This week’s GameTimeCT top 10 poll looks a lot like last week’s as the regular season comes to an end. But two tweaks hit the bottom.
Simsbury, riding a four-game winning streak into the playoffs, hopped back in at No. 9. Notre Dame-Fairfield hung on, leaving Hand on the outside after two weeks at No. 10.
The top eight remained as they were last week, headed by No. 1 Darien, winner of 13 in a row against state competition going into Wednesday’s FCIAC semifinal. For the first time in four weeks, though, that ranking isn’t unanimous; No. 2 Fairfield Prep picked up one first-place vote.
The race between No. 3 New Canaan and No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven remained close for a third week in a row. Greenwich sits fifth for a third week in a row, too. Xavier remains No. 6, but it’s a bit closer than it was last week when the Falcons hopped over No. 7 Ridgefield for the first time since the preseason poll.
Branford, looking to defend its SCC/SWC Division II championship this week and its CIAC Division II title over the next two weeks, remained at No. 8 for the third week in a row.
Hand sits one point out of the top 10. Westhill, Farmington Valley, and, for the first time since the preseason poll, Westhill/Stamford also drew at least a vote.
The GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Hockey Poll (March 3)
|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