No. 1 NORTHWEST CATHOLIC (21-3-1) vs. No. 2 RIDGEFIELD (23-2)
When: Monday, 7 p.m.
Where: Ingalls Rink, New Haven
On Air/Internet: NFHSNetwork.com, 960 WELI
Championship game appearances: This is the second state championship appearance for Northwest Catholic, which lost 2-1 to Newington/Berlin in the Division III final in 2012. Ridgefield is making its second championship game appearance. The Tigers defeated Milford 8-3 for the 2002 Division II title.
What to look for: Both teams are strong on the offensive end and on special teams (power-play, penalty killing). On the defensive end is where the Tigers have an edge. In the semifinals against New Canaan, the Lions allowed 38 shots on goal.
Northwest Catholic goalie Cal Skwara was exceptional, keeping his team in the game with 35 saves as the Lions defeated the Rams 6-3. The Lions will have to contend with the Tigers’ three experienced lines and Ridgefield’s deep list of forwards that can all score.
It is likely the Tigers, like the Rams, will swarm Skwara throughout the game. The question is can Skwara produce another huge performance in the final? The Ridgefield defense is led by goalie Sean Keegans, who is considered one of the top goalies in the state.
Among the top forwards for Ridgefield are Matteo van Wees, second-line center Jack Stafford, Landon Byers, Jeff Pracella and Joe Signorelli. Among the top defensemen are Harrison Chuma and Jack McGeary.
Among the top forwards for the Lions are Anthony Ceolin, Ryan Sherba, Tucker Allisi and Paul Arel. Among the Lions’ top defensemen are Anthony Giannone, Drew Hungerford, Tyler Esposito and Sean Macary.
You should know: The teams did not meet in the regular season. One common denominator is their record against teams ranked in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll this season. Including the postseason, Ridgefield is 9-2 against Top 10 teams. Northwest Catholic is 5-3.