The rivalry between the Tri-Town and South Windsor hockey programs has grown throughout the years, and Saturday afternoon, the two teams staged one of their epic battles at the Enfield Twin Rinks.
Chris Jones snapped a 2-2 tie with 6:37 left to play, and the Bobcats hung on despite some late Tri-Town pressure to post a 3-2 win on the final day of 2011.
"It was a great game," Tri-Town coach Paul Dowe said. "One bounce for them, they win 3-2; one bounce for us, we win 3-2. We outshot them, but they outscored us on scoring opportunities on the board. The second period, we definitely took it to them, and the third period was even. It could have gone either way."
South Windsor looked to establish its offense early when Chris Gionfriddo broke in alone just 25 seconds into the contest, but Tri-Town goaltender Mitch DiResta came up with a big save.
The Bobcats broke through with 2:33 left in the opening period on a goal by Connor Hibbs, assisted by Gionfriddo.
In the second period, Gionfriddo found the net at 6:48 to provide the Bobcats with a 2-0 margin. However, Tri-Town's Zack Palmer scored twice within 50 seconds, including once on a power play, to knot the score 2-2 at the second intermission.
DiResta again came up big about five minutes into the third period, robbing Gionfriddo on the doorstep. The teams continued to battle evenly until Jones scored off assists from David Ouellette and Joey Bonazelli.
Tri-Town pulled DiResta in favor of a sixth attacker in the final minute, but Bobcat goaltender Ryan Serksnas withstood the pressure to preserve the victory.
South Windsor (5-1) hosts Conard Monday at noon, while Tri-Town (2-2) is off until Friday, when it travels to the Bolton Ice Palace to face the Bolton/Coventry/Lyman Memorial co-op at 8:20 p.m.
Goals: Connor Hibbs, Chris Gionfriddo, Chris Jones.
Assists: Gionfriddo, Josh O'Neal, Jones, David Ouellette, Joey Bonazelli.
Goals: Zack Palmer (2).
Assists: Cullen Roberts, Mitch Cobb.
Score By Periods
South Windsor 1 1 1 - 3
Tri-Town 0 2 0 - 2