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Nighthawk Skaters Overcome Injuries And Illness, Earn First Win



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DANBURY — It has been a challenging start to the season for Newtown High School’s hockey team, making a 5-3 triumph over visiting Northeastern at Danbury Ice Arena on January 11 all the more fulfilling.

The injuries, illnesses, and hard-fought losses have piled up, but the Nighthawks persevered and got their first taste of victory, in their ninth game, despite continuing to play with a thin bench, including only three defensemen.

Prior to the win, Newtown had lost three consecutive one-goal games, including a 2-1 nail-biter to New Milford on January 8. James Celentano was assisted by Phil Makris as the Nighthawks cut a 2-0 deficit in half but the team could not get over the hump for the second time against the Green Wave this winter. NHS fell 4-2 to New Milford earlier in the slate.

In the win over Northeastern, Jack O’Connell scored twice and Jack Stanton, Celentano, and Adam Kliczewski all lit the lamp. A defensive-minded senior D man, Kliczewski scored his first varsity goal in the win.

“It was really fun to watch Adam Kliczewski get the puck in the net,” Newtown Coach Paul Esposito said.

Makris assisted three goals and Celentano assisted on two of the Nighthawk goals in the victory. Eddie Faircloth, Kliczewski, Stanton, and Wiley Harris all added assists as well.

Eli Kirby, Kliczewski, and John O’Sullivan have manned the blue line with Makris sometimes dropping back from his forward position. The offense is light on numbers as well, so there has not been depth at any position.

“Very challenging. Guys getting injured, guys getting sick. It’s been a little bit of a revolving door the past few weeks,” Esposito said of the lineup. “Even with those losses they’ve all been very positive and believed ‘we’ve got this. We can win games.’”

The first one is under their belts, and now the Nighthawks will look to continue to get into the win column.

“It was a good win. It was trying. The guys have been playing a lot of minutes,” Esposito said.

Jack Stanton carries the puck during Newtown's game against New Milford on January 8. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
James Celentano, right, competes for the Nighthawks.
Phil Makris keeps his balance despite an effort by a New Milford player to bring him down.
Tyler DiMartino, right, makes a move on a defender.
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