The state championships are not happening this season.
Road to Ingalls will not be a thing either.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have had to shuffle their schedules and that might take the sting away… just a little bit.
No teams can play out of state games, teams that usually at Division I teams will get their shot at teams like Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven.
The FCIAC allowed its traditional Division I teams to play only traditional Division I teams for the first time, which includes crossover dates with SCC/SWC teams.
We will see top 10 matchups almost every night and with everything going on, that is good enough for me.
The top ranked team to start the season is the same team that finished last season with the No. 1 ranking, Fairfield Prep.
Prep returns All-Stater Mason Whitney up front and Luke Noonan on the blue line. Matt Sather is still behind that bench, which always means the Jesuits are going to be hard to play against.
Darien, with most of its team returning, comes in at second in the poll. The Blue Wave received double the first-place votes that Fairfield Prep did, but on all of the ballots, Prep didn’t receive any vote below third, while Darien received two fifth-place votes.
Notre Dame-West Haven received the other three first-place votes and comes in at third ahead of defending FCIAC champion New Canaan.
Greenwich, led by Charlie Zolin in net, takes fifth place and Ridgefield comes in at sixth.
With the FCIAC taking the previous three spots, the SCC/SWC takes the next three spots – with Xavier, Notre Dame-Fairfield and Hand taking the seventh, eighth and ninth spots in the poll.
Hand is the lone team in the preseason Top 10 that didn’t play in the CIAC Division I last year.
After finishing with 13 wins a season ago, Simsbury takes the final spot in the poll.
2021 Preseason GameTimeCT Top 10 Hockey Poll
|TEAM (1st place votes)||REC||PTS||LAST|
|1. FAIRFIELD PREP (3)||13-6-2||108||1|
| This Week: This week: Monday at New Canaan (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.,; Wednesday vs. Ridgefield (Wonderland of Ice) 5:45 p.m.; Saturday at Darien (Darien Ice House), 3:50 p.m.
The Bottom Line: With teams not being allowed to go out of state, for now, the Jesuits will play an All-CT schedule this season. Will we see the Jesuits do what they do normally do to in-state opponents?
|2. DARIEN (6)||18-5||107||2|
| This Week: This week: Wednesday vs. Greenwich (Darien Ice House), 6:10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Fairfield Prep (Darien Ice House), 3:50 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Blue Wave ended last season with a bad taste in their mouth, losing in the FCIAC finals. The core of the team are seniors, who many have thought could have taken home a state title last year, with no state tournament the best they can do is get revenge in the FCIAC title game.
|3. NOTRE DAME-WH (3)||14-7||98||4|
| This Week: This week: Monday vs. Immaculate (Bennett Rink), 4 p.m.; Wednesday vs. New Canaan (Bennett Rink), 4 p.m.; Saturday at Greenwich (Dorothy Hamill), 5:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Green Knights took Fairfield Prep to a shootout in the SCC Division I finals. Some said they were hitting their stride going into the state tournament. With a lot of returners the Green Knights will challenge for the SCC Division I title.
|4. NEW CANAAN||19-2-1||89||3|
| This Week: This week: Monday vs. Fairfield Prep (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.; Wednesday at Notre Dame-West Haven (Bennett Rink), 4 p.m.; Saturday vs. Ridgefield (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Despite being ranked behind Darien, the defending FCIAC champs are the ones with the target on its back. We will know a lot more about the Rams after their first four games. It’s going to be a doozy.
| This Week: This week: Tuesday vs. Fairfield co-op (Dorothy Hamill), 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday at Darien (Darien Ice House), 6:10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Notre Dame-West Haven (Dorothy Hamill), 5:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The third time in what many believe will be a three-team race for the FCIAC title has returners up and down the ice, including in net. Will the play in the crease be enough to lead the Cardinals to the top?
| This Week: Wednesday at Fairfield Prep (Wonderland Ice), 5:45 p.m.; Saturday at New Canaan (Darien Ice House), 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Last year was a rebuilding year for the Tigers, coming off a great season by a senior team in 2019. Will having a lineup with more experience make the FCIAC race a four-team one?
| This Week: Wednesday at Hamden (Lou Astorino), 3:45 p.m.; Saturday at Hand (Northford), 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: One of the strengths for the Falcons will be the play in net.
|8. NOTRE DAME-Ffld.||10-8-2||32||9|
| This Week: Thursday at St. Joseph (Shelton Sports Center), 3 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Year two under Richie Minnix figures to be one where the Lancers take a big step forward.
| This Week: Wednesday vs. Sheehan (Northford), 3:50 p.m.; Saturday vs. Xavier (Northford), 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers dropped out of the poll at the end of last season, though they probably would have found their way back in the top 10 after the state tournament. Most of that team is back.
| This Week: Monday vs. South Windsor (Simsbury Farms), 8:15 p.m.; Saturday at Northwest Catholic (ISCC), 6:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: A lot the Trojans lineup graduated, but it seems like the Trojans are turning the corner into a consistent. program.
|Dropped out: Branford (8).
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Records from last year
|Others receiving votes: Fairfield co-op (12-9-0) 10; West Haven (11-8-1) 10; Hamden (8-12) 9; Northwest Catholic (8-13) 6; Branford (20-2-1) 4; North Haven (13-7-3) 2; Farmington Valley (19-3-1) 1|
|The following voted: Media: : Media: Luke Devoe, CTHSHockey.org; Erik Dobratz, WTNH-8; Ben Klein, CTHSHockey.org; Greg Lederer, Cheshire Herald; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Dan Nowak, New Haven Register; Pete Paguaga, GameTimeCT; Dave Stewart, New Canaan Advertiser/Darien Times; Jim Stout, MaxPreps.com. Coaches: Shaun Gallagher, Ridgefield, Matt Sather, Fairfield Prep; Larry Viera, Notre Dame-West Haven.
Poll compiled by Pete Paguaga