Westhill-Stamford defeats Wreckers in Division III State Championship


Photo by Christian Abraham, Hearst Connecticut Media

The Staples-Weston-Shelton boys ice hockey cooperative faced off against Westhill-Stamford on Saturday in the Connecticut Division III State Championship, falling 5-4 to officially end their season.

Coming off of an overtime victory over Woodstock Academy in the semifinals on Tuesday night, Staples got off to a hot start, with a goal from Ryan Johnson ’16 coming less than thirty seconds into the game.

“The goal coming so soon definitely gave everyone in the stadium a ton of energy,” Staples Superfan Bryce Reiner ’17 said. “They got off to a great start”.

Westhill-Stamford would go on to score three straight goals in the second period, leaving Staples to face an uphill battle, down 4-1 going into the final period of play. With constant support from a large crowd of students and family members, the team would equalize off of three consecutive goals; one from Jesse Greenspun ’16 and two from Sam New ’18, before giving up the deciding goal with thirty seconds to play.

“I definitely think the crowd played a big factor in the game,” said spectator Kenji Goto ’16. “Having that big of a fan base behind them can help maintain a high energy level”.

The state championship appearance was Staples’ first since 2011, putting an end to one of the cooperatives most successful postseasons.

Senior captain Ian Offenberg ’16 says that the team gave it their all, not only in the championship game but also the regular season. “The crowd was great, but it was all my boys just doing their job. We left it all out there.”