Generals win first state title since 2005 after record-breaking season

The+next+General--+Sophomore+Matthew+Arena+celebrates+after+scoring+his+second+goal+of+the+state+championship+game+against+Guilford.+The+Farmington+Valley+Generals+defeated+the+Guilford+Indians+with+a+score+of+7-3+to+win+the+Division+Two+finals.
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Generals win first state title since 2005 after record-breaking season

The next General-- Sophomore Matthew Arena celebrates after scoring his second goal of the state championship game against Guilford. The Farmington Valley Generals defeated the Guilford Indians with a score of 7-3 to win the Division Two finals.

The next General-- Sophomore Matthew Arena celebrates after scoring his second goal of the state championship game against Guilford. The Farmington Valley Generals defeated the Guilford Indians with a score of 7-3 to win the Division Two finals.

The next General-- Sophomore Matthew Arena celebrates after scoring his second goal of the state championship game against Guilford. The Farmington Valley Generals defeated the Guilford Indians with a score of 7-3 to win the Division Two finals.

The next General-- Sophomore Matthew Arena celebrates after scoring his second goal of the state championship game against Guilford. The Farmington Valley Generals defeated the Guilford Indians with a score of 7-3 to win the Division Two finals.

Patrick Arnold, Arts & Entertainment

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On March 16, the Generals and over 300 fans travelled to Ingalls Rink in New Haven, where the Yale Bulldogs play their home games, and battled for the state title. The Farmington Valley Generals hockey team defeated the Guilford Indians with a score of 7-3 to take home the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Division Two state championship.

“It is very difficult to win a state title, I have not been at Yale since 2005 when we won it as Farmington alone. This one having a large lead let me soak in the moments in the 3rd period and the crowd was incredible. [It was] exhausting but satisfying to complete the year on a high note,” head coach Michael Barone said.

In route to winning, sophomore forward Matthew Arena (M.) scored in the first period with 3:44 left, and then the Generals tallied another goal with 26 seconds left in the first courtesy of junior forward Owen Lacourciere. After totaling 35 shots and scoring 7 total goals on the game, the Generals took home the state championship plaque.

Arena scored two goals in the game, his second reaching the back of the net with 8:49 left in the second period, propelling him to be named player of the game according to CTHShockey.org. The website also named his older brother and senior Captain Timothy Arena (T.) was named Division Two postseason tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP).

“Player of the Game is something everybody would want in such a big game like the Championship so it was unbelievable that I was recognized by outsiders to receive it. But obviously my teammates contributed, creating matchups, creating opportunities, so it was easy for me to be as successful as I was out there. It’s definitely an honor I won’t forget,” M. Arena said.

The Farmington Valley hockey team was fortunate this year in having their strongest players returning and was favored for most of the season to win the Division 2 championship according the CTHShockey.org. The team finished first in Division Two regular season play, and finished the postseason with the best record of Barone’s career with a record of 22-3-1.

This season, Lacourciere, junior forward Eric Schweitzer, and senior defensemen and Assistant Captain Peter Hoffman reached a hockey milestone by tallying their 100th point, made up of goals and assists throughout their career with the Generals. Schweitzer recorded his 100th point during the championship game, Lacourciere scored his 100th point in the semifinals against Conard, and Hoffman reached his 100th point against Notre Dame-Fairfield this year.

In 72 games in his career, T. Arena concluded with 200 total points, recording his 200th point in the state championship game and surpassed present NHL player and former Generals player Nick Bonino as the teams all-time leading point scorer. T. Arena also had 92 points in his senior season, one point away from Bonino’s single season record.  

For his senior season, T. Arena was named the player of the year, or best player in the state by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA), the CIAC, and CTHShockey.org. He was also named to the CHSCA All-State first team for the second year in a row. As for his future hockey endeavors, T. Arena plans to play on the club team for whichever college he chooses to attend. Villanova and bc

“Coming into this season, we knew we had the potential to do something special. To win the State Championship was an incredible team achievement that we will certainly always remember. The team success combined with receiving the personal accolades such as POTY is a story-book ending for me,” T. Arena said.

Next season, the Generals will have to replace 12 graduating seniors, but have hopes to make another run to the championship as they return players M. Arena, Schweitzer, Lacourciere, and junior goalie Trevor Paluso.