SHELTON-- Through 30 minutes last Wednesday night, the Darien boys hockey team couldn't solve St. Joseph goaltender Christian Furce. For the better part of three periods, the top-ranked Blue Wave found themselves in a scoreless game with an opponent five games under .500.
Then, 6:35 into the final frame, they broke through on Thomas Watters' powerplay goal, and Michael Colon went on to record 38 saves to clinch a thrilling 1-0 victory at the Shelton Rinks.
Darien (14-1-1, 9-0-1 FCIAC) extended its winning streak to eleven games, getting all it could handle from the upset-minded Cadets (4-10-1, 2-5-1 FCIAC). The Blue Wave's win also marked its fifth one-goal win of the season, three of which have come by a 1-0 score.
"We just had to battle through it," said Darien assistant coach Mike Cioffi, who served as the team's head coach with Chris Gerwig sitting out a one-game suspension. "We were fortunate to get a goal off the powerplay. We took advantage of an opening."
Darien cashed in just seven seconds after a faceoff that resulted from St. Joseph's Dom DeRosa getting called for a slashing penalty. Watters beat Furce (30 saves) with a quick shot from the left circle, as the assist went to Robert Juterbock.
"Right off the faceoff, there was a little pop out there and I just took it," Watters said. "I went short side. It just happened to go in. It was a lucky shot."
After the goal, Colon came up big on a number of occasions to preserve the slim lead.
With five and a half minutes remaining, he made a pad save on a Landon Gabrielle's slapshot from the right circle to deny a two-on-one rush opportunity.
Just over two minutes to go, Cadet senior Dom Sidorczuk couldn't convert on a one-timer, which was kicked away by Colon.
"(Colon) has been the difference all year," Cioffi said. "He's great for us, all three periods, every single game. He's a brick wall for us."
St. Joseph received a late powerplay when Cadet Ryan Corcoran was tripped in front of the Darien net with 1:19 remaining. Furce was then pulled for an extra attacker to his team a two-man advantage in the final minute.
But Darien's defense kept the St. Joseph's away from the back of the net, allowing Colon to put the finishing touches on his second straight shutout.
"We definitely have a lot of respect for that team," Colon said. "They played us tight last season, and we were expecting it to be a tight game against this year. We know they're a good team, and they have talented players."
The Blue Wave survived a scary stretch midway through the second period when they killed off a five-on-three for 70 seconds without allowing a shot. Read Full Article
"We were getting a little nervous, Watters said. "But I think we settled down in the third period, and we kind of found our game."
Darien finished 1-3 on the power play, while the Cadets went 0-5.
The Blue Wave will be back in action this Saturday when they host Stamford inside the Darien Ice Rink at 6 p.m.
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