On Monday in Stamford, Cheshire High School ice hockey ended a four-game scoreless streak in the Division II First Round, but the Rams came up short in a 3-1 loss to Westhill/Stamford Co-Op at Terry Connors Ice Rink. Westhill/Stamford (fifth seed, 15-6-1) advanced to the state quarterfinals, while the 12th-seeded Rams finished the year at 8-11-2.
Just 43 seconds into the game, the Vikings seized the lead on a goal by senior Gavin Dolan. Junior Jason Bacco assisted on the play.
The Rams killed off a pair of penalties in the frame and senior goalkeeper/co-captain Nick Maringola made a point-blank save on a breakaway shot by Bacco to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Cheshire returned to tie the game with 10:52 left in the second, as junior co-captain Niklas Vasiljevs scored on a pass from junior Aidan Gaudet. Vasiljevs, who missed the last three games due to a knee injury, recorded Cheshire’s first goal since Feb. 8.
The score remained the same until Westhill/Stamford netted the eventual game-winner with 8:56 left. Junior Tucker Healey sent a pass across the goal mouth and freshman James Leydon scored to put the Vikings up 2-1.
After CHS chose to pull Maringola for another skater with 1:06 left, Westhill/Stamford senior Jason Marchese tallied the last goal on an empty net with 16.8 seconds remaining.
The Rams led 42-40 in shots, with Maringola ending his career with 38 saves. Westhill/Stamford freshman Eric Osterhus made 41 saves.
CHS will graduate a deep senior class of Maringola, Kyle Bajor, Scott Heseltine, Lorenzo Ocone-Krause, Julia Modine (manager), Nick Mongillo, Max Novicelli, Jackie Oliveri (manager), Hunter Olson, Charlie Pettit, Olivia Salamone (manager), Lucca Soderlund, and Matt Vendetto.
On Saturday at New Haven’s Floyd Little Athletic Center, Cheshire ended the season with a ninth-place finish in the Class LL Division of the State Open.
Madison Fletcher is lone graduating senior for the Rams.