Bantams Rip Ridgefield

HAMDEN - most seasoned coaches will tell you that penalty shots, at the youth level, tend to be a bit of a mixed bag. The chances of scoring are low and they give the opponent the chance to steal momentum. That was the situation Saturday at the Lou when HYHA’s Jason Lightfoot scored & put the dagger into a Ridgefield team already down 3-1. Lightfoot's penalty shot goal at 6:24 of the 3rd iced the game and kept any chance of a comeback out of reach. Hamden would finish the game with a 6-1 win after a handful of Ridgefield penalties kept them on the power play for the majority of the last 5 minutes of play.

For Hamden the game had a little extra meaning. Earlier in the year HYHA’s Bantam A1 team met Ridgefield in a tournament & the results left a bad taste. “20-0 or whatever it was, was a tough one to take. For any team.” said Bantam A1 Coach Desmond Bohan. “When you get to this level you like to think that’s not going to happen.” That loss may have added fuel to a Bantam AA already hungry for a win.

“Our team fights every game, that’s never a problem. We asked Desi (Coach Bohan) to say a couple words before the game to let them know what else this game meant.” said Coach Brian Stewart. “I just told them to go out flying. Nothing corny, just go out flying, play physical.  Bring the effort.” Said Coach Bohan.

The Bantam AAs indeed came out flying & brought that effort. In front of a packed Lou Astorino rink they dominated from the drop of the puck, playing an all around physical game, starting with a punishing D core. “They were physical today. Played clean but physical, the effort was there all game. It’s the kind of game we like to see.” Added Coach Eddie Mattei. “And Mason played a great game.” Mason Lacroix is one of a pair of goalies, the other being Nick Fortune, that have been the backbone of a successful year for the Bantam AA. “They’re both great kids too.” added Coach Mattei.

On the offensive side of the puck HYHA also controlled play, with all three lines rolling and pressuring all game. In addition to Lightfoot’s goal already mentioned was stand out player Luke Machado who earned himself a 4 goal game. “They all played great. Luke had a game for sure but there was a lot of great puck movement across the board.  It was teamwork that made the offense flow today.” Said Coach Bill Wilson.

The Bantam AA came away with a big 6-1 win & capped off a day that saw HYHA wins across all levels of the program. “It was a nice day for the league.  And great to see the rink packed for the games all day, I think that energy helped all of our teams.” Said HYHA President Mike DeFelice.

Great job Bantam AA