After a slow start to the season the Joel Barlow High hockey team finally put its whole game together.
The Falcons have now won two games in a row for the first time this season and have been playing consistently better games on both ends of the ice.
Barlow put up its third win with a 5-3 score against Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug at the Danbury Ice Arena last Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Shepaug would strike first very early in the opening period on a re-direct in front that would lead to the puck ending up on the stick of a Shepaug player, who would simply slide the puck into the goal. The very big defensive breakdown made the hope of winning very bleak early on but Barlow would fire on all cylinders for the rest of the game.
Eddie Thiede tied the game up while still in the first period on a hard shot from the side boards and this seemed to rally the entire team to work much harder. It was his first goal of his high school career.
The second period was a new game for the home team, which would come out flying and play in that fashion non-stop for the entire frame. Tim Eng scored two goals that seemed to come out of nowhere.
He out-worked the entire Shepaug team to put Barlow ahead on the scoreboard and everyone seems to follow suit. He scored a top shelf wrist shot on the Shepaug goalie and on the very next play would beat him to the post for a wrap-around goal.
The second period would end up 3-1 in Barlow’s favor, leaving it with only the third period to close out.
As the puck dropped for the third period Eng would add a third tally to the score sheet, completing his hat-trick. He skated right into the offensive zone and would snap a low shot beating the goalie.
Dan Cirino and Charlie Berry would follow Eng’s example and head straight to the net only a couple of plays later. Cirino would feed the puck across the net to Berry, who slotted the puck in the back door for Barlow’s second goal.
Shepaug tried to mount a comeback after the fifth goal. It scored one off of a misplayed poke-check by Thierry Jean which would leave the puck on the visiting team’s stick to just put in the net. They would score again later on a two-on-one on a very debatable decision by the referee. The puck hit the post and come back out when the official called a goal.
Although Falcon head coach Pete Maxfield coach had been furious at the referee he called a time-out to yell at his players. It had seemed to him that the team had given up and were sitting on the lead. It did not surrender another goal the rest of the way.
The chance for a spot in the state playoffs is a long shot but they may be possible if Barlow keeps up its winning play and attitude. It takes on New Fairfield-Immaculate on Saturday at 4:20 p.m. in Danbury.