Hey, look who’s back on top. And for the first time this season, it’s unanimous.
After being usurped for a week, Darien rode Wednesday’s win over interloping Fairfield Prep and a Saturday dismantling of New Canaan back to No. 1 in the GameTimeCT boys hockey Top 10 poll.
Darien has led the poll four of the seven times we’ve taken the pulse of the voters, including the previous three before Fairfield Prep jumped over the Blue Wave last week. A 2-1 Darien win at the Jesuits’ home rink has helped flip them back, earning Darien all 14 first-place votes.
The Jesuits hang in at No. 2, just ahead of Notre Dame-West Haven; Fairfield Prep visits the Green Knights on Saturday, two weeks after beating the Green Knights 6-0 in Bridgeport.
Greenwich hopped over New Canaan into fourth place. Ridgefield and Xavier stay at Nos. 6 and 7, and Branford moves up a spot into eighth, trading places with Simsbury.
Notre Dame-Fairfield returns at No. 10 after a two-week absence from the top 10. Hamden, No. 10 last week, fell out of the top 10 for the first time since the last poll before the 2016 CIAC playoffs.
The GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Hockey Poll (Jan. 11)
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST||DIV|
|1. DARIEN (14)||10-4||140||2||I|
|Last Week: def. Fairfield Prep 2-1; def. New Canaan 10-2.
This Week: Wednesday at Trinity Catholic (Conners), 7:50 p.m.; Saturday at McMahon/Norwalk (SoNo Ice House), 7:10 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Hard to imagine a better week than the Blue Wave had, backing up their dominant Jan. 20 first win over Fairfield Prep with another on the road in a tighter game, then putting up six in the second period on their archrivals on Saturday.
|2. FAIRFIELD PREP||7-6-2||120||1||I|
|Last Week: lost to Darien 2-1; lost to Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 4-3 (OT); tied Delbarton (N.J.) 1-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Ridgefield (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Saturday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett), 1 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Jesuits led in all three games this past week, including a 3-1 lead going to the third against Hendricken, and got one point out of it. They’ve got rematches of two of their wins coming this week, and the NDWH game is the SCC/SWC league game.
|3. NOTRE DAME-|
|Last Week: def. Xavier 3-1; def. Hamden 7-1; def. Northwest Catholic 2-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. West Haven (Bennett), 7 p.m.; Saturday vs. Fairfield Prep (Bennett), 1 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Three wins in a row for the Green Knights after that 6-0 clinker against Fairfield Prep. Another chance at the Jesuits comes after the crosstown (cross-rink) rivalry game on Wednesday, and then two FCIAC teams will close out the schedule.
|Last Week: def. Trinity Catholic 8-0; def. McMahon/Norwalk 8-1.
This Week: Thursday vs. New Canaan (Hamill), 5:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: We jinxed Ridgefield in multiple ways a week ago, apparently, but didn’t scratch the Cardinals; Greenwich rolls on with 10 in-state wins in a row after a 1-4-1 start. New Canaan, which dealt the Cardinals their first loss on opening night, is up next.
|5. NEW CANAAN||12-2-1||89||4||I|
|Last Week: def. Trinity Catholic 11-0; lost to Darien 10-2; def. Westhill/Stamford 4-3.
This Week: Thursday at Greenwich (Hamill), 5:30 p.m.; Saturday at Simsbury (ISCC), 7:20 p.m.; Monday at Xavier (Wesleyan), 11:30 a.m.
The Bottom Line: A Darien win over the Rams isn’t a stunner. An eight-goal win... wow. No time to sulk with three top-10 teams this week before a couple of Division III FCIAC foes round out the regular-season schedule next week.
|Last Week: def. Trumbull 5-3; def. St. Joseph 8-0.
This Week: Wednesday at Fairfield Prep (Wonderland), 6 p.m.; Saturday at Fairfield (Wonderland), 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Back-to-back games at Wonderland? Are the Tigers staying over? Can we come to practice on Friday? We’d been harping on this, meanwhile, so worth noting that when Trumbull took a 3-1 lead on Saturday, it was the first time all year that the Tigers gave up three to a state team.
|Last Week: lost to Notre Dame-West Haven 3-1; def. Barrington (R.I.) 4-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Notre Dame-Fairfield (Wesleyan), 4 p.m.; Saturday at LaSalle Academy (R.I.) (Smithfield, R.I., Rink), 8:30 p.m.; Monday vs. New Canaan (Wesleyan), 11:30 a.m.; Tuesday vs. Northwest Catholic (Wesleyan), 7 p.m.
The Bottom Line: A couple of rematches for the Falcons this week, one against New Canaan, with which they tied just a couple of weeks ago, and one against Northwest Catholic, which they beat 7-1 on Jan. 17. After these four games in seven days, they’ll close with three in seven.
|Last Week: def. Eastern CT Eagles 6-3.
This Week: Wednesday at LHK (Northford), 8:30 p.m.; Saturday at WMRP (Newington Ice Arena), 6:50 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Big week coming for the banged-up Hornets: Wednesday is the rematch of their only loss, a 4-2 LHK win on Dec. 30 on the same sheet; Saturday pits a couple of the top teams in Division II, though the matchup may lose some shine after Newington beat WMRP on Saturday.
|Last Week: lost to East Catholic 3-2; lost to West Haven 7-4.
This Week: Wednesday at Farmington Valley (Avon Old Farms), 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. New Canaan (ISCC), 7:20 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Since Simsbury shot up to No. 5 two weeks ago on a six-game winning streak, the Trojans are 0-3. Sorry, Trojans. An assortment of solid Division II and top-10 teams await over the next few games.
|10. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD||7-6-1||13||NR||I|
|Last Week: def. Northwest Catholic 5-4.
This Week: Wednesday at Xavier (Wesleyan), 4 p.m.; Saturday vs. Immaculate (Rinks at Shelton), 8 p.m.; Monday vs. Fairfield (Rinks at Shelton), 2 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Are the Lancers pulling out of their midseason struggles? They’ve won the past two, including a win over West Haven to start February, to get back over .500.
|Dropped out: Hamden.
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. 10
|Others receiving votes: Hamden (7-10-0) 11; West Haven (9-7-0) 11; Hand (12-1-1) 9.|
|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