The first ever "West Hartford Day" at the XL Center took place on Saturday, Feb. 2, with hockey players and skaters from all over town getting a rare opportunity to skate and play in the professional arena.
The day began with an open skate at noon, followed by a high school girls hockey contest between the Hall/Conard WarChiefs and Kingswood Oxford. The now 13-1 Hall/Conard team won, 4-1.
At 3:25, the Conard boys took on the Hall/Southington team on the rink. Hundreds of fans, separated by the red and blue clothing, cheered on their favorite hometown team in an awe-inspiring setting.
The first two periods of the boy's game saw back-and-forth lead changes with Conard's Mark Ehnot scoring first (assist by Zack Powers). Hall/Southington answered with a goal with just 13 seconds left in the period, scored by Jarod Florian and assisted by William Thompson.
Grayson Lacroix gave Conard the lead with an unassisted goal 1:55 into the second period, but just 33 seconds later Hall/Southington tied it up again with a goal by Dave Valentukonis assisted by Jesse Patterson and Kenneth Fleming.
Hall/Southington took the lead before the end of the second period, on a goal by Justin Rose, assisted by both Tim Panella and Owen Kantor.
The third period belonged to Hall/Southington, with goals by Kantor and Rose. Both were assisted by Trey Lerner. The final score was Hall/Southington 5, Conard 2.
The Conard team, missing four key starters due to injury and illness, is now 4-7-1 and will take on Glastonbury on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity College.
Hall/Southington is 10-4, and meets Masuk Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Shelton Rink.
Ticket holders to West Hartford Day were invited to remain for the CT Whale vs. Springfield Falcons game. West Hartford fans helped the Whale achieve its second largest attendance in franchise history, as 13,239 watched a close battle which saw Springfield win 3-2.
West Hartford Youth Hockey players scrimmaged during the Whale vs. Falcons intermission.