Darien boys ice hockey knots Westhill/Stamford, 1-1

The evening started with the Darien boys ice hockey celebrating its 12 seniors who will be graduating this spring. It ended with a frustrating tie, as the Blue Wave skated to a 1-1 overtime deadlock with the Westhill/Stamford co-op team Saturday at the Darien Ice House.
The Wave delivered a strong performance in the first period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for much of the opening 15 minutes, but they came away with just a single tally, and Westhill/Stamford eventually tied the score in the third period.
An eight-minute overtime saw both teams get chances, but they came up empty as goalies Henri Pfeifle of Darien and John Kanaris of Westhill/Stamford had strong games.
The tie puts Darien’s records at 4-8-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the FCIAC, as the Wave is still searching for a momentum swing in the positive direction. Darien has big wins over Greenwich and rival New Canaan on its ledger, but has managed consecutive victories just once this winter.
The Westhill/Stamford co-op is 4-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the conference, and neither one of those schools had tied or beaten Darien since Westhiil’s 4-2 decision over the Wave on Feb. 12, 2011.
Pfeifle, the Wave’s junior goalie, continued his solid play this season by making 26 saves against 27 shots, including five during the overtime. The lone goal he allowed came during a Westhill/Stamford power play with 5:23 remaining in the third frame.
On the other side, Kanaris stopped 32 of 33 Darien shots, allowing only a first-period tally by senior Parker McLane.
The Wave had the better of play in that first frame, but Kanaris and the Westhill/Stamford defense held them off until late in the period.
Senior defenseman Connor McCarthy controlled the puck along the boards and sent a pass in front which was blocked by Kanaris. The puck rebounded to senior Will Johnston, who tapped it in front to McLane for the goal with 1:20 on the clock.
Each team killed a penalty during a scoreless second period, and Pfeifle made a couple of bog saves early in the third before Jordan Marchese equalized during a power play with an assist from Ryan Hart.
The Blue Wave began overtime on a power play, and senior co-captain Will Dickson came close when he swooped in hard on the left side and tried to jam the puck under Kanaris. The Westhill/Stamford goalie blocked the attempt and McLane’s shot off the rebound was covered.
Westhill/Stamford had a 2-on-1 chance later in the frame, but Cooper Healy’s shot off the break was nicely blocked by Pfeifle.
McLane and sophomore Cole Branca had chances late in the OT, but again Kanaris made the saves to keep the game tied.
Prior to the game, the Blue Wave honored its 12 seniors: Dickson, Hunter Hazelton, McLane, McCarthy, Johnston, Will Culliton, Carr Noonan, Nick Cardone, Fin Batson, Nick Elwell, Charles Magnotta, and Sebastian Czaja.
Westhill/Stamford 1, Darien 1 (OT)
Saturday, Jan. 27, at Darien Ice House
West/Stam 0-0-1-0 1
Darien 1-0-0-0 1
Westhill/Stamford: Jordan Marchese 1 goal; Ryan Hart 1 assist
Darien: Parker McLane 1 goal; Will Johnston 1 assist; Connor McCarthy 1 assist
Goalies
WH/S – John Kanaris 32 saves
D – Henri Pfeifle 26 saves
Shots
WH/S – 27; D -33
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Darien senior Parker McLane sends the puck past Westhill/Stamford goalie John Kanaris during Saturday’s boys ice hockey game at the Darien Ice House. — Dave Stewart photo

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