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Darien hockey finishes season ranked No. 2 in Connecticut

Darien was ranked No. 2 in the state as the FCIAC had two teams among the top five and three among the top eight in the final 2014 GameTimeCT/New Haven Register Boys Ice Hockey Top 10 Poll.

Fairfield Prep utilized its 2-1 overtime victory over Darien in the championship game of the CIAC Division I Boys Ice Hockey Tournament to secure the top ranking.

The 16-4-3 Jesuits received 16 first-place votes from the voters that included 11 voters from the media and six head coaches. Darien (22-4-1) received the other first-place vote.

Fairfield Prep had overtime victories over FCIAC teams in the final two rounds to defend its championship and win its 16th state championship, 15 of them on the Division I level. The Jesuits defeated New Canaan, 4-3, in overtime in the semifinals.

Notre Dame-Fairfield (18-5-1) was ranked No. 3.

The top three teams had plenty of showdowns each other during the regular season. Fairfield Prep, ironically, had a combined 0-3-1 record against Darien and ND-Fairfield.

Coach Chris Gerwig’s Darien Blue Wave shut out Prep, 1-0, on Dec. 21 and the Blue Wave later nipped the Jesuits, 3-2, on Feb. 6.

Darien lost its regular-season finale to Notre Dame-Fairfield, 2-1, and then won the rematch. The Blue Wave were seeded fourth in the state tournament and advanced to the final with a 3-1 semifinal victory over top-seeded ND-Fairfield as Darien’s Tommy Watters scored the tying and go-ahead goals.

Notre Dame-West Haven finished 15-7-2 and with the state’s No. 4 ranking.

New Canaan (18-4-1) was No. 5 as that fifth FCIAC team among the top five.

The Rams gave veteran coach Bo Hickey yet another conference title with their 5-2 victory over Darien in the FCIAC Boys Ice Hockey Tournament championship game. Jack O’Rourke had two goals and an assist while goalie Mac Wright had 24 saves and was named the game’s MVP to lead New Canaan to its 18th overall FCIAC championship

Darien defeated New Canaan, 4-1, on Dec. 28 and the two rivals played to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 11.

So the Blue Wave ended up playing 10 games against the other teams ranked among the top five in the final poll, including two victories over ND-West Haven, and the Blue Wave had a combined 6-3-1 record in those showdowns, which gives justification to their final No. 2 ranking.

Glastonbury (17-7) was ranked sixth and East Haven (17-6) seventh.

Ridgefield (17-6) finished No. 8 as that eighth FCIAC team among the top eight. Ridgefield was seeded second in the FCIAC tourney and lost a 3-2 overtime thriller to third-seeded New Canaan in the semifinals.

Daniel Hand (14-10) was No. 9 and Amity (17-9) completed the Top 10. Daniel Hand won the state Division II tournament with a 5-4 victory over Amity.

Eight other teams received votes in the final polling but none of them were from the FCIAC.

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