FAIRFIELD COUNTY INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
2019-2020 champion: New Canaan
Favorites: Division I: Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan. Division II/III: Trumbull, Westhill/Stamford.
Players to Watch: Tucker Healy, Westhill/Stamford, Sr., F; Beau Johnson, New Canaan, Soph., G; Luke Johnston, Darien, Sr., D; Jamison Moore, Darien, Sr., F; Charlie Zolin, Greenwich, Jr., G.
Outlook: For the first time in a while there will be more than one champion in the FCIAC. The league has decided to host two postseason league tournaments due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournaments will be split into the six Division I teams and the non-Division I teams. The Division I teams also will finally be playing a Division I only schedule and not a full FCIAC schedule. Despite losing in the FCIAC title game a year ago, Darien is the favorite to win the Division I tournament. With several returners – Sam Erickson, Jamison Moore, Luke Johnston and Chris Schofield to name a few – from the team that was No. 1 in the GameTimeCT poll for most of the season, the target again will be on the backs of the Blue Wave. New Canaan, the defending FCIAC champs, are led by sophomore goalie Beau Johnson – who some coaches call the best goalie in the state – and senior forward Boden Gammill. Greenwich has a stud in net by the name of Charlie Zolin. On the non-Division I side of the league, despite losing a lot to graduation, Westhill/Stamford still has Tucker Healy. The senior forward has been a staple of the co-op since he arrived. With the Division I teams facing off all season, almost every night will be must see hockey down in Fairfield County.
SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT CONFERENCE/SOUTH WEST CONFERENCE
2019-2020 champions: Division I: Fairfield Prep; Division II: Branford; Division III: Sheehan
Favorites: Division I: Fairfield Prep, Notre Dame-West Haven; Division II: Branford, Hand, Sheehan; Division III: Newtown/New Fairfield co-op, Brookfield/Bethel/Danbury, New Milford.
Players to Watch: Brian Essing, Notre Dame-Fairfield, Sr., F; Tatum Fitzmaurice, Hand, Sr., F; Anthony Romano, Sheehan, Sr., F; Connor Smith, Notre Dame-West Haven, Sr., G; Mason Whitney, Fairfield Prep, Sr., F.
Outlook: The SCC Division I championship game came down to the wire a year ago, with Fairfield Prep and NDWH settling it in a shootout. Those two powerhouses remain the teams to beat in the conference. Mason Whitney is back to lead the Jesuits on offense, while Luke Noonan anchors the blue line. Goalie Tommy Martin will see an increase in time and all eyes will be on him, to see if he can follow in the footsteps of the All-State goalies who have come before him. For the Green Knights, the core that went to the Division I state title game in 2019, are now seniors. Goalie Connor Smith will carry the load for them in net and he is joined by returners Zach Schroeder and John D’Errico. There was an addition to the Division II teams this season as Sheehan has moved up, after winning the SCC Division III title for the third straight season. The Titans are led by the Romano twins (Anthony and Joe) and Luke Festa, and will try to show they belong with Hand and Branford. With the departure of the Titans, Division III is wide open. Newtown, won nine of their last 11 games in the regular season to reach the SCC/SWC Division III semifinals. If the team, led by senior Phil Makris, is able to carry over what they did a year ago, watch out Division III.
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT CONFERENCE
2019-2020 champion: CCC North: Farmington Valley; CCC South: WMRP
Favorites: North: Northwest Catholic, Simsbury; South: Newington co-op, Wethersfield.
Players to Watch: Aaron Cholewa, Wethersfield, Sr., F; Andrew Fogarty, Newington co-op, Sr., G; Griffin Macary, Northwest Catholic, Sr., D; Bryan Roy, E.O. Smith/Tolland, Sr., F; Tyler Stoneman, Farmington Valley, Sr., F.
Outlook: The CCC has been shaken up for this season. SGWL and Tri-Town have joined the conference, coming over from the Nutmeg Conference. Those two teams have joined the South Division, which also saw the WMRP co-op break up. Wethersfield is now its own team and Rocky Hill/Middletown/Plainville added Haddam-Killingworth to form a new co-op. Northwest Catholic, like it seems every year, is the team to beat in the CCC North. Led by Griffin Macary and Connor Melanson the Lions normally compete in the CCC and at the state level. Simsbury, a top 10 team for most of last year, was hit hard by graduation, but still will compete for coach Chris Day. Over in the CCC South, Newington figures to challenge for a title behind the stellar play of goalie Andrew Fogarty, while the newly formed Wethersfield team will be led by Aaron Cholewa, who scored 35 goals last season.