Darien showed for a fair bit of Monday’s game against Fairfield Prep just how good it can be, keeping the puck in the Jesuits’ end for long stretches. The Blue Wave scored in bunches early, and that 6-3 win helped them take an even firmer hold on the top spot in the GameTimeCT Top 10 boys hockey poll.
The Wave received 12 first-place votes, taking charge of what had been an almost-even three-way split in first-place votes a week ago among them, No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven and No. 3 Fairfield Prep. All three teams remained in place this week.
New Canaan and Xavier flipped spots, the Rams moving up to No. 4 after eking out a win over St. Joseph while Xavier lost by a goal to Notre Dame-West Haven.
Ridgefield and Greenwich held steady at Nos. 6 and 7, but things jumbled a bit below them.
Simsbury’s 4-2 win over Notre Dame-Fairfield jumped the Trojans up into the top 10, and it also let Hamden move up a spot to No. 8. The Trojans follow at 9, and their rise knocks Branford out of the top 10; Notre Dame-Fairfield holds on at 10.
Branford, WMRP (the state’s last unbeaten) and Sheehan (which defeated unbeaten Hand) also received votes.
The GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Hockey Poll (Jan. 21)
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST||DIV|
|1. DARIEN (12)||5-2||138||1||I|
|Last Week: def. Fairfield Prep 6-3.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Westhill/Stamford (Darien Ice House), 7:10 p.m.; Saturday at St. Joseph (Shelton), 8:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Cut from Monday’s game story: “We have good speed, but there are a lot of teams more or less equal in the state. ... We’re going to have to win the grit battle every night. We’re going to have to play harder, win battles and races to the puck.” That’s coach Mac Budd after, yes, a 6-3 win.
|2. NOTRE DAME-|
|Last Week: def. Xavier 3-2; lost to Bishop Fenwick (Mass.) 1-0; lost to Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 4-2.
This Week: Friday vs. Notre Dame-Fairfield (Webster Bank Arena), 8:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Won a hard-fought in-state game against a good team; lost a couple of close out-of-state games against a couple of good teams. They’ll come closer still to home for this next one.
|3. FAIRFIELD PREP||4-4-1||103||3||I|
|Last Week: def. West Haven 6-0; lost to Mount Saint Charles (R.I.) 2-1 (OT); lost to Darien 6-3.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Xavier (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Saturday at Hamden, 2:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Snow on Saturday turned things into a good old-fashioned three-in-four for the Jesuits. The first two did not go as they hoped, though Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was by accounts a nice experience.
|4. NEW CANAAN||7-1||95||5||I|
|Last Week: def. St. Joseph 1-0.
This Week: Wednesday at Fairfield (Wonderland), 8 p.m.; Friday at Ridgefield (Winter Garden), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Rams escaped St. Joseph (Beau Johnson made 18 saves to earn the shutout), then had a game against Simsbury postponed because of the weather. They’ll play a couple of FCIAC games this week.
|Last Week: lost to Notre Dame-West Haven 3-2; def. Northwest Catholic 7-1.
This Week: Wednesday at Fairfield Prep (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Saturday vs. Simsbury (Wesleyan), 1 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Falcons and Lions moved up their game to avoid the snow. Good call, especially for Xavier, apparently, coming back with a win after a gamely battled loss in which the Falcons nearly came back from three goals down.
|Last Week: def. Westhill/Stamford 6-2; def. Staples 4-1.
This Week: Wednesday at Notre Dame-Fairfield (Shelton), 6:30 p.m.; Friday vs. New Canaan (Winter Garden), 6 p.m.; Monday at Northwest Catholic (ISCC), 2:50 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers and Wreckers moved up their game to dodge the snow. Another good call, though the Wreckers kept it close on the Tigers, and the game against Westhill/Stamford was 2-2 at one point. An NHL-style every-other-day week coming up.
|Last Week: def. Northwest Catholic 3-2.
This Week: Wednesday at Trumbull (Shelton), 8:30 p.m.; Sunday vs. Fairfield (Hamill), 7 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Fairfield game was postponed for eight days, so just one game this week, on Monday, and another win for the resurgent Cardinals. They’ll play a couple of FCIAC games this week, too.
|Last Week: def. Immaculate 9-5; def. St. Joseph 5-1.
This Week: Wednesday at West Haven, 6 p.m.; Saturday vs. Fairfield Prep, 2:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Winning 9 to 5? What a way to make a living. The Dragons will pour themselves a cup of ambition and play a couple of their top traditional rivals this week, back on track after the team battled illness the week before.
|Last Week: def. Notre Dame-Fairfield 4-2; def. Glastonbury 7-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Conard (ISCC), 7:50; Saturday at Xavier (Wesleyan), 1 p.m.; Monday at Immaculate (Danbury Ice Arena), 3:20 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Trojans have won three in a row, vaulting over the Lancers with their head-to-head win, getting a hat trick from Drew Lech against Glastonbury. Their Saturday game against New Canaan was postponed to Feb. 15.
|10. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD||5-4-1||20||8||I|
|Last Week: lost to Simsbury 4-2.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Ridgefield (Shelton), 6:30 p.m.; Friday vs. Notre Dame-West Haven (Webster Bank Arena), 8:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Lancers drop a bit off their loss at Simsbury. But they’ve reached their halfway point, so three transfer players arrive for an interesting week, including a game in the big barn in Bridgeport at CT Ice.
|Dropped out: Branford (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: Branford (8-1-1) 15; WMRP (9-0-0) 6; Sheehan (7-1-1) 2.|
|The following voted: Media: Luke Devoe, CTHSHockey.org; Erik Dobratz, WTNH-8; Michael Fornabaio, Connecticut Post; Tim Jensen, Patch Media Corp.; Greg Lederer, Cheshire Herald; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Dan Nowak, New Haven Register; Pete Paguaga, Hearst Connecticut Media; Jim Stout, MaxPreps.com. Coaches: Ken Barse, Glastonbury; Dean Diamond, Housatonic; Shaun Gallagher, Ridgefield; Matt Sather, Fairfield Prep; Larry Vieira, Notre Dame-West Haven.
Note: The poll is one point short because of an incomplete ballot.
Poll compiled by Michael Fornabaio