As is normally the case, the Darien-New Canaan boys hockey game had it all.
Boisterous cheering sections, hard hits and quality play from both sides.
The one element missing from this version of the rivalry was a winner as the teams left Darien Ice Rink tied 1-1.
Darien (3-1-1) came in the winners of three straight, including a 4-1 win over the Rams Dec. 28 and a 6-2 triumph over defending FCIAC champions Ridgefield earlier in the week.
Scoring at that pace the Rams knew defense would be the key Saturday afternoon and coach Bo Hockey was pleased with what he saw from his team compared to the last time out against Darien.
"We played a little bit, we got around the ice," New Canaan Hickey said. "We got in front of people, we moved the puck. That was a good game tonight.
"We played a great game and Darien played a great game. It was great end to end action."
The Rams (3-3-1) defense played well but Darien coach Chris Gerwig felt his team came out flat after several convincing wins.
"The difference was that New Canaan played very well and we just didn't have our `A' game today," Gerwig said. "No disrespect to New Canaan but after three pretty good wins it was difficult to get a jump in our step.
"We were a little flat and couldn't connect on any passes. We didn't play well but we gutted out a tie against a very good team."
After a tentative start by both sides, Darien got on the board with Tiger Sullivan scoring an unassisted goal with 8:26 to play in the first period.
"My line is a big grind of a line," Sullivan said. "We just go down, get shots and get rebounds and that's what happened. I think Fitz (Dillon Fitzpatrick) got a shot on net and I just put it in."
The teams went back and forth until New Canaan scored the equalizer with 2:40 left in the second period with Peter Reinhardt skating in on the right side and beating the Darien goalie.
"How it developed was on the breakout," Reinhardt said. "We just chipped it off the boards and it went past a defenseman and then I picked it up and it was a 2-on-1 and I just faked the pass and shot it low side blocker and it happened to go in."
Neither team had great scoring chances in the final period with both defenses locking down, sending the game to overtime knotted 1-1.
Sullivan said the approach to overtime is to pepper the net and hope for a scoring chance to open up.
"I thought our intensity was there but there is something about playing New Canaan that gets you rattled sometimes," Sullivan said. "In overtime we just want to go at goal, go all the way.
"Go as hard as you can and get shots on net. We just couldn't pull through but we will take the tie, I guess."
The tie was not ideal for either side in this rivalry.
"It sucks a lot," Reinhardt said. "At the end we were playing just two lines and we were getting pretty tired. I wish we could have come out with a win but it's better than a loss."Read Full Article
New Canaan 1,
Darien 1 (OT)
NEW CANAAN 0 1 0 0 -- 1
DARIEN 1 0 0 0 -- 1
Goals: NC--Peter Reinhardt; D--Tiger Sullivan
Goalies: NC--Mac Wright (19 saves); D--Michael Colon (14 saves)
Records: NC 3-3-1; D 3-1-1