NEW HAVEN -- Fairfield Prep needed overtime to claim its 16th CIAC boys ice hockey championship Saturday afternoon at Yale's Ingalls Rink for one reason and one reason only. Darien senior goaltender Michael Colon did about as much as one player can do to prevent the opposition from winning.
The All-State goalie made 34 saves -- 30 in the first three periods and four more in overtime -- in Darien's 2-1 OT loss to the defending champion Jesuits in Saturday's Division I final. The game-winning goal, by Prep's Vincent D'Amore, was the kind almost all goalies would say is almost impossible to stop as Colon was screened on the play and did not see it.
The shots he saw, he stopped. Five of his saves were of the remarkable kind, coming with the score tied or Darien trying to protect a one-goal lead.
"If he had made that one," Prep coach Matt Sather said of D'Amore's score, "we'd be talking about that save and the one he made back door on Dean Lockery.
"Colon was amazing. That save on Dean on the power play was ridiculous. He's so poised, so athletic. When he kicked the puck back out, they weren't in tough spots, they were where we could not do anything with them," Sather said.
Prep senior goaltender Chris Gutierrez, who shared time this season with Matt Beck, is a lifelong Darien resident and played youth hockey with Colon.
"He's played excellent all year," said Gutierrez, who made eight saves. "He's a great kid, a great goaltender. To play against him was something special," said Gutierrez, who was Beck's backup in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime victory over Notre Dame-West Haven in the semifinals.
Blue Wave coach Chris Gerwig termed Colon's performance outstanding.
"He gave us a chance to win the game that we really would've had no chance at winning. He's one of the most athletic goalies I've coached," Gerwig said. "He's about as calm, cool and collected as a goalie can be. He never gets rattled, and most goalies would have been rattled out there."
Colon saw D'Amore wind up for the shot, taken between the points and from close to 50 feet out. "Then I kind of lost the puck for a bit," Colon said. "The next thing I knew, it was in the back of the net."
Of the sensational save on Lockery early in the third period, Colon used his vision and instincts.
"I saw Matt Wikman, I think it was, pick up his eyes and look across the ice (for Lockery)," he said. "When he went to pass it, I tracked it and picked it up."