Darien boys hockey falls to top-ranked Prep, 4-1
In order to defeat the Fairfield Prep Jesuits, the Darien boys ice hockey team likely had to deliver a perfect performance. And while the Blue Wave played their typical tough game, the only thing perfect at game’s end was Prep’s record.
Darien grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal by Bennett McDermott in the second period, but it was all Jesuits from there as Fairfield Prep skated to a 4-1 win over the Wave Saturday at the Darien Ice House.
Prep, the state’s top-ranked team since the preseason, improved to 10-0 and has won eight of those games by two or more goals. Their two one-goal victories were both against out-of-state opponents in December.
Darien, meanwhile, is 3-8 through 11 games. After appearing to right the ship with consecutive wins against Trinity Catholic and Greenwich, the Wave stumbled in the last two, falling to both Staples and Prep by identical 4-1 scores.
Darien could be poised for a rebound, however, as the first half of their schedule was loaded with top Div. I teams. The Wave will take on Norwalk/McMahon (5-6) on Wednesday, with games against Westhill/Stamford (2-3), St. Joseph (2-8), and Trumbull (3-7) to follow.
A win over Prep would’ve been a big boost and for the first period and a half, the Blue Wave was standing toe-to-toe with the Jesuits. Goalie Henri Pfeifle and the defense delivered a scoreless first period before the Wave offense finally struck in the second.
McDermott brought the puck through the right circle and his initial attempt was knocked down by Prep goalie Jake Walker. Devin Blanchette swiped at the puck to clear, but it floated back to the charging McDermott, who back-handed it into the open net for the 1-0 lead.
Prep, however, tied it less than a minute later when Blanchette skated around the Darien net and sent a pass across to Carter Kral on the back-door for the goal.
A similar play resulted in the Jesuits’ second goal, with Syler Celotto scoring off a loose puck after a pass from Caleb Reeves.
Cole Casi scored unassisted to make it 3-1 with 6:26 remaining in the third period, and Joseph Mancini finished the scoring with a short-handed goal after knocking away a pass at the blue line.
Fairfield Prep 4, Darien 1
Saturday, Jan. 20, at Darien Ice House
Prep 0-2-2 4
Darien 0-1-0 1
Fairfield Prep: Carter Kral 1 goal; Skyler Celotto 1 goal; Cole Casi 1 goal; Joseph Mancini 1 goal; Devin Blachette 1 assist; Calyb Reeves 1 assist
Darien: Bennett McDermott 1 goal; Max Sharp 1 assist
FP - Jake Walker 13 saves
D - Henri Pfeifle 31 saves
FP - 35; D - 14