The Lyman Hall/Sheehan rivalry has, for decades, been one the State’s best in just about any sport you could imagine. Weeks ahead of the cross-town showdown, students of Sheehan and Lyman Hall elevate to a level of anticipation you don’t see much in high school sports anymore; the intensity is a sight to behold. However, over the last couple years, the two hockey programs have easily been the most hyped up battle of the two schools, and rightfully so.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, the first installment of this season’s infamous Wallingford face-off commenced, and it was quite the game. With tensions high, Snyder Rink, home of the Wesleyan Cardinals, was packed with excitement as the Sheehan Titans and the Lyman Hall/Haddam-Killingworth/Coginchaug Trojans took the ice.

“It was electrifying because of how many fans came out to support and the importance of the game,” said Coginchaug senior and captain Kyle Roberts.

LHKC came into the game with a record of 9-2 and was tied for first with Sheehan in the SCC. Sheehan had a record of 9-3-1.

“We’re two of the top D3 title contenders, so this game was huge,” said Coginchaug senior and assistant captain Connor Satton. Not only was the game hyped up because of the rivalry itself but the postseason implications it had as well: “This game could have been a preview of the State finals,” Roberts said.  

The first period saw a decent number of shots on goal from both teams; however, none fell.

“We outplayed them in the first period and wanted to keep it up,” said Roberts.

LHKC controlled the game the rest of the way, finishing the night with 28 shots on goal.

Coginchaug senior and LHKC fan Thomas Vallone mentioned, “[Sheehan] never got momentum, and it looked like the boys had complete control; they could do whatever they wanted.”

Lyman Hall junior Matt Pettit scored the game-deciding goal in the second period with a pass from Kyle Roberts right in front of the net. “That goal was huge,” said Coginchaug junior TJ Isleib. “We were grinding it out the whole first period but couldn’t bury any pucks. Once Pettit finished that one, it was a huge boost of confidence for everybody.”

After Pettit’s goal, it was clear to everyone LHKC was the better team.

“Everybody got more physical, worked harder, and supported each other on the bench,” added Islieb.

Behind a strong offensive display, however, was a heroic game in goal for Coginchaug sophomore Andrew Sacco. With 24 saves and the shutout, Sacco was named Player of the Game.

“I was nervous going into the game, but coach Ray pulled me aside and gave me a little pep talk before I went in, and that really helped me out,” said Sacco.

Although it was a great game for Sacco and his teammates, he knows what the big picture is at the end of the day: “We played all three periods with everything we had, and everyone’s even more excited for the next one. The goal is a ring in March; we all are looking for that state championship,” said Sacco.

The win gave the Trojans the assurance they needed to be a noted threat in the postseason.

“The team feels a lot more confident now,” Satton said. “This was a statement game for us and shows that we’re the top team in D3.”

LHKC’s next game is Saturday, Feb. 2 against North Branford at the Northford Ice Pavilion at 5:30 p.m.

 

LHKC players warming up pre-game

LHKC bench

Captain Kyle Roberts takes a shot on goal

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