There may not be any boys ice hockey state tournaments in this pandemic season, but there is a preseason state poll which includes four FCIAC teams among the top six and there will be many early showdowns featuring the state’s best teams in the state.
Fairfield Prep was ranked first in the Preseason 2021 GameTimeCT Top 10 Hockey Poll which was released Feb. 3 while second-ranked Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich and Ridgefield were the four FCIAC teams among the top six.
Fairfield Prep barely edged Darien by one polling point even though Darien received six first-place votes to Fairfield Prep’s three from the dozen voters which consisted of nine media members and three coaches, including Ridgefield coach Shaun Gallagher from the FCIAC.
Fairfield Prep compiled 107 points and Darien had 106 in the format in which points were tabulated on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Notre Dame-West Haven received the other three first-place votes and was ranked third with 98 points.
The next three teams were from the FCIAC – New Canaan (89 points), fifth-ranked Greenwich (77) and Ridgefield (43).
The four teams ranked 7-10, in order, were Xavier, Notre Dame-Fairfield, Daniel Hand and Simsbury.
There were five FCIAC teams among the top 11 in polling points received as the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe cooperative program received 10 points as the first team listed among the seven in the “Others receiving votes” category.
This truncated regular season was scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 8, with Fairfield Prep playing against New Canaan’s host Rams at the Darien Ice House at 6 p.m.
Because of the strength of the FCIAC and the fact that Fairfield Prep’s Jesuits will play their three games against FCIAC opposition in their first three games of the season, there will be many showdowns of the state’s elite programs in the first couple weeks of the season.
Darien, for instance, has its first five games against the other five teams ranked among the top six. The Blue Wave have home games against Greenwich on Feb. 10, Fairfield Prep on Feb. 13 and Notre Dame-West Haven on Feb. 15 followed by away games at New Canaan on Feb. 17 and Ridgefield on Feb. 24.
In addition to New Canaan’s Rams hosting Prep in their opener, their next three games are at Notre Dame-West Haven on Feb. 10 and followed by a pair of home games against Ridgefield on Feb. 13 and Darien on Feb. 17.
Ridgefield will play a schedule of 11 games, including two games against both Darien and New Canaan.
So a couple certain things are that there will be many quality games and several instances of teams flip-flopping and leap-frogging over one another in the state polls during the early portion of this season.