By KEVIN ROBERTS
Wethersfield-Middletown-Rocky Hill-Plainville ice hockey had an opportunity to possibly play for a CCC South Division title before embarking on its journey in the Division II state tournament.
The co-op’s aspirations for a conference title were vanquished on Feb. 28, however, in a 5-4 overtime loss to Hall-Southington in the CCC South semifinal round at Newington Ice Arena. WMRP had to quickly forget about the semifinal loss. They were scheduled to play EO Smith on Monday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum at UConn in a Division II first round game.
WMRP was the No. 9 seed while EO Smith came into the game as the No. 8 seed. The winner is scheduled to play top-seeded Watertown-Pomperaug on Friday.
In the CCC South semifinal, WMRP fell behind by two goals on three different occasions. Hall-Southington led 2-0 after one period, 3-1 during the second period, and 4-2 after the second period.
WMRP began its comeback with 10:29 left in the third period on Jack Healy’s second goal of the game. The goal cut the deficit to 4-3. It took almost another six and a half minutes for WMRP to tie the game. Ben Mroczka scored an unassisted goal with 4:02 left to knot the game at 4-4.
WMRP had chances to take the lead in the next minute, only to not score the go-ahead goal. A WMRP shot went wide left with 31 seconds to play, then two more chances in the final 15 ticks didn’t go in, bringing on overtime.
Hall-Southington committed two penalties in the first six minutes of the 15-minute overtime period, but WMRP couldn’t capitalize on either five-on-four opportunity. With 6:31 left in overtime, Bobby Allan found the net from the left wing to give Hall-Southington a 5-4 victory.
Aaron Cholewa got WMRP on the board with 11:25 left in the second period to make the score 2-1 Hall-Southington. After falling behind 3-1, WMRP again pulled within a goal when Healy scored with 2:01 left in the second period. Just 31 seconds later, Hall-Southington went ahead 4-2.
WMRP and EO Smith split their regular season meetings. WMRP won 1-0 on Jan. 19 at the Newington Ice Arena. EO Smith won the second game, 4-1, on Feb. 23 at the Freitas Ice Forum.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com