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Young Stars Soar to Polar Bear Hockey Title

The Mid Fairfield Connecticut Stars 14-and-under girls hockey team established itself as one of the top teams in the nation last month with a victory in the Polar Bears Girls Holiday Tournament . The Stars went 5-1 in the tournament, including a 3-2 win over the Brampton Canadettes in the championship game. The team includes players from Norwalk, Darien and Fairfield.

"I've coached the Stars since their inception, and they've never won the tournament,'' said Moe Tarrant, a Norwalk resident. "It's the biggest girls tournament in the United States. There are always a lot of prep school coaches there scouting players. We had over 30 emails from past players congratulating them on winning the tournament."

Defense and goaltending helped the Stars complete their title run. Goalies Annie Defrino of Norwalk and Emma Farrel combined for three shutouts. The Stars allowed just four goals in six games. Norwalk's Nicole Lue, Darien's Sasha Fritts and Fairfield's Taegan Blackwell are other girls from Main Street Connect communities on the Stars.

"To win any kind of championship things have to be clicking on all cylinders,'' Tarrant said. "Both goalies played great, and the girls executed well. It was rewarding to see how they clicked better than they have all year. Sometimes as a coach you can figure it out. Sometimes you can't. That's the beauty of it."

In the Polar Bear, Tarrant said the key victory was a 2-0 win over the California Lady Ducks. "If we don't win that game, we don't get into the playoffs. That was the game we had to win. To win in the championship game was great, too. To get to the dance was pretty nice."

The Polar Bear championship reflects a season of dominance for the Stars. They have compiled a 29-4 record, including a 10-1 mark in the New England Girls Hockey League. The Stars hope to qualify for the USA Hockey New England District regional tournament where a successful showing would advance them to the National Championship Tournament in April.

Other players on the Stars include Sara McNamara, Ashley Carbone, Lauren Ferraiulo, Katelyn Pantera, Megan Wilmot, Madison Jerolman, Tiana Cass, Leyna DiMarco, Katie Savage, Catherine Crawley, Grace Jennings and Ginamarie Mangiafridda.

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