For two minutes, senior Justin Sullivan sat in the penalty box and watched his team kill off Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middletown’s 5-on-3 advantage. He watched as his Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury IceCats (12-4, 5-0) teammates did everything they needed to keep the game tied midway through the second period.
With the score still tied in the third, he watched as John Vitti and Andrew Creaturo worked down low, and then drove to the net to score the go ahead goal in the IceCats 4-2 victory.
“Our freshman John Vitti was in the corner,” Sullivan said. “I called for the pass, and he gave it to me perfect, I just took a one timer and it went in the net. It was great.”
Steven Segiet later scored his second of the game to provide the IceCats with the two goal lead, but it was Sullivan’s goal that the three BBD seniors would go home winners on their night.
“Justin doesn’t score a lot of goals, so for Justin on senior night, what more could you ask for,” Coach Rusty Granacker said. “He had a great game tonight, he’s a third year varsity guy, and since he stepped on he’s been able to play, and he’s improved tremendously.”
The IceCats led 2-1 after one, but the Terriers scored early in the period and then threatened to take the lead when Sullivan was sent to the box less than two minutes after DJ Scott was assessed a five minute major, and a game misconduct for tripping.
“We came out in the second and played flat the first five minutes,” Granacker said. “They put the puck in the net and then we had to battle.”
The Terriers maintained possession throughout the two man advantage, but were limited to shots from the outside thanks to the IceCats’ collapsing defense.
“I don’t want to say too much to jinx it, but our penalty is usually pretty good,” Granacker said. “It’s something I can rely on, our guys are very disciplined in playing their position and not overcommitting. If we keep shots to the outside on the penalty kill, either Luiz [Dibble] or Ryan [Campbell] can do a good job of keeping them out of the net.”
When Sullivan returned to the ice, the Terriers still had a man advantage for another minute, but time and again they were turned away by Dibble, who finished with 14 saves during the two power plays, and 30 for the game.
“When the game’s on the line and we’re down, Luiz always steps up,” Granacker said. “I think he thrives on the big games, close games, he loves it.”
The IceCats got their first goal when Jake Maddox used the defenseman as a screen and scored from the left circle. Their second goal came when Trevor Kurijaka setup a one-timer from Segiet.
While the IceCats’ senior captains Creaturo and Sullivan, worked together to score the winning the goal, Granacker credited the IceCats third senior, Kyle Powers, with “doing a lot of the small things to help us win the game.”
The IceCats next game is Monday against New Fairfield-Immaculate at the , with the opening faceoff set for 3:20 p.m.