For the fourth straight season, the Fairfield Prep boys hockey team ends the season as the No. 1 team in the state.
The Jesuits went 11-1-1 and received 12 of 13 first-place votes in the final poll. They defeated five Top 10 teams, including a 4-2 win over then-No. 1 Notre Dame-West Haven. The two also tied later in the season.
“When I think about this team, they’re just tough. I think we can say that about all of these kids this year,” Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said. “(The kids) are waking up every morning wondering if that is it for your season.
“To battle through (the uncertainty), to grind through that all year, that toughness was fun to watch. It was rewarded in the poll.”
Unfortunately for Sather and his team their season was cut short after the SCC/SWC Division I semifinals.
Fairfield Prep defeated Notre Dame-Fairfield to advance to the final and, two days later, multiple Notre Dame players tested positive for COVID-19 and the championship game was canceled.
The Jesuits lost their season opener then bounced back with a win in their second game. But it was the third game of the season against Darien when Sather knew what his team was all about.
Fairfield Prep defeated Darien 3-0 on three goals from Tiernan Curley and senior goalie Tommy Martin’s 29 saves.
“Darien outshot us in that game and Tommy was unbeatable,” Sather said. “I think that set the tone for that toughness for the year. (That game) taught us a good lesson of what we could be.”
With Martin’s play in net, plus performances from Mason Whitney, Tiernan Curley and Aksel Sather on the top line, the Jesuits didn’t lose another game.
The trio combined for 69 points and scored 31 of the 55 goals the Jesuits scored this year.
“If Tommy is that toughness on the ice, the chemistry of that line was the fun that we needed,” Sather said. “When those guys get going it was fun to watch.”
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST|
|1. FAIRFIELD PREP (12)||11-1-1||129||1|
| Final Result: Named co-champs of SCC/SWC with Notre Dam-West Haven.
The Bottom Line: The Jesuits were the preseason No. 1 and, despite not playing a championship game, voters still were overwhelmingly impressed by the Jesuits this season.
|2. NOTRE DAME-WH (1)||11-2-1||118||2|
| Final Result: Named co-champs of SCC/SWC.
The Bottom Line: Unfortunately for hockey fans and the Green Knights, Notre Dame didn’t get a third chance at Fairfield Prep and a final shot at No. 1.
|3. NEW CANAAN||8-6-1||102||5|
| Final Result: def. Greenwich 3-1 in the FCIAC finals
The Bottom Line: That three-game losing streak in the middle of the season feels like it was a long time ago, doesn’t it? The Rams rallied to win the FCIAC Division I title with Jack Johnson leading the way.
| Final Result: lost to New Canaan 3-1 in the FCIAC championship
The Bottom Line: What a run by the Cardinals playing six games in 10 days and winning five of them to reach the FCIAC final.
| Final Result: lost to New Canaan 2-1 (OT) in FCIAC semifinals.
The Bottom Line: It felt like the Blue Wave never really got going this year. Still, they were one goal away from playing for a conference title.
|6. FAIRFIELD CO-OP||8-4-1||70||3|
| Final Result: lost to Greenwich 3-2 (OT) in FCIAC semifinals
The Bottom Line: The last remaining unbeaten team in Division I stumbled at the finish line, losing three straight and four of its last five.
|7. NORTHWEST CATHOLIC||9-1-2||44||NR|
| Final Result: def. Simsbury 7-3 in the CCC North Finals
The Bottom Line: The Kings of the North forced teams to bend the knee all season, capturing the CCC North title.
| Final Result: lost to Notre Dame-West Haven 6-1 in SCC/SWC semifinals
The Bottom Line: The Falcons had a strong second half of the season but couldn’t get past Notre Dame-West Haven in the SCC/SWC Division I semifinals.
|9. NORTH HAVEN||7-2-0||24||NR|
| Final Result: def. Cheshire 3-0 in the SCC Division II finals
The Bottom Line: North Haven missed the middle of its season due to COVID-19 protocols but when the team came back there was no stopping them. Led by Andrew Sacco in net, North Haven won its last three games to capture the SCC/SWC Division II title.
| Final Result: lost to New Canaan 2-1 in FCIAC Division I quarterfinals
The Bottom Line: The Tigers played 11 teams ranked in this poll and they never quit, playing the eventual FCIAC Division I champs in an entertaining quarterfinal game.
|Dropped out: Sheehan (9), Hand (10)
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
|Others receiving votes: Sheehan (11-2-0) 10; Hand (4-1-0) 3; Newington co-op (11-1-1) 3; East Catholic (9-2-0) 2; West Haven (4-6-0) 2; BBD (11-2-0) 1.|
|The following voted: Media: Luke Devoe, CTHSHockey.org; Erik Dobratz, WTNH-8; Tim Jensen, Patch; Ben Klein, CTHSHockey.org; Greg Lederer, Cheshire Herald; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Dan Nowak, New Haven Register; Pete Paguaga, GameTimeCT; Dave Stewart, New Canaan Advertiser/Darien Times; Jim Stout, MaxPreps.com. Coaches: Shaun Gallagher, Ridgefield, Matt Sather, Fairfield Prep; Larry Viera, Notre Dame-West Haven.
Poll compiled by Pete Paguaga