The Darien High School boys ice hockey team isn't hard to scout.
The Blue Wave know only two styles of play -- hard and harder. The Blue Wave know only two speeds of play -- fast and faster.
Darien's overriding philosophy on the ice is simple: don't let the opposition think with the puck. Don't let them blink. Don't let them breathe.
Pressure, pressure and more pressure on the forecheck. And rule No. 1 for opponents: Please keep your heads up.
Rest assured Darien will be relentless. It will put pucks on the net.
All for one objective. Break the opponent's will.
That simple narrative was on display Saturday afternoon at Terry Conners rink as Darien systematically dominated Trinity Catholic, 3-0.
"I hope we learned some lessons today. It was a well-deserved win on Darien's part," Trinity Catholic coach Ken Smith said. "They did a great job. We couldn't find any chinks in their armor."
Indeed. Darien scored once in each period to put an end to any dreams of an undefeated season for Trinity Catholic (8-1, 4-1 FCIAC).
Darien (7-1-1; 5-0-1) hit Trinity Catholic literally in Blue Waves rolling three forward lines and three defense pairings to wear down the Crusaders.
Darien led 1-0 when Tiger Sullivan put home a rebound after Nicholas Allam's shot from the left point rang off the right post with 6:39 left in the first period.
It became 2-0 just 2:57 into the second period as Allam scored on a redirected tip-in.
Robert Juterbock was credited with the last goal with 12:06 left to go as the puck ricocheted in off the Trinity defense.
The final score could have easily been 8-0 or 9-0 if not for Trinity Catholic junior goalie Kyle Odierno (40 saves). Read Full Article
"We're very happy to get the win. Trinity's Kyle Odierno is an All-State caliber goalie. He gave them a chance to succeed today," Darien coach Chris Gerwig said. "It took us quite a while to solve him. Even with the way the Trinity defense packs in around the net, traffic (pucks, bodies) at the net is the only way to get him."
And except for the opening five minutes, Darien's six-headed defense bottled up the Trinity Catholic attack. The Crusaders' quarterback -- junior defenseman Colin Bernard -- was a non-factor until the closing minutes with the issue already settled.
With 10 seniors, there is strong sense of urgency this season in Darien.
To his credit, Gerwig has left no stone unturned when making a schedule.
After a season-opening loss to Hamden, Darien has conquered Fairfield Prep (1-0), New Canaan (4-1), Ridgefield (6-2) before tying New Canaan (1-1 OT).
"We've faced a lot of teams ranked in the Top 10 in the state," Gerwig said. "My belief has always been if you want to be the best you have to play the best. We embrace this demanding schedule because in the postseason (FCIACS and states) these are the teams we will see. We're playing good hockey. But I don't think we've seen our best hockey yet."
Darien, ranked No. 5 in Division I in the state, will host No. 1 rated Notre Dame of West Haven Monday at 6 p.m. at Darien ice rink.
Darien senior goalie Michael Colon (14 saves vs. TC, 2nd shutout of year) will certainly be ready.
"Michael Colon is an exceptional athlete. He also plays lacrosse and will be attending Dartmouth in the fall. He doesn't get rattled," Gerwig said. "Except for the Hamden loss (4-2), we've allowed two goals or less in our other eight contests. Michael Colon continues our string of All-State caliber goalies. We are holding teams down. We don't just win with offense. We can win another way and the kids have bought in to playing defense."
There's no time to rest for Trinity Catholic either. The Crusaders, ranked No. 3 in Division II, travel to Northford Ice Pavilion Wednesday at 4 p.m. to battle No. 2 ranked North Haven.
"I'm so happy with Kyle's (Odierno) play. We can't give up 40-plus shots a game," Smith said. "I hope we learned some things about puck control and positional play today. We'll need that knowledge against North Haven."
Darien 3, Trinity Catholic 0
DARIEN 1 1 1--3
TRINITY CATHOLIC 0 0 0--0
Records: Darien 7-1-1; 5-0-1 FCIAC. Trinity Catholic 8-1, 4-1 FCIAC.
Goals: D -- Tiger Sullivan, Nicholas Allam, Robert Juterbock. Assists: D -- Dillon Fitzpatrick, Tom Watters, Sam Knowlton. Goalies: D -- Michael Colon (14 saves). TC -- Kyle Odierno (40 saves).