Double Hat Trick In The Hat City: Schmidt And Gouveia Score Three Times Each For Nighthawks
DANBURY — A trio of goals by both Alex Schmidt and Cam Gouveia lifted the Newtown-New Fairfield co-op hockey team to a 10-1 drubbing of visiting Milford, at Danbury Ice Arena on January 11 — a hat trick times two in the Hat City.
Patrick Moody, Sebastian Cilia, Quinn Harris, and Ryan Anderson also scored as the Nighthawks posted their highest goal total of the season. Schmidt, Cilia, Harris, Moody, Ashton Albert, Jack Albano, Evan Kliczewski, and John Kenny all had assists.
The Hawks got a second consecutive solid goaltending performance from Chris Ligouri, one of three netminders on the team. Ligouri was on the wrong end of a hard-luck 1-0 defeat to the E.O. Smith-Tolland co-op on the road in Storrs in the previous contest, on January 7, but had all kinds of goal-scoring support this time around.
“It’s good to see Chris Ligouri get his first win,” said Newtown Coach Paul Esposito, who also has Max Browne and Garrett McCollam to man the nets this winter.
The Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period. Gouveia and Schmidt both tallied once in the first period and lit the lamp twice apiece in the middle stanza as Newtown-New Fairfield pulled in front by a 7-1 score heading into the second intermission. Albano hit the post in the third when Cilia, Harris, and Anderson all found the back of the net. The Hawks finished with a decisive 32-14 shots on goal advantage.
“We had good moments,” said Esposito, adding that the defense was solid and all four forward lines have been contributing. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Areas in which the coach would like to see his Nighthawks improve include puck movement, puck-handling, and work in the defensive zone.
Newtown-New Fairfield improved to 4-4 overall; this was the team’s first game against South-West/Southern Connecticut Conference opponents, and the fact the first conference clash came eight tilts into the campaign is no coincidence.
“We wanted to make sure we were finding our game, and building our identity,” Esposito said of the scheduling plan, which was only partially foiled when an early-season matchup with Fox Lane of New York got canceled due to weather conditions.
The Hawks have only a couple of nonconference clashes on the slate the rest of the way. The SWC/SCC play continued with a 5-1 loss to the Joel Barlow of Redding co-op in Danbury on January 14. Prior to the Barlow game, the Hawks won three of four contests.
Following Wednesday’s home matchup with Shepaug-Litchfield-Thomaston-Nonnewaug, the Hawks are scheduled to be on the road for three straight, but won’t have to venture too far. After visiting Watertown-Pomperaug at Taft School in Watertown on Saturday, January 21 at 7:30 pm, they play two teams that also call Danbury Ice Arena home: Bethel-Brookfield-Danbury on Wednesday, January 25 at 5 pm and a rematch with Barlow Saturday, January 28 at noon.
Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at email@example.com.