For the First Time Since 2020, Darien Girls Ice Hockey Are FCIAC Champions


Scott Ericson

Darien senior captain Gretchen Edwards hoisting the FCIAC plaque after the 2023 FCIAC Championship

Saturday inside the Darien Ice House, the Darien Varsity Girls Ice Hockey team had a lot to celebrate. A 2023 FCIAC title to add to their collection inside of DHS. Only the 7th time that the Wave won the FCIAC crown in girls ice hockey but Jaime Tropsa and his Wave team earned it this year.

After a 17-1-2 regular season and shutout of Greenwich in the semis, Darien met arch-rival New Canaan in the 2023 title match. The Wave fell to the Rams in the 2021 title game in overtime and looked to avenge that loss.

Sophomore Parker Krotee bringing the puck across the blue line in the 2023 FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Championship Game (Katharine Calderwood)

There was a packed crowd on hand inside the Darien Ice House Saturday night.

Darien used this momentum to go out to an early 1-0 lead just 5 minutes in when junior Skylar Ravosa sent a great puck on net to sophomore Parker Krotee who finished on the first goal of the game.

Darien has bested the Rams twice in the regular season, and both times they jumped out early on the offense and didn’t look back.

Darien senior goaltender Katherine Kahn making a save in the first period in the 2023 FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Championship (Katharine Calderwood)

The Wave held strong to finish the first period, with senior net minder Katherine Kahn returning to the pipes to make eight saves in that first period and sending Darien into the 1st intermission locker room up 1-0.

Three minutes into the second period, Krotee found herself in the penalty box with a 2-minute minor penalty giving the Rams the power play.

Kahn turned away the Rams for the first four looks. On look number five, Lexie Tully had other plans. The Rams junior went coast to coast on the ice and rifled a shot to Kahn’s right and into the back of the net. New Canaan converted on the power play and got the equalizer with 11:19 to play in the second. New Canaan, the two-time defending FCIAC champions, was back in this game.

Darien saw some life a couple of minutes later when Gretchen Edwards and Natalie Beach were knocking on the doorstep of New Canaan’s goalie Ashton Pinkernell. Pinkernell made three huge stops keeping the game tied at one.

6:27 left in the second period, face-off in the Darien offensive zone, to the left of Pinkernell. Kelsey Brown won the face-off for Darien and sent it back to the senior captain Morgan Massey. Massey to Brown on the tic-tac-toe play slides five-hole on Pinkernell for the score. 2-1 Darien with six minutes left in the second period. Brown scored goal number 15 on the season and this one was the biggest yet.

Jaime Tropsa’s squad entered the 2nd intermission with a 2-1 lead and stood only 15 minutes away from an FCIAC crown.

Although up by one, Tropsa made it very clear, we need more. And that’s exactly what Darien did.

Darien skaters celebrating a Chelsea Donovan goal in the 2023 FCIAC Championship game (Katharine Calderwood)

26 seconds into the new period, Brown won another faceoff, and off a deflection, senior captain Chelsea Donovan grabbed the rebound and scored on Pinkernell, 3-1 Darien as Donovan had goal number 18 on the season.

For the next ten minutes, it was all Darien on the defense, and Kahn picked up the rest of her 17 saves on the night.

With four minutes to play, New Canaan’s Serena O’Connor took the puck across the blue line with sophomore Maddie Tully on the wing.

The two did a give-and-go on the two-player offense. Kahn stopped the O’Connor shot but the puck deflected perfectly to Tully’s stick to just tap it into a wide-open goal. New Canaan scored and got the game back in striking distance at 3-2.

The Tully sisters struck again for New Canaan, this time Maddie Tully, the leading scorer for the Rams picked up goal number 20 on the season.

Darien still stood only four minutes away from an FCIAC title, but the Rams were surging.

1:17 on the clock. Faceoff is about to ensue in the Rams zone. NC head coach Rich Bulan took his timeout and drew up the play. Pulling the goalie Pinkernell, to get the extra skater on the ice.

New Canaan won the faceoff and moved the puck to the big slap shot of Amanda Benson. Benson the Arizona State Women’s Ice Hockey commit winded up and whacked the puck. Darien skater Kelsey Brown put the body on the line and deflected the puck with her leg before it reached the goal.

Thirty seconds left, New Canaan stayed on the offense, and junior Nora Moley sent a shot off the left side pipe.

Twenty seconds left, the Rams had one more chance. Going back to Benson on the blue line, Benson lined up the slap shot, and with all the force she had shot the puck. Brown got in the middle of it again and this time took the high-velocity puck off the stomach to move it out of the zone.

The Darien Girls Ice Hockey team storming the ice after beating New Canaan en route to their 7th all-time FCIAC title (Scott Ericson)

With the puck trickling around the neutral zone and the clock hitting zeros the Darien bench stormed their goalie Kahn and started the dog pile as they were the 2022-23 FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Champions.

It came down to the final minute of play, but Darien prevailed and finally overcame the Rams for FCIAC trophy number seven in school history.

“It means a lot to these seniors winning this trophy,” Darien coach Jamie Tropsa said after the game.

The FCIAC MVP went to Chelsea Donovan after her third and clinching goal in the first 26 seconds of period three.

A historic year for Darien in 2022-23, and they can add an FCIAC trophy to the case. This was first in the post-COVID era.

Darien now sets their sights on a state title, something the program has not seen since 2018.

Darien returns to the ice on Thursday, March 2nd inside the Darien Ice House when Darien hosts 8th-seeded West Haven in the quarters of the state tournament.


No. 1 DARIEN 3, No. 2 NEW CANAAN 2

New Canaan 0 1 1 – 2

Darien 1 1 1 – 3


D – Parker Krotee (Ravosa) 1st, 5:49

NC – Lexie Tully (Unassisted) 2nd, 3:41 PP

D – Kelsey Brown (Massey) 2nd, 9:37

D – Chelsea Donovan (Beach) 3rd, 0:26

NC – Maddie Tully (Unassisted) 3rd, 10:19


Goalies: NC – Ashton Pinkernell 14 saves;  D – Katherine Kahn 17 saves