Cassidy, Nielsen pick up hat tricks in Darien's win over Amity
NORTHFORD -- Going into the new season, first-year Darien girls hockey head coach Jamie Tropsa believed his team would have to win a lot of low scoring games in order to have a successful season.
Darien did just that with a one-goal win in its opener on Saturday, but a 9-3 rout of Amity at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Tuesday night showed that the Blue Wave are more than capable of lighting the lamp early and often.
"Our young kids are doing a great job and our junior and senior class are adding a lot leadership to this team," Darien coach Jamie Tropsa said. "Our goaltending did what we had to do. I'm very proud of these girls tonight."
Darien got goals from five different players, including Georgia Cassidy and Samantha Nielsen, who both notched hat tricks. Amity's Andrea Noss scored all three of her team's goals to pick up a hat trick of her own.
"It feels great. We kind of dominated and scored early and kept scoring throughout every period, which is good," Cassidy said. "We just kept shooting and hoped that a lot of shots would go in. It was nice to get our confidence up for the rest of the season."
After relatively even play in the game's early minutes -- and a tough save or two by Darien's Shannon Hall and Amity's Shannon Early -- Darien broke through when Amanda Sload intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line, skated in and buried a wrister for the 1-0 lead with 10:51 to go in the first.
Six minutes later, Darien doubled its lead on the first of two goals for Samantha Nielsen. Sage Thacher and Allegra Molkenthin collected assists and the Wave lead 2-0 going into the second.
Darien needed less than two minutes in the second period to double its lead, as Cassidy and Schuyler VanderBroek both scored for a 4-0 lead.
Noss lifted a backhanded shot into the Darien net to bring Amity to within 4-1, but the Wave led 6-1 by the end of the period on goals by Nielsen and Lily Christensen.
Noss scored twice more at the beginning of the third to get her team to within 6-3, but three straight Blue Wave goals by Cassidy (short-handed), Nielsen and Cassidy sealed the win and allowed Darien to improve to 2-0.
In goal, Hall came up with nine saves for Darien, and the Blue Wave penalty kill was perfect on the night.
"Everybody that was here played. It was nice that everybody got on the ice and contributed," Tropsa said. "We haven't spent a lot of time on our power play or short-handed, so this early in the season I am very happy with the way it's going."
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DARIEN 9, AMITY 3
Darien 2 4 3--8
Amity 0 2 1--3
Record: Darien 2-0.
Goals: D--Georgia Cassidy 3, Samantha Nielsen 3, Amanda Sload, Schuyler VanderBroek, Lily Christensen; A--Andrea Noss 3. Assists: D--Sage Thacher 2, Allegra Molkenthin 2, Sload. A--Emily Gotowola. Goalies: D--Shannon Hall (9 saves); A--Shannon Early (15); Shots: D--24; A--12.