With the potential to run into each other four times in a given season — one league game, one non-league game, one FCIAC playoff game, one state playoff game — Darien’s and Ridgefield’s boys hockey coaches, Mac Budd and Shaun Gallagher, talked about ways to add some neat quirks to the schedule.
“(We) thought it would be fun for the boys from both teams to try a back-to-back,” Gallagher said in an email.
They will: The Tigers and Blue Wave meet Friday at the Winter Garden in Ridgefield, then again the next day at the Darien Ice House.
They’re the top two teams in this week’s GameTimeCT poll. In fact, Ridgefield is a unanimous top choice for the second week in a row.
Friday, incidentally, is the league game. Hat tip to colleague Dave Stewart for that.
SITTING OUT: Trinity Catholic has only 12 skaters to begin with and has a flu bug going through them. The combination felt unsafe to the Crusaders administration, and Monday’s game with Wilton was postponed. They’ll meet Jan. 21 at 2 p.m., at the Winter Garden instead of Stamford’s Terry Conners Rink.
MOVING ON: Beating Ridgefield has been a tall task for everyone so far, and Hamden coach Todd Hall wasn’t going to point fingers after a 6-1 loss; the Green Dragons lost as a unit, he said.
“The message has always been, win or lose, you’ve got an hour to enjoy it or be mad about it, and then we need to start preparing for our next opponent, who’s coming in here to beat us,” Hall said.
That opponent, Wednesday night at Astorino Arena, is traditional Rhode Island power Mount St. Charles, a program set for a major change. The school is adding four age-group-based teams to go with its high school league team, along the lines of the Selects Academy program at South Kent.
Xavier goes up to visit Mount St. Charles on Friday.
NEW BANNER: Staples retired Sam New’s No. 19 on Saturday before its 4-0 win over New Milford. New, who graduated last year and is playing club hockey at the University of Tampa, holds the Wreckers’ program record with 106 goals.
“The points and goals were really about a team effort,” New said during the ceremony. “I was just fortunate to have a part of this family and hope I was a positive role model for future Wreckers.”
HOME AND HOME(ISH): Another rematch comes up upstate on Thursday. Conard earned its first win of the season on Jan. 2 against South Windsor, topping the Bobcats 3-2 in West Hartford. The teams meet again in South Windsor on Thursday at 4; the Chieftains haven’t played since, while South Windsor comes off a win over Glastonbury.
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