There are a stunning number of intriguing CIAC hockey matchups on Wednesday, the first full day of competition. Our 10 games to watch this season could be the day’s schedule, cut off wherever. We’ll try to sneak in a few later games, too.
Fairfield Prep at Ridgefield (Winter Garden), Wednesday, 6 p.m.: This has become a regular matchup between two top programs to open the new season, and it’s often a good one. They’ll meet again Feb. 12 at Wonderland at 6 p.m.
Branford at Glastonbury (Koeppel, Trinity College), Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.: They opened last season as well, and they closed it, too, in the Division II final. Branford, the defending champion, is a favorite again this year.
Xavier at Ridgefield (Winter Garden), Saturday, 7:40 p.m.: “Rematch!” may be overrated in cases like this, where a lot of the faces are new, but these are still the programs that met in last year’s quarterfinals, a Xavier win over the undefeated Tigers. Rematch!
Darien at Greenwich (Greenwich Skating Club), Dec. 28, 4 p.m.: The Blue Wave and Cardinals take it outside again for the Winter Classic. They’re expected, as usual, to be among the FCIAC’s top teams.
Sheehan at LHK (Northford Ice Pavilion), Dec. 28, 7:45 p.m.: The Wallingford rivals met for the Division III title in March in front of a raucous crowd at Ingalls Rink. The Trojans moved up to Division II, but Sheehan remains in D-III and is among the favorites. They’ll meet again Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Wesleyan.
Notre Dame-West Haven at Darien (Darien Ice House), Jan. 11, 6 p.m.: The preseason No. 2 and No. 3 teams meet up for the first of two times. The second comes at Bennett Rink on Feb. 17 at 5 p.m.
Fairfield Prep at Darien (Darien Ice House), Jan. 18, 3:50 p.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 2, this time. They’ve played some good tilts over the years; Darien won both meetings last year, and they’ve split two Division I finals this decade. The second meeting of this season is Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Wonderland of Ice.
Westhill/Stamford at Branford (Northford Ice Pavilion), Jan. 29, 6 p.m.: Always nice to get a midseason, nonconference matchup between two of the top teams in a given division. These are among the early favorites in what could be a wide-open Division II.
Notre Dame-West Haven at Fairfield Prep (Wonderland), Feb. 1, 1 p.m.: The old rivals, who met in the Division I final in the spring, go at it twice again this season, with the second exactly two weeks later at Bennett Rink.
New Canaan at Greenwich (Hamill), Feb. 13, 5:30 p.m.: The rematch of Monday’s season opener, a 3-2 New Canaan overtime win.