One thing was for certain when the Spartans took to the ice against the Division 1 Glastonbury Tomahawks — they were not going to be left out in the cold this time.
With two excellent goalies, Amity’s Nick Nuzzolo #31 and Glastonbury’s Chase Gabor #29 both on their “A” game every second of the competition and every one of their teammates hungry for a victory this was one game that won’t soon be forgotten.
Glastonbury started the game off with Avery Clair’s #55 goal, assisted by Logan Underwood #17 and Luke DiMarco #14. Then Amity’s Keating Seymour #21, assisted by Patch Flynn #7 tied the game in the first period.
The game remained tied through the second and third periods and then kicked into overtime. Emotionally charged fans on both sides screamed at the top of their lungs, “Shoot It!” “Come On Amity!” “Come On Blue!” “Stop Him!” Finally, 3 minutes, 43 seconds into overtime John Crocker #19, assisted by Brett McNeil #8 and Adam Shea #5 slammed the puck past Gabor and into the back of the net.
In the end, The Tomahawks had 30 shots to Amity’s 25. Gabor had 23 saves for Glastonbury and Nuzzolo had 29.
Records: Amity 7-2, Glastonbury 7-5.
Coach Gary Lindgren knew this would be a tough battle, but the results were exhilarating. He said the team is close and when they work together like they did against Glastonbury, this is the kind of result they can have. “Our margin of victory and loss is so narrow that every game can go one way or the other. They’re all close games, but I feel that the kids are getting that experience in these types of games, keeping their composure and keep pulling together no matter what the situation,” he said.
“Our big strength is with our goalie Nick Nuzzolo, it all starts with him. You have to have a good goaltender, he’s been solid all year and our defense is really coming together and working hard,” Lindgren said.
He added, solid leadership and the teammates bonding together make this a strong team.
“We have to work on scoring a little more if we can, rebounding and in the defensive zone, we’ve got to get better,” he said. “Our plays are pretty good overall, but we need to get better with those too.”
As far as this game against Glastonbury, Lindgren said Nuzzolo held the fort and did a great job and defensively Ryan Hauser #2 had a huge game and Eric Dykun had a big game and even after hurting his wrist (which had to be x-rayed and stitched up) came out in the third period and played like it wasn’t bothering him. “He showed a lot of toughness,” he said.
“That was a beautiful play to finish it with Brett McNeil making a pass to Johnny Crocker who found it into the side of the net. It was a great team victory today,” he said. “I’m proud of the guys.”
Lindgren said Amity and West Haven players all know one another and they’ll be up for it and pumped for bragging rights at Thursday’s game.
“We have a lot of respect for West Haven, they work hard and we match up pretty well. It will be a tough game, similar to this, it should be close,” he said.
This was Amity’s third competition with a Division 1 team, and the Spartans are currently #1 in their league which they hope to capture, according to Lindgren.
The Spartans are #2 in the Division.
The playoff game will be at Quinnipiac on Feb. 27 between the #1 and #2 seed teams and Lindgren hopes the Spartans will be there to win the championship title.
The Spartans play the West Haven Blue Devils Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:30 p.m. at the Edward Bennett Rink, West Haven