It was another game and another double-digit point effort by the front line of the New Canaan High School girls ice hockey team, which is on pace to break several scoring records. Olivia Hompe netted her fourth hat trick of the season, as she combined with teammates Jana Persky and Bea Eppler for 13 points in a 6-1 victory over Darien on Friday evening.
The lopsided score overshadowed a relentless Darien attack that forced first-year New Canaan goalie Britt Gardella to step up her game. Gardella made a season-high 20 saves on 21 shots, including an 11-shot third period barrage by the Blue Wave. Darien controlled possession of the puck for most of the game, but New Canaan made all their shots count.
"I have to say we played a little sloppy today," New Canaan head coach Rich Bulan said. "But I'll take 4-0 and sloppy after two periods than losing. Darien is much better than the score suggests. They're always going to give you a battle."
Hompe flashed her brilliant skating and puck-handling skills, weaving past defenders on each of her goals. Her third score was the prettiest, as she deked past two defenders and left Darien goalie Shannon Hall flailing for the puck.
Hompe finished with three goals and three assists, Persky found the net twice with two assists, while Eppler scored once and grabbed two assists.
"Darien put a lot of pressure on us tonight and did a good job clogging up the lanes," Hompe said. "Their goal was to break up our passing lanes and for the most part did a good job of it. But we took our time, found the open spaces, and figured out how to widen the gaps and score some goals."
At the halfway mark of the season, New Canaan is 8-0 in FCIAC play and 10-1 overall. The Rams will take on Staples on Monday.
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