Newington co-op ice hockey won the program’s third state championship in history, defeating Conard 3-1 on March 17 at the People’s United Center in Hamden.
After a scoreless first period, things heated up in the second period after Conard’s Brady Norris found the back of the net with 14:03 to play in the period.
At the 6:15 mark of the second, Tyler Leavitt tallied the equalizer for Newington when he slid his stick under a bouncing puck before going top-shelf. Less than 20 second later, Andrew Stribling scored the go-ahead goal for the Nor’easters when he rebounded a deflected shot and poked the puck into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Stribling added an empty-netter in the closing seconds of play in regulation to put an exclamation point on the state title.
The Newington co-op—which includes players from Newington, Cromwell, Berlin, Canton, and Manchester— was the No. 2 ranked team entering the state tournament after winning 17 of 20 regular season games. They eliminated the Rocky Hill co-op (7-2) in the first round, Staples (2-1) in the quarterfinals, and Barlow co-op (5-1) in the semifinals to reach the state title games.
Leavitt, Braeden Humphrey, Nickolas Giotsas, Blake Blackwood, and Jack Reynolds are the five seniors whose final game with the Nor’easters ended with a state championship celebration.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin