Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks Beats Glastonbury on Overtime Penalty Shot

By Danny Atkinson 

ENFIELD-With just 17 sections left in overtime against Glastonbury, senior forward Austin Rupp skated to the puck to take a penalty shot for Suffield/Granby /Windsor Locks (SGWL) Many players would be overwhelmed by the moment. Not Rupp. The star was calm and collected just like his teammates, and it paid off.

Rupp started  from the left corner and took a point-blank shot across his body and through senior goalie Griffin Jagel’s legs, giving SGWL (12-4) a highly memorable 4-3 win against its rivals.

“I have my go-to shot, and so I tried to relax and not think about what was on the line, “Rupp said. “I acted calmly and trusted my shot, and it went in. This was definitely one of my most memorable moments and wins as a player.”

The Wildcats earned the decisive shot when a Tomahawks player was penalized for tripping in front of the goal.

“We were on a breakaway on the play and happened to get the puck to one of the best shooters I’ve ever been around,” SGWL head coach Nick Boorman said. “He was the right guy for the right time.”

Senior forward Jake Bordeau led the team with two goals, and Rupp and senior forward Brendan Looney each recorded two assists. Senior forward Zach Martineau also scored for the Wildcats. Seniors Trevor Suydam and Nate Amaral and sophomore Noah Meet scored for Glastonbury (7-7-1).

“I think we played really well the entire game,” Boorman said. “I’m extremely proud of my guys. The winning goal was an incredible play, and every single guy on that bench was responsible for it. We beat a great Glastonbury team.”

SGWL rebounded from an inconsistent first period to score three times in the second and take a 3-2 lead entering the third. Amaral scored midway through the period to set up the fantastic finish.

Glastonbury largely controlled the first period, with the Tomahawks playing efficiently on both offense and defense. They moved the puck well and found open space in the SGWL zone, regularly obtaining open shots and multiple breakaways.

Following a series of missed shots mixed with impressive saves by Wildcats junior goalie Patrick Greene, Suydam scored Glastonbury s first goal 7:04 into the game. Senior Brett Smith found Suydam open slightly outside of the crease, and he smoothly hit a cross shot that beat Greene to his right.

Following the goal, the SGWL defenders and Greene continued to thwart the Tomahawks despite their consistent scoring opportunities. The Wildcats defenders recovered from being out of position to deflect or interfere with shots at the last minute, and Greene committed multiple spectacular saves with his body. Glastonbury shot inaccurately on multiple shots near the goal.

Meanwhile, the Glastonbury defenders consistently made it difficult for SGWL to move the puck and find open space and shots, using its physicality and speed to do so. This kept Wildcat possessions short. These struggles were especially frustrating for SGWL on multiple power plays. Ultimately, Glastonbury obtained 13 shots on goal to the Wildcats nine in the first period.

After a short break, SGWL came out rejuvenated and played much stronger in the second. The defenders did a better job of keeping pace with the Glastonbury offense and limiting space for it to make open passes and shots. On offense, the Wildcats passed more efficiently and regularly penetrated the Tomahawks zone, allowing them to continuously create scoring chances and eventually grab the lead.

SGWL took advantage of a power play to tie the game just under seven minutes into the period. It moved the puck into the zone and it quickly found its way to Bourdeau in front of the net, who fired his typical beautiful shot past the overmatched Jagel. Looney and Rupp earned assists on the goal.

The Tomahawks quickly grabbed the lead back on the following possession, as Ment beat Greene low off pinpoint passes by Walker and freshman left winner Ryan Ginnett.

Both defenses continued to play well for the next few minutes, interfering with and making shots difficult. The Wildcats continued to be aggressive however, and it paid off at the 2:40 mark. Senior defenseman Vinnie Breda fired a pass down the ice to a streaking Martineau, who scored on the breakaway to make it 2-2.

After Glastonbury quickly failed to convert on multiple scoring opportunities, Bourdeau and his teammates took advantage and the lead. Looney and Rupp found him in front of the goal, where Bourdeau snuck the puck past Jagel low and to the right of the post with 45.2 seconds remaining.

“We felt like we came out a little flat, so we just tried to pick up our intensity and energy in the second,” Rupp said. “We were eventually able to get it going and at the end of the second scored those goals. For the game, we kept the puck in their zone a lot and capitalized on chances.”

“I was very happy with our lines tonight,” Boorman said. “They played confident and the offense continued to create chances, even when their goalie was making great plays.”

The third period was a barrage of constant action, as the aggressive Tomahawks did their best to make a comeback while the Wildcats attempted to hold them off. As in the first, Glastonbury moved the puck quickly and passed well, consistently leading to shots on goal (GHS finished with 12 in the period). SGWL and Green interfered and stopped shots and limited penetration in the opening few minutes, but Amaral eventually beat Greene low at the 6:18 mark to tie it at 3, with Walker gaining an assist.

While the Wildcats offense continued to be held in check and were off the mark on multiple open shots, the defenders eliminated any hope of a Glastonbury victory by limiting penetration and making nearly every shot difficult. The Tomahawks had a great chance to score late when two Wildcats were penalized and they had a 5-on-3 advantage, but the SGWL defenders managed to stay right on their opponents.

“Our team defense was great,” Boorman said. “Patrick had his best game of the season, and our defenseman always play extremely hard and smart. I don’t know if there’s a better unit in the state. It was an incredible effort, and that’s what drove us to the win.”

Both defenses and especially the goalies played strong in the overtime period and limited movement and penetration. When the offenses did get good looks at the goal, they were errant with shots. It looked to everyone in the stands that the night was going to end in a tie, but when fate intervened for SGWL, Rupp was there to grab it.

Saturday was the second time the Wildcats have beaten the Tomahawks this season, as it won 4-1 at GHS January 2nd. Rupp eagerly acknowledged how rewarding the wins are.

“Glastonbury is a very big team up here in the North and we’ve been battling them a long time, so it feels good to get the best of them twice in a rivalry game like this.”

Following the game, SGWL is ranked sixth in Division I and Glastonbury 12th. In the regular season, the Wildcats have four games remaining and the Tomahawks five. They play at Simsbury Tuesday, and SGWL is at South Windsor Wednesday.

“I think tonight’s win can be a good turning point for us, and feel we can continue to improve. If we do, good things can happen come tournament time,” Boorman said.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *