 15 saves, including a point-blank stop on a shot by Jen Kelly in the closing minute. Kreppein is now perfect in the new year, with a pair of shutouts since the turn to 2018.
Darien had the better opportunities in the first period, but the Cards nearly took the lead when a long-range shot by Sydney Orszulak clanged off the crossbar eight minutes in.
Overall, the Wave’s defense did a great job limiting Greenwich’s chances, with defenders Kiki Tropsa, Sally Cassidy, Cate Droogan and Catherine Martin denying many clear shots.
Darien broke through for its goal during the first minute of the second period after Martin sent the puck into traffic in front of the Cardinals’ net. During the ensuing scrum, Nelle Kniffin had a shot blocked by Goldenberg, but the puck slid out to Van den Broek, who fired it back in for the 1-0 lead.
The Wave held that lead the rest of the way, but had to withstand a wild finish, as Greenwich pulled Goldenberg with Cassidy in the penalty box to create a 6-on-4 with 1:33 remaining.
Tropsa iced the puck twice and Droogan broke up a Greenwich series during the penalty kill, and the Cards managed just one shot on goal, with Kreppein blocking Kelly’s final attempt.
The conference playoff hunt is now shaping up as a three-horse race between Darien, Greenwich and the New Canaan Rams for the No. 1 seed. New Canaan is 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the league with a victory over Darien, while the Wave for the moment owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Greenwich.
Darien will face each one of those contenders one more time during the regular season: New Canaan on Jan. 24, and Greenwich on Feb. 5. Greenwich and New Canaan have both their meetings coming up, and will play next Monday at Hamill Rink in Greenwich.
Darien 1, Greenwich 0
Greenwich 0-0-0 0
Darien 0-1-0 1
Darien: Shea van den Broek 1 goal; Nelle Kniffin 1 assist; Corinne Bevill 1 assist
Goalies
G – Hannah Goldenberg 32 saves
D – Hallie Kreppein 15 saves
Shots
G – 15; D – 33
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Darien defender Cate Droogan (5), shown in action earlier this season, was part of a Wave defense which pitched a 1-0 shutout against Greenwich on Tuesday. — Darien Athletic Foundation photo

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