NEW CANAAN — Giana Bruno and Chrissie Fiore became rivals because of proximity, friends and teammates because of their shared talents, and will remain adversaries both due to that ability and the common mindset of taking the road less traveled.
If you have scanned your Twitter feed at any point during the past month, it is easy to see why there is a strong sentiment to give 2016 a swift kick into the rear-view mirror. Often this has been in response to the growing list of celebrity losses in the entertainment world; we have seen the deaths of an extraordinary number of performers with visionary talent, especially in the music world.
DARIEN — For 2½ periods it was a head-scratcher of a girls hockey game. But then, in the final minutes, two of the best players in the state did their best to make sense of it all in the latest rendition of this Darien-New Canaan rivalry.
Ninety seconds after New Canaan’s Catherine Granito scored the tying goal, Darien’s Georgia Cassidy netted the game-winner, giving the Blue Wave a 3-2 Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference victory at the Darien Ice Rink in a game they never thought would end up that close.
This all started when Marissa Baker, a captain on Darien’s girls hockey team, tagged me this week on an Instagram posting for an account called Inside The Glass. Baker wanted me to check out some fun that teammates Cassidy Schiff, Courtney Lowe and Emily Gianunzio started last season, intra-team postgame interviews. When Baker broke a stick in a game, the two pieces became microphones.
NEW CANAAN — Catherine The Great was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia. Her reign was called Russia’s golden age.
A little over three centuries later, Catherine Granito is merely part of what has been an outstanding era for three-sport female athletes in New Canaan. Is this comparison a stretch? Let’s just say Granito, who stands just 5-feet tall, packs greatness into every inch.
Consider: Granito started playing ice hockey when she was 2, save for one year played against boys until she was 14 and could graduate next year as perhaps the second-leading scorer in state history, surpassing one of her role models. Or that she never played field hockey until her freshman year, when she attended a “Meet The Coaches” gathering and was encouraged by a friend to come out for the team.
DARIEN – In hockey a skater replaces another “on the fly.” The New Canaan girls hockey team is suddenly doing the same thing with its early-season expectations.
To the bench goes any talk of a rebuilding season.
Hitting the ice now are some legitimate championship aspirations.
“This is what we are,” New Canaan coach Rich Bulan shouted after Wednesday’s 5-1 Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference victory over the Stamford/Westhill/Staples Co-Op team at the Darien Ice Rink. Bulan was echoing his team’s postgame rallying cry in the locker room, one that he fully expects to be used the rest of the season.
It is a New Canaan hockey sweep: Harry Stanton of the Rams’ boys team and Catherine Granito of the Rams’ girls team are the first-ever BlueStreak-Ruden Report Winter Players of the Year.
Stanton and Granito will receive trophies from BlueStreak Sports Training and The Ruden Report.
Stanton finished with 29 goals and 21 assists for 50 points.