Darien comes back to beat Trumbull
DARIEN — Tied midway through the third, and with a second-straight defeat looming, Darien’s Arden Cohen took matters into his own hands.
“I’ve said all year Arden is a tremendous athlete,” Darien coach Mac Budd said of Cohen, who is regarded as one of the best lacrosse players in the country. “And I think it’s pretty clear that tonight he decided he was going to take the team on his shoulders and do whatever it takes to win, and he did that. We’re very lucky to have a guy like that, his teammates love him and he had a great game.”
Once up 4-2 in the third, Darien (5-6, 4-1 FCIAC) saw its lead evaporate on consecutive Trumbull goals from Damian Styrc, who tallied both goals within a minute of each other with 12 minutes left.
At the 8:35 mark, Cohen stole a pass in the neutral zone, deked a defender to find open ice, and buried a shot from the left circle.
Just over a minute later Cohen was the benefactor of a great play from winger Alex Kostrzewksi, who skated down the right wing and hit Cohen with a tape-to-tape pass at the door step for an easy tip-in.
“My line mates are playing great,” Cohen said of a first line that also features Kostrzewski and Matty Hathaway, all seniors who, appropriately, registered points on Senior Night. “They’re really getting me the puck and I definitely credit it to that, everything just seems to get moving once (the first line) can get on a roll.”
The game started off smoothly for Trumbull (3-6-1; 1-4-1), which killed off three Darien power plays in the first, and held a 2-0 lead with two minutes remaining in the second on goals from Brady Jensen to Matt Mocker.
“I thought our D did a good job for the most part, they had three power plays early in the game and we did a good job with that,” Trumbull coach Greg Maxey said. “Our guys worked pretty hard, they battled back, they worked all night …the goals we scored were real nice passing goals. We’ve been struggling to score, so it was nice to see us get those kinds of goals.”
From there, a Darien offense that has struggled for the majority of the season found its rhythm.
In the final two minutes of the second Thomas Sulger scored on a rebound, CJ Hathaway deflected a power-play slap shot off the stick of Harry Congdon and Kostrzewski went coast-to-coast to bury a wrister, giving Darien a 3-2 lead with 26 seconds left in the period.
Hathaway would again score just 2:18 into the third, giving Darien its fourth unanswered goal.
“CJ hasn’t been a total surprise for me because I’ve coached him before” Budd said of his sophomore center. “I will say he’s matured very quickly as a player, he’s developed into an all-around player, he’s good in all three zones, he’s a smart player, he creates a lot of offense but he’s a true center.”
For Trumbull, Maxey is happy with the way his team has been playing, it just hasn’t made one or two plays at the end that make the difference between a win and a loss.
“The last four games we’ve actually played our best hockey,” Maxey said. … I think if we play like this we can hit the D2 tournament in good shape. We’re playing well, we’re playing just well enough to lose.”
DARIEN 6, TRUMBULL 4
TRUMBULL 1 1 2—4
DARIEN 0 3 3—6
Records: Trumbull 3-6-1, 1-4-1 FCIAC; Darien 5-6, 4-1. Goals: T—Mat Mocker 2, Damian Styrc 2. D—Thomas Sulger, CJ Hathaway 2, Alexander Kostrzewski, Arden Cohen 2. Assists: T—Brady Jensen 2, Marco Minopoli; D—Harry Congdon 2, Matty Hathaway, Kostrzewski. Goalies: T—Will Guttman (23 saves); D—Henry Pfeifle (22). Shots: T—26; D—29.