Columbus Day Champions

NORTHFORD - HYHA's Squirt B team celebrated a day off from school Monday with a crushing 8-0 win against tournament host Wallingford. The 8-0 score however did not do justice to the games back and forth action for over two and half periods. With the win, HYHA earned the championship in the 24th Annual Andy Noel Columbus Day Fall classic.

HYHA went 2-0-1 in the round robin, their only tie coming against the very same Wallingford team they would meet in the championship. “We were a little all over the place in that first game & Wallingford came to play. We knew we’d have to come out stronger if we wanted to win, on both sides of the puck.” said Coach Mike DeFelice.

Luckily for DeFelice HYHA did come out strong, with a pair of early 1st period goals by Piper DeFelice, who would eventually earn a hat trick for her efforts. “She was really strong today. Both in our zone and attacking the net.” said Coach Ray Mirando. One of DeFelice’s early goals was on a beautiful feed from Ben Catalioto. Catalioto would end the day with 3 assists himself. Marcella Francese added another early goal to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.

That 3-0 lead would stand for the better part of two & half periods, with back and forth action, until midway through the second when Wallingford started applying heavy pressure. The HYHA defense however were up for the challenge. Both defense pairs of Liam Canning & Sawyer Mirando and Cassidy Lirette & Violette Catalioto played shut down defense & helped goalie, Henry Smith-Wyckoff, earn his second shutout of the tournament. “Our defense played great. Not only them but the entire team's defense. We never let them get momentum.” said Coach Danny Cain.

The 3-0 lead continued to stand until two minutes into the 3rd, when defensemen Violette Catalioto took a heavy hit into the boards deep in the HYHA zone. “She was a little shaken up for sure. And I think our kids were fired up afterwards.” added Coach Cain. On the ensuing powerplay the Dragons applied the pressure. With forwards Ryan Apuzzo & Andrew Guthrie deep on the forecheck, Francese would add her second goal of the game. That goal, with 10:34 left in the 3rd, would open the floodgates. HYHA would score a series of rapid fire goals, including goals from Jackson Cain & Michael Reed, & a nice assist from Michael Saraceni. From there it was a team effort to finish the game with the 8-0 victory. “Once that fourth goal went in, our team never looked back.” said Coach Chris Catalioto. “They never looked back.”

“It was a complete game from the entire team. They all played great.” finished Coach DeFelice. “Maybe we’ll make tonight's practice optional. Don’t quote me on that though.” That great play earned the Squirts HYHA’s 1st championship of the season. And hopefully a lighter practice.

Congrats Squirt B!