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  • Greg Lederer

Rams Ice Hockey Wins SCHL, Ends 2024 With Three Titles

Cheshire Rams won the Southern Connecticut Hockey League High School Division II crown. Submitted photo.

From left, brothers Rocco, Luca, and Lorenzo Ocone-Krause pose with the SCHL trophy. Submitted photo.

by Greg Lederer

Cheshire Sports Media

Last winter represented a historic 50th season for the Cheshire High School boys’ ice hockey team, who finished with a program-best 24-1-1 mark. The Rams claimed their first Southern Connecticut Conference title since 2009 and finished as Division II state champions for the first time in 13 years.

After taking a break, Cheshire picked up where they left off in the spring. A collection of current and up and coming players posted a 11-1 record in Southern Connecticut Hockey League High School D-II play.

Last Saturday in the title game, the Rams capped the season with a 3-0 shutout of West Haven Blue Devils at Sacred Heart University’s Martire Family Arena in Fairfield.

“It is not all the time that you get to play for a trophy,” said 2020 CHS graduate Lorenzo Ocone-Krause, who has coached Cheshire’s SCHL squad for four years. “They (the Rams) won the SCC, state, and spring championship in the same year. To have that be the last piece in the puzzle was special to me.”

In the final, rising juniors Cowan Allen and Luca Ocone-Krause and freshman Colin Dempsey scored in each of the three periods. Junior Charlie Golden assisted on the first two goals.

“That was my first line for the playoffs,” said Coach Ocone-Krause.

The offense was more than enough for junior goalkeeper Ryan Miller, who made 42 saves in the shutout. He ended the season with a .933 save percentage.

“That was great,” stated Coach Ocone-Krause. “There isn’t another high school goaltender that I want to have more than Ryan Miller.”

Ocone-Krause also spoke highly of sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Hooper, who made 12 saves during the first half of a 7-0 victory against Wethersfield Eagles in last Thursday’s semifinals at Northford Ice Pavilion. Miller came in for the second half and recorded 14 saves to complete the shutout. 

Due to a schedule conflict, senior captain Devin Kelly didn’t play in the title game, but he still led Cheshire in goals (16) and points (27) for the spring. Dempsey tied Kelly as the points leader and also topped the Rams in assists (14).

Luca Ocone-Krause contributed nine goals and 11 assists to finish with 20 points. 

Allen came up clutch in the playoffs, netting the first goal of both games. He had four goals and six assists in the spring.

“The lines connected really fast,” reflected Coach Ocone-Krause. “We had DK (Devin Kelly) and Luca stick together with the fact that they have played together before.”

This spring represented the fourth straight year that Cheshire reached the SCHL finals. The Rams took first place in 2021 and after placing runner-up in the last two seasons, the program has regained the crown.

“Making the finals is great,” said Coach Ocone-Krause. “I think all of the guys were deserving to win in those four years, but things need to fall the right way for you to win.”

While having finished his Cheshire career, he enjoys helping to develop the next generation of players in the spring.

“You want the new guys (to be) familiar with the older guys,” stated Coach Ocone-Krause. “You want them to get accustomed to the size and speed of the game. You want to give them a higher-paced level.”

He takes pride in being the oldest of three brothers to play for the Rams. Lorenzo’s brother Rocco co-captained the 2023 team and Luca is currently playing for CHS. 

This spring, Ocone-Krause got to coach alongside Rocco and their father Michael.

“In my hockey days, we met some of the best people,” recalled Coach Ocone-Krause. “It was great to see Luca win titles this year and have one of us (brothers) get a piece of that.”

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