Notre Dame-WH men’s hockey scores first win over Fairfield Prep in four years

WEST HAVEN – Notre Dame-West Haven junior Ty Battipaglia understands the rivalry between the Green Knights and Fairfield Prep. When the Jesuits took the lead early on Saturday afternoon, Battipaglia took over.

Behind two first-period goals by the Cheshire junior and a strong goaltending performance by Peter Alfano, Notre Dame topped Fairfield Prep 5-2 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I game at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.

“I thought it changed the momentum of the game,” Battipaglia said after his fourth-placed Green Knights improved to 4-2. “We knew it was a big game. We knew it would be a battle for us.

Notre Dame, who also improved to 2-1 against competition from the State, controlled play for much of the game and used her depth to her advantage.

“We feel very confident in the four lines that we have,” said Notre Dame coach Larry Vieira. “We are very happy with the way they play. It feels good to do that (beat Fairfield Prep). It’s been a long time. “

The Green Knights won their first victory over Fairfield Prep in four years, the last in first-year overtime under Vieira.

“This is only the first round,” Vieira said. “I’m sure we’ll see them again. We’ll see them in the playoffs. You don’t win a state championship in January. We have a long way to go. “

Six different players were in the Green Knights’ scoring column, with runner-up James Mascari also adding a goal and an assist.

The key for the Green Knights was how quickly they responded to an early deficit. This response changed momentum, which Fairfield Prep never recovered.

“They dominated us for huge parts of the game,” Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said after his team fell to 3-4 on aggregate and 2-3 in the state. “They won all the little battles, especially up front. They were much better than us today.

The game had a dark atmosphere before the start as the two teams gathered in the center of the ice to honor St. Luke’s Teddy Balkind, who tragically passed away in a game last Thursday.

Once the game started it was a breakneck pace in the opening period, which saw a total of 14 shots and a 3-1 lead at Notre Dame.

As Notre Dame’s Battipaglia was turned off by Fairfield Prep goalkeeper Nicholas Ambrosio less than three minutes after, Battipaglia would have something to say about the remainder of the opening period.

The Jesuits entered the chessboard first when James Murphy rebounded past Alfano with 4 minutes and 24 seconds left. Battipaglia then shifted the momentum.

In the face-off that followed, the junior found himself in front of the pre-season goal where he beat Ambrosio just seven seconds later to tie the game to one.

“I thought the first half was the best first half I’ve seen playing for a Notre Dame team,” said Vieira. “We fought from that point on. “

The Green Knights went on the power play with 5:57 left in the first period and only needed 11 seconds to capitalize when Battipaglia again beat Ambrosio to a 2-1 advantage.

“We worked really hard as a team,” said Battipaglia. “We moved the puck really well today. I thought it was important to us.

The Jesuits had a golden opportunity to level the game in the final two minutes of the power play period, but Alfano pushed Aksel Sather in front and Luke Noonan with a pad save seconds later to keep Notre Dame. on your mind.

“He’s really getting his first shot at varsity acting,” Vieira said of Alfano. “He was very good. He is a calming influence for us. There aren’t a lot of ups and downs with it.

Those Alfano saves turned out to be important as Ashton Delmonico hurtled down the right wing and beat Ambrosio in the upper right corner with 23.1 seconds left in the first for a 3-1 advantage over Notre Dame.

“It’s early enough that if we work hard we can fix some of our problems,” Sather said. “Obviously we have a lot of work to do. “

The Green Knights moved away from the Jesuits in the middle of the period, scoring twice to take a 5-1 lead.

After Alfano (19 saves) kept the Green Knights in front by two by preventing Tiernan Curley in front and Robert Rotondo on the doorstep within two minutes, Prep had another golden opportunity, but the shot from William Huntington rang on the post with 4:10 left in the second.

The Green Knights escaped with a pair of goals in the last 4:03 of the second as freshman John Donohue scored in front of an assist from Mascari, before Mascari scored an assist from Colby Faughnan with 1:15 to play for a 5-1 lead.

Ambrosio finished with 17 saves in the loss to Fairfield Prep.

Game player

Ty Battipaglia, Notre Dame-WH: Junior was a force throughout the game, scoring twice in the first half to give the Green Knights the lead in earnest. Battipaglia’s goal seven seconds after Prep’s opener shifted the momentum to Notre Dame for the remainder of the game.


“It’s horrible beyond imaginable. The hearts of Notre-Dame go to them. The game today is nothing compared to what the family, the team and the community experience. “

– Notre Dame coach Larry Vieira on the passing of Teddy Balkind of St. Luke’s

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First period: F – James Murphy (Luke Noonan, Tiernan Curley) 10:43; N – Ty Battipaglia (Michael Pilato) 10:36; N – Ty Battipaglia 5:46; N – Ashton Delmonico 0:23; Second period: N – John Donohue (James Mascari) 4:03; N – James Mascari (Colby Faughnan 1:15; Third period: F – Luke Noonan 8:55; Strokes: F: 21, N: 22; Save: F: Nicholas Ambrosio 17, N: Peter Alfano – 19; Recordings: F: 3-4; N: 4-2.

Catherine J. Martinez