FCIAC

FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey: Semifinals hit the ice on HAN tonight

The top four teams in the FCIAC will begin postseason play with the conference semifinals tonight at the Darien Ice House and all the action will be carried live by the HAN network starting with the pregame show at 5:50 p.m.

Here’s the semifinal schedule for tonight:

No. 1 Darien (13-1) vs. No. 4 Fairfield (9-4-1), 6 p.m.

No. 2 Greenwich (10-1-3) vs. No. 3 New Canaan (9-3-2), 7:40 p.m.

The games can be viewed at FCIAC.net and han.network, as well as on all of the Network’s websites. They will also be simulcast live on Frontier Communications’ Vantage Sports Network (Chs. 600/1600) or on the HAN Network mobile app.

Game one pits the four-time defending champion Darien Blue Wave against a Fairfield co-op team, which is making its first appearance in the FCIAC tournament.

Darien has beaten Fairfield twice this winter, but the first meeting was a 2-1 nailbiter on January 21 at the Darien Ice House. Less than a week later, the Wave won in a rout, 7-0, at the Wonderland of Ice.

After opening the season with three losses in its first five games, the Blue Wave has been on a tear, winning 14 in a row to improve to 16-3 overall. (Note: As an out-of-state game, their 1-0 win over Morristown-Beard, N.J., is not reflected in the state standings, where Darien is listed as 15-3).

Darien has the second-most FCIAC championships in girls ice hockey, winning five times (2009 and 2012-16). The Wave can tie New Canaan, which has six league titles, at the top of the list if they win this year.

Fairfield has had a remarkable season, going 14-5-1 overall and 9-4-1 in the FCIAC, with a 3-2 overtime victory over New Canaan, and a scoreless tie with Greenwich. The Mustangs have are 3-0-1 in their last four games, and have qualified for the state tournament.

Greenwich and New Canaan have meet twice this season and each game ended in a 2-2 tie. In the first meeting on January 11, the Rams rallied from a 2-0 deficit to forge the deadlock, and the second game on Feb. 6 at Hamill Skating Rink has the same result.

A tie will not suffice tonight, and the teams will have to duke it out till the end.

New Canaan, last year’s FCIAC runner-up, is 11-5-4 overall and 9-3-2 in the conference. The Rams lost to Fairfield in overtime on Jan. 26 and were under .500 at 3-4-2, but finished with a flourish, going 8-1-2 in the last 11 games.

That late stretch included a 4-1 victories at Simsbury and home against Amity/North Haven/Cheshire last week, which helped New Canaan qualify for the state playoffs.

Greenwich hadn’t qualified for the FCIACs or states in several years, but went 12-3-5 overall and 10-1-3 in the league to make both tournaments this season.

The Cardinals are the only league team to beat Darien this season, topping the Blue Wave 3-1 back on Jan. 3.

The Greenwich Cardinals and New Canaan Rams will square off in the FCIAC girls ice hockey semifinals tonight at the Darien Ice House. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo