After getting shut out 7-0 against New Fairfield- Immaculate on Saturday, Feb. 16, the Joel Barlow High hockey team came out firing on all cylinders to play Newtown on Tuesday on Senior Night at the Danbury Ice Arena.
The seniors were introduced one-by-one. Dan Cirino has been playing hockey since he was five years old and would be ready in a flash when the word practice was said to him. He played various sports but always found hockey the most exhilarating.
“What could be more fun than a game that you play on skates?” he asked.
Mason Mobilio had joined the team only this year due to a push from his friends at school. He had played house league over the years and was ready to put himself on the ice as a Falcon. Although he did not get much playing time over the season he showed much improvement and dedication to the game.
Andrew Mallozzi was the next senior to be called. His father, Mike Mallozzi, is Barlow’s offensive coach. Mallozzi excels in the defensive position for hockey but is also a captain on the Falcons’ baseball team this spring.
Chris Van Camp had played for Barlow all four years of his high school career and met the coaches’ expectations every year. He always pushed himself to play harder, better, and faster which showed on the ice. Being flip-flopped from positions over the years he still managed to keep his composure on defense all year.
The Falcons also took the time to honor their seniors and managers Emma Pearlstone and Lizzie Treece but when the puck was going to hit the ice everyone was ready. The home team struck first about two minutes into the game on a scrum in front when Cirino put the puck in the net.
However, the Nighthawks would be all over Barlow the rest of the way. Although Newtown was out-shooting the Falcons and had the most time of possession Barlow was working very hard before losing a 5-3 decision.
In the absence of Tim Eng, who had left the team, Russell Bennett would move up to join Charlie Berry and Cirino on the first line. The first period would end 2-1 for Newtown.
The second period would be much of the same ending 4-1 for Newtown but the third period was another story. The Nighthawks ,who had 41 shots after two periods, would be limited to only 14 in the third while Barlow went to work on a comeback.
The home team would get a power play with two minutes remaining in the last period after netting one earlier in the frame. Only down by two goals and on a power-play Coach Peter Maxfield decided to pull Thierry Jean out of the net.
The Falcons would score a goal to make it 4-3 with about 90 seconds left in the match. A Newtown forward would get a breakaway and re-open the separation in the score, knocking the home team just out of the game.
Newtown managed 55 shots but Barlow surrendered only five goals. Such a strong defensive performance was not enough to win the game. Even with a loss the Falcons came off of the ice smiling because of the performance that they had put in to keep themselves in the game until the final buzzer.
Barlow hosts Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo on Saturday at 8:50 p.m. and visits Masuk on Monday at 7:30 at the Rinks at Shelton to end the season.