Bargiello's hat trick spurs Fairfield Prep hockey past Hamden
Semifinal vs. Ridgefield: Wed., March 13, 5:30, Ingalls Rink
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By Pat Pickens, March 10, 2013, CT Post and Minuteman video below
NEW HAVEN -- For 16 minutes, the Fairfield Prep ice hockey team saw a different Hamden squad than it had during the teams' two regular-season meetings. But led by their top two scoring lines, the Jesuits answered the Green Dragons' push and took their game to another level. The top-seeded Jesuits scored the last seven goals in their 8-3 win over No. 8 Hamden in Saturday's Division I state quarterfinals at Ingalls Rink.
First-line winger Nick Bargiello recorded his first career hat trick and linemate Connor Henry potted a goal and assisted on two others as Prep improved to 21-1 -- 16-0 against in-state competition. "It's just great," Bargiello said. "It's really nice to get the win for the team."
The Jesuits reached the state semis for the fourth straight year -- ending Hamden's season for the third straight season. Prep will meet fourth-seeded Ridgefield on Wednesday at Ingalls. Prep beat the Tigers 6-1 on Dec. 12 in Bridgeport. "We've got to pick up our pace," Bargiello said.
Prep, which had not played since Feb. 27, had outscored Hamden 14-3 in their two regular-season meetings. Yet just 60 seconds into the second period, Andrew Calabrese's goal put the Green Dragons up 3-1. "I thought we looked a little rusty," Prep coach Matt Sather said. "And Hamden came with a purpose. We played them twice before, and I hadn't seen them play that hard."
But after Michael Regan was penalized for cross-checking, second-line center Matt Wikman scored, cutting Hamden's lead to 3-2. Wikman then assisted on linemate Kenny Kochiss' game-tying goal 94 seconds later. "Those two were such energy goals," Sather said. "I thought that was the game for us."
Bargiello's power-play goal -- in which he re-directed Billy D'Amore's point shot -- gave the Jesuits the lead for good at 9:30. "I came out of the corner and saw (D'Amore) winding up," Bargiello said. "It was a really nice shot by him, and I just got the credit for it."
"We took a couple of costly penalties," Hamden coach Bill Verneris said.
White and Henry combined for a highlight-reel goal at 14:07 -- White saucered a pass to Henry, who fed it back to his linemate at the net mouth -- giving Prep a 5-3 lead. Bargiello capped his hat trick at 4:06 of the third, lifting Prep's lead to 6-3. "The better team took over," Verneris said. "I'm proud of my kids; they did the best they could."
After Bargiello scored Prep's first goal just 4:06 in, the Green Dragons responded, scoring the next three. Tyler Carangelo tied the game at 5:47. "We thought they'd be a little off in the beginning," Verneris said. "And they were, that was as sloppy as I've seen Prep."
The Jesuits took three first-period penalties, including Bargiello's hook which left Prep down 5-on-3. Two seconds into the two-man advantage, Stephen Pantera's point shot beat Prep goalie Matt Beck, giving Hamden its first lead, 2-1. "I thought we were really nervous," Sather said. "Nerves manifest themselves in a lot of ways, and today it was us taking bad penalties."
At Ingalls Rink, New Haven
HAMDEN .......................................................2 1 0-- 3
FAIRFIELD PREP.............................................1 4 3-- 8
Records: Hamden 9-9-3; Fairfield Prep 21-1; Goals: H--Tyler Carangelo, Stephen Pantera, Andrew Calabrese; FP--Nick Bargiello 3, David White, Connor Henry, Matt Wikman, Tim Edmonds, Kenny Kochiss; Assists: H--Joe O'Connor, Michael Regan, Billy Reilly; FP--Henry 2, Mike Ventricelli 2, White, Wikman, Kevin Brown, Matt McKinney, Billy D'Amore; Goalies: H--Michael Hoff (20 saves); FP--Matt Beck (22); Shots: H--25; FP--28.