They rotate once more, and Fairfield Prep is back on top.
The preseason No. 1 team in the GameTimeCT top 10 boys hockey poll, the Jesuits have reclaimed the top spot going into a Wednesday-night rematch with No. 2 Darien in Bridgeport. The Blue Wave beat Fairfield Prep 6-3 on Jan. 20 in Darien.
Though the same 10 teams make up the top 10 as did last week’s, only two stayed in the same place, No. 4 New Canaan and No. 6 Ridgefield. Other teams swirled around them. Notre Dame-West Haven dropped a spot to No. 3. Greenwich popped over Ridgefield into fifth; the poll was taken before those two teams met Tuesday afternoon at Dorothy Hamill Rink.
Xavier, bouncing back after a loss to Simsbury, moved back up to No. 7. Simsbury, which had been surging, dropped from fifth to eighth after a loss to Northwest Catholic.
Branford and Hamden swapped places, Branford moving up, Hamden barely clinging to 10th.
Even the same four other teams receiving votes remained the same, Notre Dame-Fairfield, the Farmington Valley Generals (winners of 10 in a row), Hand and West Haven.
GAMETIMECT TOP 10 BOYS HOCKEY POLL (Feb. 4)
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST||DIV|
|1. FAIRFIELD PREP (8)||7-4-1||134||3||I|
|Last Week: def. Notre Dame-West Haven 6-0.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Darien (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Friday vs. Bishop Hendricken (R.I.), Pope Francis Invitational (Olympia, West Springfield), 6 p.m.; Saturday vs. Delbarton (N.J.)/Pope Francis (Mass.), Pope Francis Invitational (Olympia, West Springfield), TBA.
The Bottom Line: We'd mutter something about "good test this week," but the Jesuits defeated Xavier, Hamden and Notre Dame-West Haven by a combined 20-1 the past two weeks, so it seems they're doing something right. One of their seniors said they've played, to paraphrase, angry since their loss to Darien. Looks like it.
|2. DARIEN (6)||8-4||131||1||I|
|Last Week: def. Staples 7-0; lost to Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 3-2; lost to LaSalle Academy (R.I.) 3-2 (OT).
This Week: Wednesday at Fairfield Prep (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Saturday at New Canaan (Darien Ice House), 3:50 p.m..
The Bottom Line: Colleague Dave Stewart points out that LaSalle beat Darien last year with 10 seconds left in overtime. This year, the Rams did it one second earlier. A good, if tough-luck, weekend in Rhode Island behind them, the Blue Wave tries for a second win over Fairfield Prep on Wednesday, then "visits" their rival three days later.
|3. NOTRE DAME-|
|Last Week: lost to Fairfield Prep 6-0.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Xavier (Bennett), 7 p.m.; Saturday vs. Hamden (Bennett), 3 p.m.; Monday vs. Northwest Catholic (Bennett), 5:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: It's not like it's back to the drawing board for the Green Knights, but not much at all went right for them on Saturday. They can at least stay home and work on it, not leaving West Haven again this regular season.
|4. NEW CANAAN||10-1-1||101||4||I|
|Last Week: tied Xavier 3-3; def. Trumbull 3-2.
This Week: Wednesday at Trinity Catholic (Conners), 7:50 p.m.; Saturday vs. Darien (Darien Ice House), 3:50 p.m.; Monday vs. Westhill/Stamford (Darien Ice House), 7:40 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Rams surrendered four goals to Hamden in their only loss, the second game of the season. They beat Fairfield 6-4 and tied Xavier last week. Those are the only three times they've allowed more than two goals in their first 12 games.
|Last Week: def. Wilton 10-3; def. Westhill/Stamford 3-1; lost to LaSalle Academy (R.I.) 2-0; tied Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 2-2; Tuesday vs. Ridgefield (Hamill), 4:30 p.m.
This Week: Friday at Trinity Catholic (Conners), 7:50 p.m.; Monday vs. McMahon/Norwalk (Hamill), 4 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Precious little separates the teams in the middle of the poll here, and the Cardinals squeak out the nod for fifth this week, riding a seven-game in-state winning streak into Tuesday's game against the team that's right behind them.
|Last Week: def. Trinity Catholic 4-1; Tuesday at Greenwich (Hamill), 4:30 p.m.
This Week: Saturday vs. Trumbull (Winter Garden), 8:50 p.m.; Monday vs. St. Joseph (Winter Garden), 8:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers went into that Tuesday game winners of eight out of nine in-state, and they still hadn't allowed more than two goals to a Connecticut team yet. (This is all being written before the game, so let's see which one gets jinxed.)
|Last Week: tied New Canaan 3-3; def. Hamden 4-1.
This Week: Wednesday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett), 7 p.m.; Saturday vs. Barrington (R.I.) (Wesleyan), 10 a.m.
The Bottom Line: The Falcons came from behind twice in their tie against New Canaan, including the last time with just over three minutes left on a Garrett Baier goal. After Wednesday's game, five of their next six are at Wesleyan (though one of them is technically a road game against Cheshire).
|Last Week: lost to Northwest Catholic 5-3.
This Week: Wednesday vs. East Catholic (ISCC), 7:50 p.m.; Saturday at West Haven, 1 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Seemed like everyone was aboard the Simsbury bandwagon last week after a win over Xavier, but Northwest Catholic's come-from-behind victory this week took some wind out of the sails. The Trojans have a chance to rebuild momentum this week before a rematch against Farmington Valley next week.
|Last Week: def. Westhill/Stamford 4-1.
This Week: Saturday vs. Eastern CT Eagles (Northford), 3:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Hornets will be without injured defenseman Max Manware for a few weeks, but they're 7-0-1 in the past eight and will have had 10 days off by the time they hit the ice Saturday afternoon. They've got some big games down the stretch.
|Last Week: lost to West Haven 5-2; lost to Xavier 4-1.
This Week: Wednesday at Mount Saint Charles (R.I.) (Adelard Arena, Woonsocket, R.I.), 6 p.m.; Saturday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett), 3 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Four losses in a row, including two to West Haven on back-to-back Wednesdays, have dropped the Green Dragons under .500 with no gimmes in sight. This Wednesday's game, between two of New England's venerable programs, is always fun.
|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, Feb. 3
|Others receiving votes: Notre Dame-Fairfield (6-6-1) 10; Farmington Valley (10-1-0) 4; Hand (10-1-1) 2; West Haven (7-7-0) 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.
Poll compiled by Michael Fornabaio