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DARIEN — Seeing its two-goal, third-period lead evaporate against Greenwich, the Darien High School boys hockey team’s first win of the season was in danger of being put on hold Thursday night.

But Will Dickson helped give the two-time defending state champion Blue Wave what eluded them their first three games of the season — a victory.

The junior forward’s goal with 1:04 remaining in the third period lifted Darien to a dramatic 4-3 win over rival Greenwich in an FCIAC matchup at Darien Ice Rink.

Darien, which lost to Hamden, Fairfield Prep and New Canaan to start the season, raised its record to 1-3.

“It’s a very important win for us,” Darien coach Mac Budd said. “We’ve played well in some of these games and in some parts we’ve been badly outplayed. It’s big for the team to get that first win.”

Senior forward/tri-captain Max Romeyn scored two goals for Darien, which received 20 saves from senior goalie Brendan Bumgardner.

“We had a tough loss against New Canaan (on Tuesday), but how a team handles and comes back from adversity defines who you are,” Romeyn said.

The Cardinals (1-3) rallied to tie the score at 3-3 with two unanswered goals to begin the third period.

“There are a lot of positives we can bring out from this game,” GHS first-year coach Chris Rurak said. “I feel pretty optimistic coming out of it. We played smarter than some of our previous games and I think games like this will pay off for us later in the season.”

With the score knotted at 3-3, Dickson blocked a shot in Darien’s zone, skated alone down the left wing and converted a shot that beat Greenwich sophomore goalie Dylan Dreher to his stick side.

“This win is definitely good for the team, it’s important to get that first one,” Dickson said. “I just shot far side and when I saw that I scored, it was an amazing feeling.”

The Cardinals tallied the equalizer with 5:19 to go in the third period, capitalizing on a power-play opportunity. Junior forward Connor Santry’s goal on a tip-in off a shot from senior forward Kevin Wright with 4:17 left cut Darien’s advantage to 3-2.

Down 1-0 after the opening period, the Blue Wave wasted little time in gaining the upper hand in the second. Controlling the puck off the faceoff, Romeyn carried the puck down the left side and tallied from the left faceoff circle, evening the score at 1-1 seven seconds into the second period.

“They caught us off guard there and loaded up on that side,” Rurak said. “We got a little bit flat-footed — it happens.”

Senior forward Arden Cohen gave the home team a 2-1 advantage, banging home a one-timer after getting the puck from behind from junior Will Johnston at the 8:56 mark of the second period. The Blue Wave extended their lead when Romeyn went top shelf with his wrist shot from the left faceoff circle with his squad on a power play with 2:00 to go in the second stanza.

“After the first period when we didn’t score we were talking about how we have to step up and be goal-scorers for the team,” Romeyn said. “We came out and tried to set the tempo in the second period.”

The first period was pretty even, as the Cardinals outshot the Blue Wave, 11-10. Matt Baugher, a junior forward, gave Greenwich a 1-0 edge 3:34 into the opening period. Intercepting a pass just outside the Blue Wave zone, Baugher found himself in open ice and converted a wrister that settled inside the left post.

“The first period we were all over them and I thought we did a good job,” Rurak said. “We would have liked to have seen a little more production out of it on the scoreboard.”

Despite trailing by one goal, Darien began the second period with plenty of optimism.

“I thought it was a good first period,” Budd said. “In a lot of these games we’ve shot ourselves in the foot more than in previous seasons. A lot of that is because we don’t have the experience we’ve had in previous years. Overall, I thought we played with a lot of intensity in the first period and we carried it over to the second.”

Dreher made 20 saves for the Cards, while Bumgardner sealed the win with several late saves for the victors.; 203-625-4423


GREENWICH 1 0 2 - 3

DARIEN 0 3 1 - 4

Goals: G - Matt Baugher 2, Connor Santry; D - Max Romeyn 2, Will Dickson, Arden Cohen; Assists: G - Owen Johnson, Kevin Wright; D - Will Johnston, Griffin Martens, Dickson; Goalies: G - Dylan Dreher (19 saves); D - Brendan Bumgardner (20 saves).

Records: Darien 1-3; Greenwich 1-3