The Cheshire Rams defeated the Shelton Gaels in dominant fashion, 17-6, in the quarterfinals of the SCC tournament May 21.
“We didn’t particularly play our best game,” said Shelton coach Matt Read. “If we played our best game, I don’t know if it would have been a different outcome but I think it would have been a much closer game. Timmy Schiffer kept us in it as much as he could with the saves. He’s a special player.”
Ryan Lindsey led the Rams with five goals while Tim Hoynes added four. Sean Black, Jack Raba and Brian Weyrauch each had a pair. Michael Jeffrey and Brian O’Connor also scored as well. Casey Brennan led the Gaels with two goals while Connor Greene added a goal and an assist. Matt Wadeka, Nick Pavone and Nick Pagluiso also scored for Shelton. Schiffer registered over 20 saves for the Gaels.
Three minutes into the game, Black found Hoynes for the Rams first score of the game.
Cheshire followed two minutes later with a score from Lindsey, on a feed from Jeffrey.
36 seconds following Lindsey’s first, he scored his second goal from 10 yards out on a pass from Hoynes to make it 3-0.
30 seconds later, Jeffrey found Black on a breakaway and he bounced it past Schiffer for the score, making it 4-0.
With four minutes to play in the first quarter, Shelton got its first man advantage but they could not capitalize and turned the ball over to the Rams. With three minutes to play, Hoynes went high over Schiffer’s net for the score to give Cheshire a 5-0 lead after one quarter.
“It comes down to handling the ball,” Read said. “We didn’t possess the ball enough. They had the ball on our defensive side for a good 10 minutes in the first period. It’s hard to counter that.”
Four minutes into the second quarter, the Gaels struck back. Matt Rice found Brennan, who found an open hole below the net of Cheshire keeper Peter Brown for the score.
45 seconds later, Weyrauch scored his first for Cheshire, a shot he ripped across his body for the score.
20 seconds following Weyrauch’s score, the Gaels got a second man advantage but this time, allowed a short-handed goal half way through the penalty. Hoynes scored his third to make it 7-1 Cheshire.
Two minutes later, Lindsey registered his third goal to make it 8-1.
30 seconds after Lindsey’s hat trick, Hoynes scored his fourth when he found a hole to the left of Schiffer’s feet to make it 9-1 Cheshire.
Lindsey then scored his fourth, ripping one past Schiffer’s glove to make it 10-1 Cheshire.
The Gaels scored their second goal with 24 seconds to play in the first half when Jake Roberts found Wadeka from 15 yards out for the scoop score. The Rams led the Gaels 10-2 at the half.
“They had a very good faceoff man today,” Read said. “That took a lot of the wind out of our sails today. Ground balls…they probably got 65% of them so that’s a huge thing. Ground balls win games.”
The Rams picked up where they left off in the second half, when Weyrauch scored his second goal four minutes into the third quarter. 45 seconds later, Black scored on a wraparound goal to make it 12-2 Cheshire.
Nine seconds later, David Covel found Raba for the goal to increase the Rams’ lead.
The Gaels responded once again 50 seconds later, when Greene found Brennan for his second goal, a low scoop shot that made it 13-3 with 18 minutes to play in regulation.
One minute and 15 seconds after, Jeffrey struck again, this time from 15 yards out to make it 14-3.
30 seconds after Jeffrey, Lindsey scored his fifth goal to make it 15-3.
Down 12 goals, the Gaels kept fighting back. Greene scored unassisted on a bounce shot from in close to the net, making it a 15-4 game.
“We’re young,” Read said. “We made mistakes. But we don’t give up.”
In the fourth quarter, Raba scored his second goal, going high over Schiffer’s net to make it 16-4 Cheshire.
With three minutes to play, the Gaels answered with back-to-back goals. First Pavone’s bounce shot snuck past Brown to make it 16-5. Then Pagluiso ripped a shot from 15 yards out to make it 16-6 with two minutes to play.
Ben O’Connor’s bounce shot goal with 46 seconds to go sealed the SCC quarterfinal victory for Cheshire. The Rams advance to play North Haven while Shelton focuses on their Memorial Day weekend state championship tournament matchup.