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that’s as well as we’ve played. I thought we did a good job in a lot of dif­fer­ent ar­eas and so did they.”

“That was a great high school hockey game,” Ridge­field coach Shaun Gal­lagher said. “A lot of credit to Darien … they played well. It could have gone ei­ther way.”

The Tigers con­trolled the score­less open­ing pe­riod but were un­able to beat Pfei­fle, who had 15 of his 33 saves in the first 15 min­utes. Pfei­fle made pad saves on shots from Cul­li­nan and Simon van Wees dur­ing one Ridge­field power play and then de­nied Cul­li­nan with a glove save on the Tigers’ se­cond man-ad­van­tage.

Darien took a 1-0 lead with 8:25 left in the se­cond pe­riod by scor­ing on a

5-on-3 power play. De­fense­man James Gre­gory blasted a shot from the point that team­mate Patrick Con­way de­flected past Ridge­field goalie Sean Gor­don (19 saves).

Ridge­field then tied the game dur­ing its own 5-on-3 ad­van­tage later in the pe­riod. Cul­li­nan took a pass from Kees van Wees to the right of the Darien goal and blasted in a one-timer with

2:02 re­main­ing. Cul­li­nan added his se­cond goal just 22 sec­onds into the third pe­riod, rock­et­ing a slap shot past Pfei­fle for a 2-1 Ridge­field lead.

Darien got the equal­izer with 7:35 left in reg­u­la­tion, as Ben­nett McDer­mott scored from in front off a nice pass from Blake Swiggett be­hind the net.

The game’s tasti­est pass­ing se­quence nearly put Ridge­field back in front with 2:45 to go in the third pe­riod. Off a tran­si­tion rush, Walker made a drop pass to Cul­li­nan, who quickly fed Simon van Wees cut­ting into the slot. Van Wees then uncorked a high shot that Pfei­fle was able to re­ject, keep­ing the score tied. Pfei­fle also did well to deny Walker with 47.1 sec­onds left, send­ing the game to over­time.


Nick Cul­li­nan, Ridge­field. The se­nior for­ward scored two of his team’s three goals and was a threat when­ever he touched the puck.


“That’s a high-in­ten­sity high school hockey game. So now we’ll see what we have com­ing back to­mor­row. It’s cer­tainly a lot of fun … it’s an idea that he (Ridge­field coach Shaun Gal­lagher) sug­gested dur­ing the sum­mer and I thought it sounded like a great idea. We kind of had a chuckle out there after­wards and said boy, you know, that’s go­ing to be hard to come back and do again.” — Darien head coach Mac Budd, talk­ing about the back-to-back games with Ridge­field.


DARIEN ........................................... 0 1 1 0 — 2 RIDGE­FIELD ................................... 0 1 1 1 — 3 SCOR­ING: First Pe­riod: None. Se­cond Pe­riod: D — Patrick Con­way (James Gre­gory, Hud­son Poko­rny), 6:35; R — Nick Cul­li­nan (Kees van Wees), 12:58. Third Pe­riod: R — Cul­li­nan (unas­sisted), :22; D - Ben­nett McDer­mott (Blake Swiggett), 7:25.Over­time: R — Will For­rest (unas­sisted), :25.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Ridge­field’s Nicky Cul­li­nan (2) brings the puck across the blue line with Darien’s Jami­son Moore (17) reach­ing out to hold him up in the boys ice hockey game be­tween Darien and Ridge­field high schools on Fri­day night at Win­ter Gar­den Ice Arena in Ridge­field.

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