BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Hawks improved to 5-0 on the season Tuesday, increasing its scoring advantage to 32-6 in those games with a 9-2 pasting of Derby.
The Hawks scored early and often to build an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish. Just 19 seconds into the game Eric Dietz (two goals, two assists) took the opening possession into the Derby end of the field.
Michael Segala broke into the box from the left side and drilled a shot that simply overwhelmed the Derby keeper Will Silvester for a quick 1-0 lead.
Woodland was on the board again just 1:38 into the contest. Segala directed an advance through the middle of the box and Dietz drove it to the back of the net for a commanding 2-0 advantage.
“The game plan is always to jump out into the lead early,” Woodland head coach Tony Moutinho said. “That way we can direct the flow of the game and create our own tempo. We got it going real early today.”
The defending Brass Division champions were at it again 7 minutes later when Dietz started a breakaway. The initial shot was batted down but Nick LaPerriere (two goals) was there to finish it off for a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes later Segala stormed into the box but the Derby defense covered up the shot. Dietz came charging in from the left flank to bury it just inside the post to create a 4-0 cushion.
Derby had its hands full against the starting defensive unit of Adam Baz, Mike Costa, Kevin Kozera, and Nick Hebert, who have yet to give up a goal this year. Goalkeeper Marc Beaulieu had little action down in his end but stopped a handful of drives before shots got off.
Matt Moutinho and Seth Stevens controlled the midfield as Woodland maintained possession throughout the first half. Pat Skroly, Tim Madormo and Scott Siegel gave the Hawks a fresh set of legs off the bench as the domination continued.
Connor Chura and Joe Laliberte came on to keep the attack going into the Derby end of the field. With 18:56 left in the first half the Hawks struck again. Sam Merriman directed a pass to a wide open Stephen Pec for a goal to make it a 5-0 advantage.
As the half was coming to an end Derby snuck by the defense with Bledi Trepca finding Max Salazar cutting through the right side of the box and the blast with just 38 seconds left put Derby on the board.
“We want to come out and press at the start of both halves and we did that today,” said Moutinho. “We haven’t faced the upper tier of the NVL yet but I’m very pleased at how this team is playing right now.”
It didn’t take long to dispel any possibility of a Derby comeback at the start of the second half. Less than two minutes in Lumbardh Pacuku found LaPerriere on a crossing pass in the box and the shot to the far post rippled the net for a 6-1 advantage.
With 31:49 left, Segala scored on a breakaway to up the margin at 7-1. Thirty seconds later the Hawks struck again. Segala steered a pass to Vigan Pacuku and the blast toppled over the Derby keeper as the lead swelled to 8-1.
Pat Dietz took over in goal for Woodland and the defense swarmed to the ball every time Derby gained possession. With 28:29 to play Richie Vadala got a crossing pass out to Adam Baz and scored to make it a 9-1.
Derby put one in as time was running out scoring with just 1:28 to go. Salazar directed a pass along the sidelines and Ali Nadir was there to finish it off.
After a non-conference matchup with Oxford on Wednesday, the Hawks host Wolcott on Friday. The teeth of Woodland’s schedule come next week with road games at Watertown on Monday and Holy Cross on Oct. 5 before hosting Naugatuck on Oct. 7.
“So far we are doing what we are supposed to do,” said Moutinho. “Next week will tell us a lot about ourselves. We have three top tier teams and we will certainly have a challenge. We will take it one game at a time.”