Special times in Newtown: Hockey team scores inspired upset one day after hoops squad did

Cameron Smith

There's something remarkable going on in Newtown, Conn. Just a day after the town's boys basketball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent Connecticut basketball tournament history, the school's hockey team duplicated the feat, earning a stunning spot in the state quarterfinals as a result.

The Newtown boys hockey team became the second team from the school in as many nights to land a major playoff upset — NewtownHockey.com

As reported by the Milford-Orange Bulletin, Newtown (Ct.) High, seeded 17th in the CIAC's Division II state tournament, knocked off the state's No. 1 overall seed, Amity (Ct.) High. The Nighthawks emerged with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals by Evan Isaacs and Hayden Savoia.

More impressive was the fact that Newtown won the game just one night after earning a victory in the state playoff qualifier (an 8-6 goal fest against Conrad (Ct.) High) on the road.

“We are in disbelief right now,” Amity coach Gary Lindgren told the Bulletin. “The kids played their hearts out. We had good control in the first period but we only got the one goal. We had the opportunities. We just did not cash in.”

They didn't cash in because Newtown goalie Patrick McLoughlin played a truly inspired game. McLoughlin saved 14 shots on goal in the first period alone ... and that was the only stretch in which he gave up a goal. From there out, the netminder was a brick wall, keeping his team in the game until Isaacs and Savoia delivered the game turning goals across a period of just four minutes.

Now, one of the goal scorers himself is confident that the Nighthawks can keep building off the stunning victory.

“We can ride this momentum,” Savoia told the Bulletin. “Like one of our former captains said to us, the best thing we can do after the [Sandy Hook] tragedy is to give everyone something to cheer for. I think we did that.”

They did indeed, and for the second night Newtown could be excited and proud about what happened in a sporting event, helping distract everyone from the tough rebuilding that still remains ahead.

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