DANBURY — Pretty much everything has been clicking in the first half of the season for Newtown High School’s hockey team. The Nighthawks are getting saves in front of their goal, and putting pucks in the net at the other end — and they’re proving to be successful on the breakout with and without the puck in the neutral zone.
Newtown topped the Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (BBD) team 3-1 in their January 25 Senior Day game at Danbury Ice Arena, a few days after nipping Joel Barlow of Redding 3-2. The Nighthawks improved to 8-1-2 heading into a January 27 visit to New Milford.
“Definitely a team effort all around,” Newtown starting goaltender Patrick McLoughlin said after being credited with 32 saves in the win over BBD. “Defense is playing amazing, we’re scoring timely goals, blocking shots, forechecking, keeping it in their zone.”
Jonathan Lovorn, who has added a serious spark to the offense thanks to joining the high school team after playing club hockey, netted the first of Newtown’s goals against BBD; he assisted the second tally.
Cooper McLean who, along with Dan Harrison, assisted Lovorn’s goal, scored what proved to be the difference-maker, when McLean broke a 1-1 tie in the second period. Matt Sabia scored an insurance tally on a goal set up by Harrison.
“It was a good win for us,” said Newtown Coach Paul Esposito, adding that his team executed a lot of what it has been focusing on in practice — not turning the puck over, getting pucks deep in the offensive zone, and generating shots through traffic in front of the net.
Barlow and BBD both had only two wins, but the Hawks are a Division III team this year, and BBD is a D-II opponent and has been one of Newtown’s toughest rivals throughout the years. And the records in print mean little until game games are played. New Milford carried an 8-2 overall mark into the clash with Newtown, and New Milford’s latest loss was a 6-3 defeat to a Masuk team Newtown defeated early in the year. New Milford handled BBD by a 7-1 count earlier this year.
All the Nighthawks can do is focus on their games and try to beat whichever team stands in their way. After the New Milford contest comes a visit to Horace Greeley in Brewster, N.Y.m at 7:10 pm on January 31, followed by a rematch with Barlow in Danbury at 5:30 pm on February 5.