The defending champions are back on top of the GameTimeCT Boys Hockey Top 10 Poll as the CIAC playoffs begin.
Fairfield Prep hopped over Darien to the top spot in a bit of a split vote; three teams got first-place nods. The Jesuits are seeking their third straight Division I title, and they’re coming off a shootout win over No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven in the SCC/SWC Division I final.
Darien dropped to No. 2 after falling to No. 3 New Canaan in the FCIAC final. The final four in the CIAC tournament could be Fairfield Prep against New Canaan and Darien against Notre Dame. No. 5 Greenwich played a tight one against Darien in the FCIAC semifinals, too.
No. 6 Xavier and No. 7 Ridgefield stayed where they were, as did SCC/SWC Division II champ Branford at No. 8.
No. 9 Notre Dame-Fairfield and No. 10 Simsbury swapped places after Simsbury lost in overtime to Northwest Catholic in the CCC North semifinals.
The GameTimeCT Boys Hockey Top 10 Poll (March 9)
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST||DIV|
|1. FAIRFIELD PREP (8)||13-6-2||134||2||I|
|Last Week: def. Notre Dame-West Haven 3-2 (SO), SCC/SWC Div. I final.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Immaculate (Wonderland), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Jesuits got a couple of forwards back from injury late in the regular season, filling out their four lines. Defenseman Teddy Gravanis was out sick on Friday but should be back this week.
|2. DARIEN (4)||18-5||125||1||I|
|Last Week: def. Greenwich 2-1, FCIAC semifinal; lost to New Canaan 4-3, FCIAC final
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Northwest Catholic (Darien Ice House), 5 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Interesting flip; some voters dropped the Blue Wave to third, while some kept them on top. Individual voters' reasonings presumably varied. Ah well, two weeks and votes won't matter.
|3. NEW CANAAN (2)||19-2-1||115||3||I|
|Last Week: def. Ridgefield 3-2 (2OT), FCIAC semifinal; def. Darien 4-3, FCIAC final.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. St. Joseph (Darien Ice House), 7:40 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Since that 10-2 loss to Darien on Feb. 8, the Rams have won eight in a row, the state's longest win streak going into the state tournament.
|4. NOTRE DAME-|
|Last Week: lost to Fairfield Prep 3-2 (SO), SCC/SWC Div. I final.
Next Game: Saturday vs. West Haven/Xavier winner, site and time TBA.
The Bottom Line: The Green Knights draw a bye to the quarterfinals as the top seed in 15-team Division I. Their five state losses are all to Darien and Fairfield Prep.
|Last Week: lost to Darien 2-1, FCIAC semifinal.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. West Haven (Hamill), 4:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: That conference semifinal against Darien was a heck of a game. The Cardinals are 12-3-1 in their past 16 games, 12-2 in-state in that stretch, with the losses to New Canaan and Darien by a goal apiece.
|Last Week: Did not play.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Fairfield (Wesleyan), 5 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Falcons had three regular-season overtime wins and some competitive losses against good teams. Can they get themselves over the hump in big games this week?
|Last Week: lost to New Canaan 3-2 (2OT), FCIAC semifinal.
Next Game: Tuesday at Simsbury (ISCC), 6:10 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Simsbury came down to the Winter Garden two weeks ago and beat Ridgefield 1-0. The Tigers seek to return the favor on Tuesday after two overtime games in the FCIAC playoffs.
|Last Week: def. East Haven 7-0, SCC/SWC Div. II semifinal (Bennett); def. North Haven 1-0, SCC/SWC Div. II final
Next Game: Monday vs. South Windsor (Northford), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Hornets have won three consecutive tournaments now: Last year's SCC/SWC Division II tournament, last year's CIAC Division II, and the conference championship again.
|9. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD||10-8-2||20||10||I|
|Last Week: Did not play.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Hamden (Rinks at Shelton), 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Xavier had a one-day-longer layoff than the Lancers, off since Feb. 29. And that's nothing: Hamden has been off since Feb. 22. Who shakes the rust first?
|Last Week: lost to Northwest Catholic 4-3 (OT), CCC North semifinals
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Ridgefield (ISCC), 6:10 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Trojans' season went in surges: three wins in a row to start, six wins in a row at midseason, four wins to close the regular season. Do they have one more surge?
|Dropped out: None.
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Records through Monday, March 2
|Others receiving votes: Hand (17-3-1) 9; Farmington Valley (18-3-1) 8; Fairfield (12-9-0) 2; West Haven (11-8-1) 2; WMRP (19-3-0) 1.|
|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.
Poll compiled by Michael Fornabaio