White's overtime goal caps thriller
Tied 2-2 after 45 minutes of hockey, Milford and New Milford took their contest to overtime. There, Milford captain Zach White only needed 15 seconds in the extra session to score the game-winning goal, his third of the night, to defeat the Green Wave, 3-2.
“It’s a big win for us. This keeps us alive in the SCCs and enhances our position in states,” said Milford coach Sal Follo. “The higher up we go, the top eight get home ice so that’s what were looking to shoot for.”
White led the Indians (9-6-1) with a hat-trick, while fellow captain Ben LaVallee had two assists. Jon DePascale had two assists as well.
Will Vitelli and Andrew Gobany added assists also.
Tommy Nisco and Harrison O’Connell scored for New Milford (13-4-1), with assists from Cole Case, Matt Delafield and Jameson Steinhardt.
The Indians came out of the dressing room skating circles around New Milford and the White-LaVallee-Vitelli line gave the Green Wave fits. Milford first shot on net on a White breakaway was saved by Green Wave netminder Nick Capriglione.
“They had a hard time dealing with that whole line,” Follo said. “When Zach was tied up he’d give the puck off and then you have to deal with Ben, and then you gotta deal with Will.”
Three minutes into the game, Milford got its first power play and with 50 seconds left in the man advantage, Vitelli found White in front to the left of Capriglione to cash in the first goal of the game. Gobany also assisted on the score.
Five minutes later, the Green Wave got its first man-advantage opportunity, but the Indians’ penalty kill kept the pressure off Noah Ericson between the pipes and David McLenithan cleared the puck away.
With three minutes remaining in the period, New Milford got another power play and again the Milford defense, including a LaVallee block, kept Ericson clear of any shots. During the power-play, White nearly scored on a short-handed goal but his attempt was handled by Capriglione.
The Green Wave roared back in the second period and kept attacking the Milford net.
Ericson turned away all the shots early in the period, and White scored his second goal on one of the few Milford shots in the period.
LaVallee found White in the left corner and White went high over Capriglione to make it a 2-0 game. DePascale also assisted on the score.
New Milford kept attacking after White’s goal and with three and a half to play, the Green Wave broke through on a breakaway from O’Connell, who’s wrist shot went past Ericson’s glove. Delafield assisted on the score.
One minute and 10 seconds later, New Milford tied the game at 2.
Case found Nisco on a two-on-one breakaway and Nisco shot it past Ericson to tie the game. Steinhardt also assisted on the score.
The rivals were neck and neck in the third period. Milford started off with shots on net from Vitelli, White and Brandon Argyros, then got a power play opportunity.
Milford couldn’t take advantage although White and Tommy Sampson put shots on net.
The Green Wave answered with a flurry of shots down the stretch of the third period, but Ericson turned away all of them. White took a couple shots in the waning minutes of the third period, but to no avail.
Just 15 seconds into the extra period, White scored the game-winner on a slick backhand wrist shot.
LaVallee and DePascale had assists to give Milford the 3-2 win.
Jacob Comeau scored in the sixth minute of the second period to give Milford a 1-0 boys victory over Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe on Feb. 17.