By Hal Levy, Shore Line Newspapers
Special to MaxPreps.com
Fairfield Prep has won 13 CIAC state ice hockey championships, but it’s likely none was more improbable that this year’s.
In mid-January, the Jesuits were 2-7 and didn’t have a win over a Connecticut opponent, although they did beat perennial Rhode Island powerhouse Mt. St. Charles. But from then on, Prep went 11-3-1 and lost only once against a state rival, 3-2 to Notre Dame-Fairfield.
Fittingly, the Lancers were Prep’s final foe in the Division I tournament and the comeback was completed with a 5-3 win.
Rob Summerlin’s hat trick culminated the up-hill battle. With his team trailing, 3-2, with 13:54 left in the second period, Summerlin took over. He tied the game four minutes later, put home the eventual game-winner with 12:35 gone in the period and added an empty-netter in the final 15 seconds.
Teammate Paul Tropsa had a goal and two assists and Kyle Garvin also scored for Prep, which won its second straight title (it beat the Lancers, 3-2 in overtime last year) and its sixth of the young century.
Goalie John Errico came up big with 27 saves.
Mike Ferrie and Mike Canfarotta scored for Notre Dame in the first period and Canfarotta had another goal in the second. Nick D’Aurio made 26 saves for the Lancers.
In Division II, Amity Regional gave the Southern Connecticut Conference another title (Prep is a league member) with a 5-1 win over the Fairfield co-op. Brian Kownacki, better known for his baseball prowess – he is headed for Fordham on a diamond scholarship – had four goals and an assist for the Spartans, who won the SCC Divison II tournament as well. Freshman goalie Alex Mansfield had 26 saves, 14 of them in the final period.
After Kownacki and Fairfield’s Chris Genova had exchanged goals, the Spartans three in a row from Kownacki and one more by Andrew Goldwitz.
The game was marred by a pushing and shoving incident which led to 10 ejections with 3:35 to play.
In Division III, a pair of co-operative teams met for the title with Rockville/Manchester getting the best of Bolton/Coventry/Lyman Memorial, 6-3.
Richie Bidwell, Sean Stoneman, Jeff Wolfenden, Mile Zalcman, Tyler Dubois and Kyle Heffernan had single goals for the winners while BCL got its goals from Andrew Hackett, Tyler Somes and Brett Nightingale.
Charles Kelehan had 27 saves for the winners and Shane Hickey stopped 22 shots for BCL.
Pomperaug-Southbury’s third-place finish in the final 400-yard freestyle relay was enough to carry it to victory in the CIAC state open swim meet Saturday night.
Pomperaug finished with 313.5 points to 307.5 for New Canaan. Fairfield Prep (302) was third, Greenwich (299.5) was fourth and Branford (227) was fifth. Greenwich was second, Prep fourth and New Canaan fifth in the relay, which Branford won.
Individually, Pomperaug’s Travis McNamara led the way. He won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:29.25, and took the 200-yard individual medley in a state-record 1:51.40.
Branford’s Owen Rood and Greenwich’s James Case dominated the freestyle sprints. Rood (0:20.85) edged Case (0:21.01) in the 50-yard freestyle and Case (0:46.24) nosed out Rood (0:46.33) in the 100.
Matthew McLean of Simsbury won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:41.07.
The 100-yard backstroke went to Thomas Brown of Ridgefield in 0:53.37 while the 100-yard butterfly was taken by Ryan Cutter of Westhill-Stamford in 0:50.96 and the 100-yard breaststoke by James Remegino of Xavier-Middletown in 0:58.44.
Alan Dickey of Kennedy-Waterbury scored 450.30 points to win the diving competition.
Branford won two of the three relays. The Hornets took the 200-yard medley relay as Jon Moughty, Dan Aupi, Eric Sokolosky and Rood did 1:37.10 and the 400-yard freestyle relay with Alex Lombardi, Aupi, Rood and Sokolosky turning 3:09.32. Greenwich won the 200-yard freestyle relay behind Mark Minowitz, John Nietzel, Ross Schofield and Case in 1:25.91.
Athletic Directors Conference
The 24th Annual Athletic Directors Conference will be March 27-28 at the Rocky Hill Marriott.
According to CAAD Executive Director Fred Balsamo, “critical issues will be discussed in workshops such as urban issues, small school issues, middle school sports, CIAC rules and regulations, coping with difficult parents and the coach-athletic director relationship.”
There will over 55 vendors in attendance showing the newest innovations in sports equipment. More than 200 athletic directors and faculty managers are expected to attend.
In conjunction with the conference, CAAD will host its awards banquet on the evening of March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Marriott.
Honorees include; for distinguished service, Jeff Sunblade, Avon High School and the George DeMaio of WELI. The state Award of Merit will be given to Joe Canzanella from the New Haven public schools and the Meritorious Service Award will be presented to Marty Sparano of Kaynor Tech-Waterbury.
“These recipients have made numerous contributions to athletics in the State of Connecticut and are well deserving of these awards. Anyone is welcomed to join us pay tribute to these outstanding honorees,” Balsamo said.
For ticket and other information, check out the CAAD website at www.caadinc.org or call Balsamo (203) 651-3921.