Tropsa stops it: Broken-hand defenseman wins it in double OT
Updated 6:39pm March 3 — So, what can she do with two broken hands?
Because now everybody knows what KiKi Tropsa can do with one braced-up broken mitt: score in double overtime to win it for the Wave, 3-2 over East Catholic (and Co.) in the state semifinals at the Rinks at Shelton on Thursday night.
I didn’t even know I could do that.
“I didn’t even know I could do that,” said Tropsa.
Corinne Bevill and freshman Katie Daileader went to the net to get Darien back into it in the second period, after the Eagles went up 2-0 on two expertly placed shots to start the stanza; the first scored point-blank from the left side of the crease, the second on a tip-in from the same place.
“KiKi Tropsa’s amazing,” said Shea van den Broek. “She came up really big with a breakaway goal. And oh my gosh — it was so surreal — none of us knew what exactly happened.”
Darien plays Hamden — 3-1 winners over Greenwich in the other semis match — 7pm Saturday at Bennett Rink in West Haven in the final, where the Wave is defending champ.
Darien beat Hamden 3-0 to open the season on Dec. 7. Cassidy Schiff scored twice and Daileader had her first high school goal.
Lost in the high drama of double overtime, is the dramatic in its own right, comeback that came first. For a time, it seemed Darien might be out of time.
Until, Cate Droogan rushed the puck from her own end, through the middle, over the blue line, through the right circle and dished to Bevill at the right point.
Bevill’s wrist shot found the net down low for 2-1 with 10:29 on the clock in the second period.
Next, Claire Knight cradled the puck off a rebound, went to behind the cage, passed out to Daileader at the bottom of the left circle and she put it in front to Elise Maro standing at the edge of the crease.
Darien has been lacking a good bounce all post-season, but when the centering pass bounced just past Maro, only to be redirected into the top of the cage by an Eagles’ defender flailing at the rubber, the luck ledger for a change, favored the Wave.
The Wave made its own luck on the play, closing down like a vise on the cage; and the puck didn’t do the Wave any favors when in the third period, and through overtime Darien took over with many chances; chances that were just a rebound, or a bounce, away from becoming goals.
Daileader was chomping at the bit to hit the net, particularly.
“We were stuck in a little bit of a rut these past two games, in terms of just getting goals, and breaking the ice,” said Schiff. “And once we got down two goals a couple of us were hanging our heads a little bit. It was all too familiar. But once we scored the first goal, we got our momentum going. We scored the second one, and then it was tied.
“I mean the rest is history.”
Emily Gianunzio made 12 stops for the win for Darien which had 29 shots on goal.
But Darien got the biggest bounce of this or maybe any season’s playoffs midway through overtime number too, and it had nothing to do with luck.
It was when the defenseman Tropsa bounced the Eagles from the semis with her pretty epic overtime goal.
She spun in her own zone and took off, weaving through most opponents, right up the middle, then splitting through the remaining two defensemen with a burst of speed as she broke the sound barrier over the blue line.
“I picked it up in our zone, saw a lane, took it,” said Tropsa. “I went as fast as I could — I don’t think I ever skated that fast — and then when I got down there I just split through them, the defenders; and put it five-hole.”
Watch her put it five-hole, going nearly the entire 200 feet to do so, in a video featured on this site.