Two routs push Ridgefield win streak to 10 games
How’s this for production and denial?
In two home games on back-to-back days, the Ridgefield High boys hockey team scored 14 goals and didn’t allow any.
Needless to say, the Tigers won both contests. Easily.
The first rout came Friday afternoon, when Ridgefield crushed rival Wilton, 8-0, at the Winter Garden.
Six of the Tigers’ goals came in the opening 15 minutes, as they built a 6-0 lead by the end of the first period.
Senior defenseman Liam Galloway began the scoring on an unassisted slap shot that found its way past into the Wilton net for an early 1-0 lead. Seconds later, Kees van Wees skated past the Warriors’ defense and wristed home a shot from the right side on an assist from Matt Walker.
Juniors Will Forrest and Brady McSpedon teamed for the next goal with 3:16 remaining in the period, as McSpedon converted a pass from Forrest. Senior Del Irving and van Wees assisted the next goal by Walker a minute later to push the lead to 4-0.
In the final minute of the first period, Ridgefield struck twice more. McSpedon added his second goal, and Luke Welsh scored off assists from Henry Garlick and Tyler Gordon.
The Tigers’ final two goals came early on in the second period, with van Wees scoring on assists from Irving and Walker, and senior Kieran McGowan converting a feed from Henry Garlick.
“It’s always fun when the offense is converting opportunities like tonight,” said senior defenseman Ty Fujitani. “This game had a little extra at stake being against Wilton and we wanted to skate hard and close out the game in the first period.”
Back at the Winter Garden on Saturday night, Ridgefield crushed Simsbury, 6-0.
McSpedon finished with a hat trick for the Tigers, who scored two goals in each period.
Van Wees, Forrest and Walker added one goal apiece for Ridgefield.
Irving and Forrest each had two assists, and Simon van Wees, Nick Cullinan and Kees van Wees contributed one assist apiece.
The victories extended Ridgefield’s winning streak to 10 games and boosted the team’s record to 11-2 overall (6-0 in the FCIAC). The Tigers have moved up to second in the state rankings, behind unbeaten Fairfield Prep (13-0).
But with seven regular-season games remaining before his team begins defense of its FCIAC and Division I state titles, head coach Shaun Gallagher isn’t looking ahead.
“We’re really not in the mode of thinking of the playoffs just yet,” said Gallagher following the win over Wilton. “We’re still in the mode of just playing hard every day.”
“We’re looking to close out the regular season strong and stay undefeated within the FCIAC,” added Fujitani. “Obviously after the success of last year’s squad there are expectations going into the postseason, but we’re just going to take things one day at a time and take care of business.”