Milford skaters assist Notre Dame-led girls hockey team

With significant contributions from several Foran and Jonathan Law skaters, the Notre Dame-Fairfield led co-op girls high school hockey team is off to its most successful beginning to a season in program history.

The Lancers won their sixth game in seven contests, on Friday, with a 7-2 victory over the Trumbull-St Joseph squad at The Rinks at Shelton.

Leigha Howland and Ashley Regina both scored twice.

Celidgh Pikul, Ashley Wright and Rose Linkasamy, with her first high school tally, also lit the lamp.

Regina, Howland, Mckenzie Broderick, Katharine Harrison, Alexis Burwell and Madison David all had assists.

“I’m so pleased,” coach Kerri Rowland said. “This is the best start we’ve had in my fourteen years. It’s a real testament to some strong freshmen and some improved sophomores. Our juniors and seniors are really great leaders, and our goaltending is absolutely outstanding,”

Netminder Bethany Karp and the defense have combined to limit each opponent to two or fewer goals, including in the team’s lone setback a 1-0 decision to Hall-Conard on Dec. 22.

Karp has three shutouts and a save percentage over 90.

In the win over Trumbull, the locals were without a handful of players due to illness and tournaments. As a result, younger team members saw regular shifts.

“The new players have to be ready to play and they rose to the occasion,” Rowland said. “They stepped up. Some of the more experienced players really incorporated them.”

Howland got the scoring started with the lone first-period goal, and Regina made it 2-0 in the second.

After Trumbull got back to within a goal, Howland found the back of the net again and Pikul made it 4-1 heading to the third.

After Trumbull made it 4-2 just 25 seconds into the third period, the Lancers answered.

Wright intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, leading to Regina’s second tally less than a minute after the Trumbull goal.

Karp made an early-game save on a breakaway to keep the momentum in favor of Rowland’s team.

Captain and defender Laura Dennigan also helps generate offense.

Linkasamy, Bridget Magyar, Pikul, Nicole Toth and Broderick are all defenders, who have worked hard to shut down opposing offenses.

The Lancers, who this year also include players from Weston and Pomperaug of Southbury, are trying to win the Southern Connecticut Conference South. They are tied for first with West Haven-Sacred Heart Academy.

The teams will face off at Bennett Rink in West Haven on Jan 8, starting at 5:30, six days after hosting Hamden in Shelton.

Ranked eighth in the state heading into the Trumbull game, the Lancers are in position to clinch a state playoff spot for the first time.

Included in the fast start is the programs first win over Amity High (3-0).

All the early success is creating more confidence for the Lancers.

“I just think we can play with any team out there,” Rowland said.