We’re getting there. The regular season will be over in two weeks. And though the top of the GameTimeCT boys hockey top 10 poll remained the same, with Darien a unanimous No. 1, there was a bit of churn underneath.
New Canaan, a week after dropping to fifth off a loss to Darien, has rebounded to third with a win over Greenwich, which had surged to fourth before falling back to fifth. Notre Dame-West Haven, after a second big loss to No. 2 Fairfield Prep, drops narrowly to fourth.
While Ridgefield and Xavier remained placidly in place at sixth and seventh, Branford and Notre Dame-Fairfield, each with a loss this week, are tied for eighth. Hand moves up into 10th.
Simsbury, which is winless in five after a six-game winning streak, fell out of the top 10, but it was one of six teams that also received votes. In eight polls this season, that’s the most teams to receive a vote. Fairfield got its first votes of the season after beating Notre Dame-Fairfield on Monday and putting a scare into Ridgefield on Saturday.
The GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Hockey Poll (Jan. 18)
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST||DIV|
|1. DARIEN (13)||12-4||130||1||I|
|Last Week: def. Trinity Catholic 10-2; def. McMahon/Norwalk 6-0.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Fairfield (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.; Friday vs. Ridgefield (Darien Ice House), 8:10 p.m.; Monday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett), 6:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Interesting week for the Blue Wave, with two FCIAC games that can all but lock up at least a chance at a high seed, plus a rematch with the Green Knights, who couldn’t stay out of the box in their first meeting.
|2. FAIRFIELD PREP||9-6-2||117||2||I|
|Last Week: def. Ridgefield 3-1; def. Notre Dame-West Haven 8-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Catholic Memorial (Mass.) (Wonderland), 11 a.m.; Saturday vs. Hamden (Wonderland), 1 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Getting healthy again, the Jesuits played two solid games last week. They welcome the traditional Massachusetts power on Wednesday and the traditional Connecticut power on Saturday.
|3. NEW CANAAN||15-2-1||96||5||I|
|Last Week: def. Greenwich 3-2; def. Simsbury 4-1; def. Xavier 4-3.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Wilton (Darien Ice House), 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. McMahon/Norwalk (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Four good wins in a row, including a gritty if not flawless win Monday morning in Middletown. Two Division III FCIAC games, then on to the conference tournament.
|4. NOTRE DAME-|
|Last Week: def. West Haven 2-0; lost to Fairfield Prep 8-1.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Ridgefield (Bennett), 5:15 p.m.; Monday vs. Darien (Bennett), 6:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: It had felt like a three-way race for first place all season, but several voters graded this former No. 1 down a bit this week after it scored late to beat West Haven and didn’t have much for a second time against the Jesuits. But they will get a third crack.
|Last Week: lost to New Canaan 3-2.
This Week: Wednesday at Staples (Milford Ice), 6 p.m.; Saturday vs. St. Joseph (Hamill), 5:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Surged past New Canaan in the poll last week. Lost to New Canaan on the ice. Drifted back again this week. Such is life in the middle of the poll.
|Last Week: lost to Fairfield Prep 3-1; def. Fairfield 6-4.
This Week: Wednesday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett), 5:15 p.m.; Friday at Darien (Darien Ice House), 8:10 p.m.; Monday vs. Simsbury (Winter Garden), 5:10 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers are No. 6 for the sixth week in a row. Consistency is important in this sport and all, but they have a chance to make some noise and disrupt some things this week.
|Last Week: lost to Notre Dame-Fairfield 3-2; tied LaSalle Academy (R.I.) 2-2; lost to New Canaan 4-3; Tuesday vs. Northwest Catholic (Wesleyan), 7 p.m.
This Week: Saturday at Cheshire (Wesleyan), 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Ranked seventh at .500 almost feels appropriate for a team that has been competitive with just about everyone on its schedule but has struggled to get over the hump against the top 10 since a few early-season overtime wins.
|Last Week: def. LHK 2-1; lost to WMRP 3-2 (OT); def. Guilford 12-4.
This Week: Wednesday vs. North Haven (Northford), 8:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Trying to get healthy by the playoffs, the Hornets had a close win, blew a lead and lost a close one, and then played... a game of hockey against Guilford. They’ll meet the team across the hall on Wednesday.
|T8. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD||8-7-2||22||10||I|
|Last Week: def. Xavier 3-2; tied Immaculate 4-4; lost to Fairfield 4-3.
This Week: Wednesday vs. Hamden (Rinks at Shelton), 8:30 p.m.; Saturday at Prout (R.I.), TBA
The Bottom Line: Go 1-1-1, beat a team ahead of you, tie and lose to teams behind you, and move up a spot and a half. It’s everybody’s favorite non-hashtag: #pollmath.
|Last Week: def. Guilford 4-1; Tuesday vs. Hall/Southington, 4 p.m.
This Week: Wednesday at East Haven (DiLungo), 7 p.m.; Saturday at Immaculate (Danbury Ice Arena), 3:50 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers make their season debut in the top 10. They’re unbeaten in regulation going into Tuesday’s game against Hall/Southington: Their loss was to Sheehan in overtime, with a tie against Cheshire.
|Dropped out: Simsbury (9).
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. 17
|Others receiving votes: West Haven (10-8-0) 9, Fairfield (11-6-0) 5, Simsbury (9-6-1) 4, Hamden (8-10-0) 3, Farmington Valley (13-2-1) 2, WMRP (13-2-0) 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: Dean Diamond, Housatonic; Shaun Gallagher, Ridgefield; Matt Sather, Fairfield Prep; Larry Vieira, Notre Dame-West Haven. Did not vote: Ken Barse, Glastonbury.
Poll compiled by Michael Fornabaio