South Windsor Rallies in Third Period to Beat Glastonbury

HARTFORD-When a high school hockey player scores his first career goal, the accomplishment is going to be highly special no matter the circumstances. But then again, some first-time goals are going to be more memorable than others. Just ask South Windsor senior Dan Ostrowski, who scored the game winner for the Bobcats in a CCC showdown with Glastonbury Saturday afternoon.

 

Ostrowski scored with 29.3 seconds remaining in the third period to give South Windsor a 2-1 comeback victory over CCC rival Glastonbury at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center. The Bobcats (5-5) entered the third period trailing before freshman Jack McCluskey and Ostrowski struck. Senior Scott Skenyon was outstanding in goal, making 27 saves.

Senior Zach Mcgrail scored and junior Griffin Jagel made 13 saves for the Tomahawks (5-5-1).

As the third ticked down to a close, it appeared the defenses were prepared to send the match to overtime. With under a minute remaining however, South Windsor was able to take control of the puck near its goal and start a breakaway, with senior Scott Swan finding Ostrowski open in front of the net for the winning goal.

“I just can’t believe that my first goal was the game-winner against Glastonbury, our biggest rivals,” Ostrowski said. “I saw Swan going wide, so I just went in front of the net with my stick down and ready for the puck in case of a pass, and I buried the shot. We always work on that play in practice, and the excitement boiled over for me getting a goal in the situation.”

Entering the third, Glastonbury had been in control of the action. It possessed the puck for a majority of the first two periods and obtained a number of good scoring opportunities while limiting South Windsor to few open shots.

The script flipped in the final 15 minutes however, as the Bobcats played with more energy and efficiency on both ends of the ice. McCluskey helped give his team momentum early on when he snuck the puck through Jagel’s legs on a shot from the right corner. Freshman Dante Colon earned an assist on the goal. Following it, the defenses became even more aggressive, and both Skenyon and Jagel made a handful of nice saves.

“In the first two periods, we weren’t a good defensive team,” South Windsor head coach Neil Rodman said. “We weren’t working hard in the defensive zone in those periods, but we gained more energy in the third because we buckled down and worked hard on defense. This then helped the offense get pucks in their zone and score twice in transition.”

“Once we got the tying goal, the energy changed and we gained confidence. We knew we just needed one more goal and to skate hard to win,” Ostrowski said.

Rodman and Ostrowski acknowledged that it felt special to get such a significant win against Glastonbury, which had defeated South Windsor twice in each of the previous two seasons.

“With the young team we have, any win is big and important to learn from, but obviously we know that games against Glastonbury are going to be close and count more for a conference playoff spot,” Rodman said. “Any time you beat Glastonbury, it stands out.”

“I think beating Glastonbury is going to give us big momentum going forward,” Ostrowski said. “It’s huge to defeat them after we hadn’t done it for a while.”

While the Tomahawks did not score in the first period, they dominated possession of the puck and put constant pressure on South Windsor’s defense. Skenyon, who Rodman called “the backbone of our defense”, made a series of challenging saves.

Glastonbury continued to move the puck well in the second and finally broke through with 3:17 remaining when Mcgrail beat Skenyon in front of the net. Seniors Adam Yaeger and Nico Fierravanti assisted on the goal. After obtaining very few scoring opportunities in the first, the Bobcats began to move the puck better in the second, but were denied by Jagel and his teammates when they came near the goal.

Glastonbury head coach Ken Barse praised his team’s overall performance and said it was unfortunate to lose.

“We pretty much played a mistake-free game the first two periods,” Barse said. “It was one of our best efforts of the season and I thought we outplayed them. Unfortunately, the best team doesn’t always win. They were able to force two mistakes and capitalize on them with goals. It’s unfortunate to lose to South Windsor because these guys grow up playing together, and you want to beat your brother.”

South Windsor will next play at Conard on Wednesday, while Glastonbury will host East Catholic the same night.

 

 

 

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