Sheehan capitalizes on power play, beats Milford hockey

Wednesday night saw a pair of hockey teams trying to jumpstart a season.

With both Sheehan and Milford in trends they would like to reverse, the game at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford had a tint of importance for an early-season game.

For the Indians, they did not want to slip too far below the .500 mark while the Titans were in a trend of alternating wins and losses.

While Sheehan hoped that trend continued for at least another game with a win over Milford, the Titans were also looking to get on a path of a hot streak.

Scoring twice in a span of 42 seconds late in the second period and using three power-play goals, Sheehan held on to defeat the Indians 4-2.

The victory allowed the Titans to improve to 3-2, while the Indians dropped to 1-3-1.

“We are looking at things one game at a time,” Sheehan coach Dave Festa said. “We are not looking at multiple games. We scored three power-play goals and that was huge for us.”

Trailing 2-1 in the second period, the Titans turned the game around in the final 3 minutes of the period on the power-play.

Ryan Sabino evened the game at 2 when he beat Milford goaltender Matt White off assists from Aaron Grimaldi and Cody Albert with 2:50 remaining in the second.

Less than a minute later and with the momentum on their side, the Titans scored the go-ahead goal.

Ryan Kiernan set up Nick Capozzi who promptly beat White for a 3-2 lead with 2:08 remaining in the middle period.

“It was a huge emotional lift for us,” Festa said of the two quick goals. “We felt we were right on the edge of putting a goal in. We turned the pressure up.”

Milford never recovered from the two-goal swing.

The Indians were bottled up for most of the night by the Titan defense and did not generate much offense past Titan goaltender Joe Boyle after the second period.

“I think what happened was the penalties took us right out of the game,” Milford coach Sal Follo said. “I think the turning point was when we were down two men and they scored the two goals. They scored three power-play goals in the game. Being down the two men really hurt us.”

After Boyle preserved the lead in the third period, Sheehan iced the game with 57 seconds remaining in the game.

Grimaldi scored an unassisted power-play goal into an empty net to end any hopes of a Milford comeback and kept Sheehan’s trend of alternating wins going.

“Between the second and third periods, we really focused on defensive positioning,” Festa said. “We wanted to keep it simple and sustain the forecheck.”

Sheehan got on the scoreboard first just 5:52 into the contest. Grimaldi beat White off an assist from Vinny Esposito for a quick 1-0 lead.

Milford needed just 2:48 to respond when T.J. Olsson set up Andy Bostic who found the back of the net for the equalizer. Bostic’s goal kept the game tied until nearly 5 minutes remained in the second period.

Milford’s Nick Depascale gave the Indians a 2-1 lead when he beat Boyle with 4:49 remaining in the middle period.

Unfortunately for the Indians, the goal assisted on by freshman Zach White, proved to be Milford’s last of the game.

“The kids battled,” Follo said. “We still have some injuries. It is no time to push the panic button. When we get back to full strength, I think we will be OK.”

Boyle led Sheehan to the victory with 15 saves. Matt White made 20 saves for Milford.