STAMFORD — Bo Hickey is the master of understated praise.
So when Hickey, the New Canaan High School hockey coach, said “He can play pretty good” when referring to Trinity Catholic goaltender Kyle Ordierno, it was his way of gushing.
On a night when the Rams dominated about as much as one team can, Ordierno kept the margin respectable, stopping 41 shots in what turned out to be a 4-1 New Canaan win Saturday night at Terry Conners Rink.
Will Egan’s goal with 10 seconds left denied Rams goaltender Mac Wright of the shutout.
“We just played hard,” said Harry Stanton, the star forward who scored New Canaan’s second and third goals. “We never gave up. We played three good periods. We tried to throw anything at net. Hats off to (Odierno). It happens sometimes. If he didn’t play as well as he did we could have scored more goals. We played well.”
New Canaan (9-3-1) won for the sixth straight time since a 1-1 tie with league favorite Darien on Jan. 11.
“I thought we got a good effort out of everybody,” Hickey said. “We stayed out of the box. When we’re moving on the ice we’re tough to play defense against.”
Five days after stopping 40 shots in a 3-0 loss against the Blue Wave, Odierno turned in another magnificent performance.
“I thought I could have had a few more saves,” said Odierno, in what was certainly a minority viewpoint. “They played their game and took it to us.”
New Canaan jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Davis Bruch’s goal at 12:08 of the first period.
The Rams fired 25 shots — 20 on goal — in the second period, but all they had to show for it was goals 9:20 apart by Stanton to increase the lead to 3-0.
“We got four goals and with another goalie we could have had eight or nine,” Stanton said.
Peter Reinhardt put the Rams ahead 4-0 late in the third period.
Though the Crusaders are a Division 2 team, their coach, Ken Smith, was hoping for a better effort after his team finished with just 8 shots.
“What more can you say about Kyle, he’s our go-to guy,” Smith said. “He’s been our strong point every game. I hope we can support him a little better in games to come. Technically we are not supposed to beat a team like this, but I’d like to compete against them.”
New Canaan’s goals are much more substantial. They play Notre Dame-West Haven on Tuesday night in a rematch of their season-opener, a 4-3 overtime win by the Rams.
“This is the most important time of year because the playoffs are close,” Stanton said. “It’s the final third of the season. We have a big one on Tuesday, but we didn’t overlook this one. We have to keep up the momentum.”
The Rams right now are the biggest threat to Darien. Hickey said he is pleased with how his team is positioned for the rest of the season.
“I like the way we’ve played probably the whole year,” he said. “Our team was in the learning process. They were like sponges and absorbed it. We’ve had good senior leadership.”
New Canaan 4, Trinity Catholic 1
New Canaan 1 2 1—4
Trinity 0 0 1—1
First Period: NC—Davis Bruch (Patrick Hompe) 12:08
Second Period: NC—Harry Stanton (Hompe) 3:51; NC—Stanton (Drew Morris) 13:30
Third Period: NC—Peter Reinhardt (John McMahon) 10:08; TC—Will Egan 14:50
Goalie saves: NC—Mac Wright 7; TC—Kyle Odierno 41