By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
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It was a long ride to Danbury Saturday for the Amity hockey team and an even longer ride home. The previously undefeated Spartans dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Brookfield/Bethel/Danbury coop team. The loss drops Amity’s record to 2-1 while the Ice Cats are now 3-0.
Neither team scored a goal during the first two periods. BBD finally broke the scoreless deadlock when Tim Leonard beat Amity goalie Nick Nuzzolo with just 53 seconds gone in the third period.
Amity Coach Gary Lindgren said, “They brought the puck in from the blue line and dumped it in front. Then, their guy (Leonard) squeezed the puck through Nick’s (Nuzzolo) pads.
The score remained 1-0 until Amity’s Patrick Flynn netted an unassisted, game-tying goal at 8:53.
According to Lindgren, “It was a beautiful goal—Patrick’s first varsity goal. He broke loose. When their goalie (Luiz Dibble) went down to make the save, he went over him and roofed it.”
With the game still tied at 1-1 after 45 minutes of action, it went into sudden death overtime. The extra session lasted only 2:13 as John Vitti scored the game winning goal. Jordan Warner assisted on both BBD goals.
“It was a fluke shot from in front. Nick made the original save and had the puck in his glove, but it popped out. It slid behind him and then skipped across the goal line. That was a heart-breaking way to lose, but they (BBD) are a good team with 12 seniors. They are big, strong and have a good goalie. They will be one of the Division II teams to beat in March,” Lindgren said.
He added, “It was a battle all game long and a good test for us. Both teams had chances to score, but both goalies were strong and made some great saves. It was an old fashioned, tight defensive game with clean, tight checking and very few penalties. This is the kind of game we’re going to play all season long. Even though we lost, I thought we played pretty well. The game could have gone either way, but the gods of hockey just weren’t with us.”
The Spartans outshot BBD 27-25. Nuzzolo recorded 23 saves while Dibble, his Ice Cat counterpart, Dibble made 26.
Despite the final score, Lindgren singled out the efforts of his third line, noting “Bubba Pignataro played well, back checked well, and made things happen. Brenden Ferrer and Kevin Ryan also fought hard and had some nice scoring chances. In addition, Ryan Hauser had a strong defensive game,” Lindgren said.
Amity holds its annual Alumni game on Wednesday starting at 5:45 p.m. at the Edward Bennett Rink in West Haven. The next regular season game is slated for Thursday, January 3when the Spartans host Trinity Catholic High of Stamford at 5:45 p.m.