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Conard and Hall-Southington Skate To Tie, Player Seriously Injured

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard was host to Hall-Southington at Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford on Saturday.

Hall-Southington and Conard captains and assistant captains present Ray Philippon with a donation to the Philippon Foundation before the game. Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

By Ronni Newton. Photos by Andy Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Fans were out in force, and emotions were running high as the Conard High School and Hall-Southington hockey teams celebrated senior night and faced off for the first time in two seasons Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford.

A collective gasp filled the rink when, in the third period, a hit from Conard player Brendan Battiston knocked Hall-Southington senior defender Drew Booth into the boards and he fell to the ice, clutching his face which was immediately bleeding. Booth skated off the ice under his own power, but was transported to a local hospital where, according to reports on the Hall-Southington Hockey Twitter account, he was found to have fractured eye sockets on both sides and a broken nose.

Battiston received a five-minute major penalty.

Booth was scheduled to have neurosurgery Monday morning, a procedure estimated to take six hours that would assist in his recovery from the injury.

The game featured strong defense, as both teams were held scoreless for the first 11:15 until Conard senior Paul Wilson, on a power play, ripped a wrist shot over Hall-Southington senior goalie Zach Monti’s (Southington) right shoulder into the net.

Wilson had been upended on the blue line to draw the penalty, and he was left unguarded during the one-man advantage when senior Liam LaCroix found the opening and passed to Wilson for the assist. Junior Bryant Caron was also credited with the assist on the play.

Conard kept the lead at 1-0 through the second period and most of the way through the third period, but with just over 2 minutes left in regulation, Andrew Mitchell’s (Hall) wrist shot from the left point got by the glove of Conard junior goalie Shea Henderson, who was otherwise unflappable. Jake Albert (Southington) assisted on the power play goal.

The game went into overtime, ending in a 1-1 tie.

Hall-Southington (11-7-2), without its leading defenseman, lost to Sheehan 6-3 on Monday night to end the regular season and will host E.O. Smith-Tolland on Thursday, March 1, at 4 p.m. at Veterans, in the first round of the CCC South tournament.

Prior to Monday night’s game, Hall-Southington coach Brian Cannon told the Record-Journal’s Joe Boyle that Booth was out of surgery, but he did not have any other details. Players from both teams sent good wishes to Booth in a video.

Conard (10-8-1) will end the regular season at home, hosting East Catholic on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Veterans.

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Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard seniors. Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

Conard vs. Hall-Southington hockey game, Feb. 24, 2018. Photo credit: Andrew Stabnick, lowtidephotography.com

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