50 is History: But 4’s the number worth more in Darien’s title win
The only thing longer than Darien’s longest winning streak in the nation are the odds on anyone stopping it.
It wasn’t Ridgefield, the Wave juggernaut’s latest victim, with Darien barreling ahead with a 20-4 victory for its fourth straight FCIAC title at Casagrande Field in Norwalk on Thursday.
The numbers don’t mean much to us, but we know any loss is a disappointment, as we carry that mentality every game.
— Riley Stewart
Crush doesn’t begin to describe it, as the Wave wins its 50th straight game.
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“The numbers don’t mean much to us, but we know any loss is a disappointment, as we carry that mentality every game,” Wave senior captain Riley Stewart said. “These past couple of games especially, we have come together on all facets of the ball and played to our full potential. Can't describe the feeling. It's amazing.”
Logan McGovern scored them every which way. He led with six and Kevin Lindley scored four.
Stewart, Finlay Collins and Matt Meyjes scored two goals each, and Blake Sommi, Hudson Pokorny, Henri Pfeifle, Brian Minicus had one each.
Rock’Em Sock’Em Wave defender Arden Cohen was named FCIAC Championship Game MVP.
“Our season’s not over yet, we still have states, but it’s been a great ride,” said the senior Cohen, who transferred from private school last year. “We all just work together starting from our goalie (Ryan) Cornell. All of us just match-up correctly, and do our thing.
“All the short-stick middies helped out; hedged greatly; so it made it easier.”
Cornell made seven saves, as many goals, as Darien has let in all playoffs.
“The offense especially, they were clicking right away,” senior captain Cornell said. “And that was a big help for us. We made some adjustments (defensively) and I think we played well in the second half. Once Tanner Strub got that first face-off we just kept pushing it.”
Strub stomped the face-off x into submission. The Tigers complied.
“He was awesome at the face-off x,” Cornell said. “I think that was a big help for us.”
The top seed Wave (19-0) shutout No. 3 Ridgefield in the second half.
“It all starts with Ryan communicating back there anchoring the defense,” said senior captain Collins. “But we have a fantastic unit around him — Arden Cohen, (senior captain) Jake Bieler, Quinn Fay, Nick Percarpio — and all the short-stick D-mids all play so well together.”
“I think it means a lot to this senior group,” Cornell added. “Because I know most of them have been on the team for four years, and I think we are the first team to four-peat in the FCIAC.”
It’s a clean sweep of FCIAC titles for the Class of 2017.
“For us seniors winning all four FCIAC championships meant a lot,” said Stewart. “The FCIAC Championship is the premier championship in Conn. and to win it all four years really says a lot about our coaching, leadership and past leadership that had gotten us here.”
“So it’s a huge piece of history for us,” Cornell said.
McGovern had a hat trick in the first quarter and Darien led 11-4 at the half.
“It definitely helped that they locked on the other guy,” McGovern, a junior, said of his key to slipping coverage. “So, I just had an opportunity and they slid off of me a few times. And they didn’t slide to me on defense. I was lucky and just put it in the back of the net.”
There were some beauties twitching the twine, but Collins might just have had the goal suitable for gold leaf framing, and hanging in a lax gallery.
“That was pretty cool — definitely a little lucky, I would say,” Collins said of his behind-the-back winning bid. “I wasn’t really looking at the net, but I saw the ball right out in front of me and picked it up and kind of just, put it behind my back.
“You know, it’s something you pick up in the backyard. And it was fortunate for it to go in.”
Darien 6-5-7-2 = 20
Ridgefield 1-3-0-0 = 4
Logan Mcgovern 6-1
Kevin Lindley 4-3
Matt Meyjes 2-1
Finlay Collins 2-0
Riley Stewart 2-0
Blake Sommi 1-1
Tanner Strub 0-2
Brian Minicus 1-0
Hudson Pokorny 1-0
Henri Pfeifle 1-0
Dane Muller 2-0
Greg Gato 1-1
Trey Soli 1-0
Ryan Cornell 7
Sean Collins 1
Greg Parsons 10
Darien's Tanner Strub 18-28 Faceoffs
Darien's Defenseman Arden Cohen named game MVP
Darien claims 4th Title in a row and 16th overall