The struggles continued on Saturday afternoon for the Milford Co-op hockey team in its home game (Milford Ice Arena) against Enfield/East Granby/Stafford.
An inability to score goals has plagued the team for most of the season. Out shot, 24-16, the Indians dropped a 5-0 decision and will take a 2-12 record into a Wednesday road game against New Milford at the Canterbury School.
The winners got three goals from senior Patrick Fleming and a goal each from line mates Clayton Cowee and Zach Hacia. Cowee is a junior and Hacia, a converted defenseman, is a senior.
“Overall, I didn’t think today was one of our better efforts, but the play of Dylan Ouellette and Rich Carino and freshman defenseman Kevin Wokanovicz was very good. Dylan and Rich both played good positional hockey and competed well in both ends of the ice. Kevin is developing nicely.”
“We moved the puck well all game today,” said Enfield coach Frank Genovese, a native Long Islander, who has coached in the town for 17 years. “At this point in the season, wins for us are crucial. We needed this one today and it may well come down to needing some help from a few other teams in order for us to make the playoffs.”
Eight of the 20 teams in Division III, which Milford and Enfield (three wins) are both a part of, have four wins or less.
Even though they had 22 shots in Milford’s end of the ice compared to giving up only eight, the visitors were only able to take a 1-0 lead over the game’s first 15 minutes.
It was supplied by Cowee who beat Milford starting goalie Derek Ouellette with a low wrist shot on a low angle to the keeper’s right. The goal came at 5:33.
Cowee had received a well-placed pass across the goal mouth from Hacia and one-timed it home. The Eagles upped their advantage to 2-0 just 2:35 into the second with a power-play goal from defenseman Alex Ferris, whose long-range shot from slightly inside the blue line went off of Ouellette’s glove and trickled into the net.
Enfield then used another well-connected pass from Hacia to cap off an odd-man rush. Hacia put the puck right on Fleming’s stick and his quick shot caught the open-side of the net. It came at 4:34, giving Enfield a 3-0 lead.
Down by three goals, Milford began the third period on a strong note and nearly cut the margin to two as Dylan Ouellette’s shot off a breakaway went just wide to the right of Eagles’ goalie Cameron Brown (16 saves).
The Eagles then put the game out of reach by scoring at 2:50 when Fleming got his second goal by knocking in a loose puck out of a scramble in front of Derek Ouellette who was then replaced by Luke Alfano.
Fleming scored once more to complete his hat trick, beating Alfano after taking a pass from Hacia who had kept the play going by receiving the puck from Cowee. The goal came at 10:41.
Enfield finished with 46 shots in Milford’s end and put better than half of them, 24, on net.
Derek Ouellette made 22 saves and Alfano had two for Milford.
In all, the Indians failed to convert on four power-play chances and gave up a pair of power-play goals. The Indians will be back home on Saturday afternoon for Wilton at 1 p.m.