On this historic day in the state of Connecticut, it is only fitting that I do something historic.
Fairfield Prep and St. Joseph will embark upon two games in two sports on one day for state titles. I will be at both, blogging about whatever catches my fancy, and sending back the intriguing things that catch my eye.
9:20 a.m.- Wake up with a charlie horse (an inauspicious start to the day)
11:44- I’m leaving for Ingalls Rink, with a stop at my office in Fairfield. Last year I left Bridgeport at 1 for the 2 p.m. state final, and arrived midway through the first period, having missed three goals. I’m not taking any chances this year.
11:57- I stopped at Cumberland Farms for gas and Dunkin’ Donuts. Here’s hoping I don’t have to get gas the rest of the day.
12:10 p.m.- Good to know that the “Big N’ Toasty” fulfills neither of its names. I had coffee #1, french vanilla with half and half and sugar. It was less than good.
12:16- Departing from Fairfield. Let’s hope I get there on time!
12:43- Reached Lot 22 in New Haven. Why would anyone pay to park in New Haven for this, when there is free parking on weekends in Lot 22!?
1:12- Coffees #2 and 3. Again DD, but in the Ingalls Rink press area. I may have a problem.
1:42- Prep has the Ryan Brennan sweater hanging behind its bench. The Jesuits are playing for their fallen senior, who died of cancer on Feb. 28.
1:58- One of the many reasons to love the state hockey title games at Ingalls. It is just big enough to seat fans, but just small enough to have the spillover along the rails. Awesome.
1:59- The teams take the ice. The Prep “Bomb Squad” breaks into its “I believe that we will win” chant.
2:03- I’m on Diet Coke No. 2 and the game hasn’t even started yet. I love free drinks.
2:07- The teams took the ice eight minutes ago, sat through a long-winded speech, and now have to warm up for 15 minutes. Why wouldn’t the CIAC say that this game is going to start at 2:20?
2:11- At least the game is being delayed because it is being broadcast on MSG Varsity…Monday night at 7 p.m…
2:21- Puck drops. Prep vs. St. Joseph, round 1 is underway
2:24- That was fast. Prep’s Connor Peterson tallies on the Jesuits’ fourth shot and Prep is up 1-0.
2:26- Don Carnicky pots a goal for Prep. This could get out of hand. 2-0 just 3:22 in.
2:32- The shot clock at Ingalls Rink is ridiculous. DRIBBLERS ARE NOT SHOTS!
2:40- Bryan Puffer scores over Carrano’s shoulder for Prep’s third goal of the first. Jesuits appear on their way.
2:43- At the end of 1, Prep leads St. Joseph 3-0. Shots are 14-10 in favor of the Jesuits.
2:51- The soundtrack at Ingalls is awesome. They get a +1 from me.
2:57- Second period has begun.
3:06- Puffer scores again. Jesuits lead 4-0. This is too easy.
3:10- Prep takes a penalty. Sean Henry goes for interference. Jesuits kill it without a sweat.
3:15- St. Joes’ star forward Pat Corcoran is going to have nightmares of Prep goalie John Galiani. Galiani has stopped him twice on breakaways.
3:18- End of 2, Prep 4, St. Joes 0. Shots after two: Prep 31, SJ 19.
3:33- Third period is underway. I’m setting the odds of St. Joes coming back and winning this game at .002 percent.
3:39- David Griffin pots a goal to make it 5-0 Prep. Puffer now has three points, and a sweet assist on the fifth goal.
3:49- Say what you want about St. Joes being dominated today, but Carrano has been very good. 41 saves. This could be much worse.
3:53- Prep wins 5-0, to take home its first state title since 2008.
4:36- Just got done with interviews from Ingalls.
5:01- Story is filed. I’ll chime in from Mohegan
5:18- I got in the car and bolted for Uncasville
5:41- Stopped at McDonalds and got the All-American meal: No. 1 (Big Mac meal) with a diet coke.
6:00- I talked to my buddy Brian Fitzsimmons. He’s helping me with a side project that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention. It’s an MLB blog called “The Bullpen” it launches tomorrow at http://bullpen-blog.com!
6:30- I arrive at Mohegan Sun and even find a spot in the parking garage. Good breaks!
7:07- Made it inside, and begin eating dinner No. 2, General Tso Chicken, an egg roll, rice, pizza and a Diet Coke.
7:20- Dessert: cake. Mmmmm.
8:05- The Class L final game ends. New London beats Northwest Catholic 63-55.
8:35- St. Joes and Prep are eight minutes from tipping off. Prep’s “Bomb Squad” is out in full force. St. Joseph has a large student contingent as well.
8:47- Teams are introduced. We’re only 32 minutes behind schedule. Sweet.
8:51- Game is underway and Timajh Parker already has a three-point play. 3-0 St. Joes.
8:54- St. Joes is off to an 16-2 start. Leo Redgate calls Prep’s first timeout. THIS could get ugly here early too.
8:58- Four minutes into the game, St. Joseph leads 18-6.
9:06- End of one quarter, St. Joseph leads 27-9
9:08- If this pace holds, St. Joseph will beat Prep 108-36
9:11- Just got a stat sheet from the first quarter. Prep was 2-13 from the field. St. Joes, on the other hand, shot 65 percent.
9:15- Prep is getting killed. This is men vs. boys. St. Joes is up 37-18 with 4:15 left in the half.
9:21- St. Joes is up 45-21 with 1:49 left in the half.
9:24- Prep closes the half on a 7-0 run, still trails 48-28 at halftime.
9:30- Announced attendance for New London and Northwest Catholic in the Class L Final: 9,566. Capacity at Mohegan: 10,000. WOW
9:33- Just looked at my halftime stat sheet. St. Joes shot 58 percent. DAMN.
9:35- Second half is underway.
9:41- St. Joseph is up by 24, and Prep refuses to make free throws. Hard to believe a comeback is coming.
9:43- Tarpey is down after being tangled up with a teammate. He appears pretty badly hurt.
9:46- St. Joseph leads by 30. Yikes.
9:49- St. Joseph’s students pull out their first “Let’s play football” chant. Bomb Squad responds with a “Let’s play hockey” chant.
9:51- It’s always bad when you’re a fan at a game and you say “if we can cut this lead to 20, I think we can get back in this.” That’s what Prep is up against now.
9:54- St. Joseph leads Prep 69-44 after three quarters.
9:58- Robbie Bier definitely has more air balls than field goals in this game.
10:00- With 5:33 left in the game, St. Joseph leads Prep 73-48.
10:04- Bier and Heiman exit to end their high school careers.
10:06- Daley exits. His HS career is over too, he will have a future in college, though
10:08- We’re officially in garbage time. I didn’t see this coming.
10:12- This game is a junior varsity game at this point.
10:16- St. Joseph wins the Class LL final with a 79-53 win over Prep.
10:20- Prep’s seniors are in tears as they accept their second place medals. It’s to be expected.
10:33- That concludes our daily odyssey of two games between Prep and St. Joseph. I appreciate all of you who stuck it out with me. I’ll have a blog update tomorrow. Hope those of you arriving home, get there safely. I hope I do too.
Miles traveled: 79 Diet Cokes: 4, cups of coffee: 6.