Forget about it.
“Leave the game at the rink, leave it in the locker room, don’t go home and think about it,” said Woodstock Academy boys’ ice hockey coach Kevin Bisson.
That was the message that Bisson left his team with following a 3-3 tie with the East Haven Co-op Feb. 9.
It was a game where Bisson said his team felt like it had lost and the Yellowjackets probably went home with the feeling like they had won after tying the game with just four seconds left in regulation and then surviving the overtime period.
“It was nice to get the tie versus the loss,” Bisson said. “It was nice to come away with something for a lot of hard work. Our mental toughness was tested early on. In a game where you’re not getting the calls or the breaks that you feel you should, it’s very easy to turtle and go away and I don’t think the guys did that.”
The Centaurs took the 1-0 lead when freshman Kyle Brennan scored the first of his two goals,
“Kyle came up big for us,” Bisson said.
Brennan scored his first on a tip re-direct, finishing a play in front of the net.
Brennan added a power-play goal in the third period.
Bisson credited the five guys on the ice for making that goal happen which tied the game at 2 in the third period.
Austen LeDonne put the Centaurs up 3-2 when a teammate took a hit to leave the puck for the junior.
“It was on his stick, off his stick, no stick-handling, right to slot and he ripped it right past the goalie to give us the lead. It was a major momentum swing with about a minute and a half left,” Bisson said.
Unfortunately, the Centaurs were whistled for a penalty with about 40 seconds left.
The Centaurs (12-4-1) cleared the defensive zone on the ensuing face off, but the officials called icing not realizing the Centaurs were shorthanded.
When the mistake was finally noted, the decision was to have a faceoff at center ice. The problem was the clock was stopped the whole time.
East Haven made use of those valuable seconds when it knotted the game with four seconds left in regulation.
The Centaurs dominated the eight-minute overtime.
The Yellowjackets had only two moments when they skated the puck out of their own end, relying instead on sending the puck the length of the ice where it was quickly brought back due to icing calls.
The Centaurs, however, couldn’t break through.
“It was chance, chance, chance and I can’t be upset with our guys when we have that level of zone time and pressure. You know that they are doing the right things, but you know what, sometimes you run into that goalie who can make those amazingly tough saves,” Bisson said.
The Centaurs were coming off a pretty interesting contest from Feb. 4.
The Centaurs battled for a 7-4 victory over the Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks cooperative team on Feb. 4.
The game was played at a high pitch.
And for a team coming off their best effort of the season just two days before – a 7-3 win over Burrillville, R.I., — it didn’t take much to light the spark.
Sometimes that’s good, but in some cases, it can be costly.
The Centaurs were dominant early against the Wildcats.
Doug Newton scored just 1 minute, 21 seconds into the game off an assist from Connor Starr. The Centaurs then went up 2-0 with a short-handed goal by Matthew Odom off the first of three assists from LeDonne.
The Centaurs successfully fought off a 5-3 two-man advantage for the Wildcats in the period and limited them to just two shots.
The Centaurs put three goals in the net, but Suffield answered with two.
LeDonne and Newton also scored for the Centaurs in the second period. Suffield made it close when it scored 3 ½ minutes into the third period to once again reduce the deficit to two, 5-3.
But LeDonne notched what proved to be the game-winner when he put home his eighth goal of the season. Bisson said he, being a first-year head coach, didn’t know anyone coming in the door which means everyone had a clean slate. LeDonne has taken advantage of the fresh start.
Thibault didn’t have to wait long for his second career goal. It came with 8:18 left and gave the Centaurs the cushion they needed.
Their next game is 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at home against the Eastern Connecticut Eagles followed by a game on the road at the Housatonic Co-Op at 1:30 p.m. on President’s Day. They will then have another week-long break before the Nutmeg Conference playoffs.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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