From the very beginning, it was clear that the Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury IceCats were the better team in their matchup against New Fairfield-Immaculate, but it wasn’t until the third period that they broke the game open.
Led by Trevor Kurijaka’s hat trick, and a four goal third period, the IceCats (13-2, 6-0) remained unbeaten in SWC play with their 7-2 win.
“I think we’ve been playing well defensively,” Coach Rusty Granacker said. “As long as we can put some pucks in the net, it took us until the third period to open up and put pucks in the net. As long as our defense is good, we have a good shot to win the game.”
The IceCats scored twice in each of the first two periods, while limiting New Fairfield-Immaculate to just 14 shots on net.
Kurijaka opened the scoring with just over five minutes left in the first when he knocked in a loose puck during a scramble in front of the net.
“He’s a very good finisher, he’s got a lot of reach and he has very good hands,” Granacker said. “Anytime he’s around the net with the puck, he’s got a good shot to beat the goalie. He does a good job of isolating the goalie, making him move, then reading and reacting to that and putting the puck in the net.”
After two minutes of sustained pressure, and with the coaches yelling for someone to get the net, Matthew Hallock drove hard to the crease and one-timed Steven Seiget’s pass to the back of the net.
“I think that’s something that we discussed, being at the net before the shots are actually taken,” Granacker said. “Sometimes, if you don’t give them a little yell once in a while they just don’t do it…Right now we have two kids out of the lineup, and some of the lines are scrambled, so the kids knowing where to go, since they’re not playing together on a regular basis was just a little confusing.”
Nick Blaszka’s goal five minutes into the second put the IceCats up 3-0 before New Fairfield-Immaculate was able to break through on Joe Gaudette’s power play goal nine minutes later.
Less than two minutes later, Kurijaka once again converted on a pass from Segiet, this time using his quick hands to deke the goalie and convert on the 2-on-1 breakaway.
“I gave him [Segiet] the puck first,” Kurijaka said. “He went down wide passed it back, I went left to right on the goalie and put it in the net.”
New Fairfield-Immaculate scored early in the third to make it 4-2, but the IceCats responded with three goals in eight minutes.
First it was CJ Litwin who came out of the penalty box and skated left to right just inside the zone before firing back across his body to beat the goalie to the far side. One minute later, Kurijaka picked up the hat trick, capitalizing on another loose puck down low.
Stephen Hallock scored the game’s final goal three minutes later.
“I think we just had a little more depth than they did, we’re running three lines, they only had two lines,” Granacker said. “I think as the game goes on, you wear them down and it makes a difference. Having more personnel makes a big difference. They’ve got some good quality players, they’re well coached, but they don’t have a lot of numbers.”
Segiet assisted on all three of Kurijaka’s goals and finished with four for the game. Creaturo finished with two assists, while Scott Martin, John Vitti, Stephen Hallock and Jake Maddox all finished with one. Ryan Campbell finished with 19 saves in net.
The IceCats next game is Wednesday against Joel Barlow at 5:30 p.m. at the .