Ridgefield opens state title defense with 6-0 win

A four-goal third period helped the Ridgefield boys hockey team pull away for a 6-0 victory over the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe combined squad Friday evening in a Division I state tournament first-round game at the Winter Garden.

Fifth-seed Ridgefield, the reigning state champion, will now play 13th-seed Darien in the quarterfinals on Sunday (March 11) at 5:30 p.m. at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport. The Tigers have beaten Darien twice this season, including a 2-1 win in the FCIAC semifinals.

In Friday's game, Ridgefield got goals from Nick Cullinan and Matt Walker to take a 2-0 lead through two periods.

Power-play goals from Cullinan and Walker within the opening minute of the third period quickly doubled Ridgefield's lead. Walker and Kees van Wees then added goals to complete the scoring.

Cullinan finished with two goals and two assists, while Walker had three goals and Will Forrest contributed three assists.

Liam Galloway added two assists, and Tyler Gordon and Simon van Wees each had one assist.

Ridgefield goalie Sean Gordon stopped 22 shots for the shutout.

Dawson Gunn made 39 saves for 12th-seed Fairfield, which ended the season with a 12-11 record.