Five FCIAC boys ice hockey teams ranked in latest Top 10 poll

New Canaan is ranked No. 2 and the Fairfield Ludlowe/Warde cooperative team is tied for No. 3 as they lead a group of five FCIAC teams ranked among the top nine in the latest GameTimeCT Top 10 Hockey Poll which was released Jan. 30.

The other three conference teams – Darien, Greenwich, and Ridgefield – are ranked 7-9, respectively.

Notre Dame-West Haven maintained the top ranking for the third consecutive week, having received 11 of the 12 first-place votes and 118 polling points from the eight media members and four coaches who voted in the poll.

ND-West Haven’s 9-2 Green Knights will take an eight-game winning streak into Friday night’s game at Darien, with faceoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

New Canaan (7-2-3), which had a 4-3 overtime victory at home over Notre Dame-West Haven on Dec. 23, received 102 polling points and moved up one spot to No. 2.

Previously unbeaten Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe (10-1-0) and Xavier (9-3) each got 93 polling points to tie for the third ranking. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe, which received the other first-place vote, lost its first game Jan. 25 at Greenwich, 2-0, and fell back from No. 2 in the previous poll.

Fairfield Prep (6-5) and Northwest Catholic (7-2-2) are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.

They are followed by FCIAC teams Darien, eighth-ranked Greenwich, and Ridgefield, who all had identical 6-5-1 records at the time of the voting.

All the top nine teams are Division I teams.

North Haven (9-2) grabbed the final spot in the Top 10.

St. Joseph (3-7) received the 14th most polling points and is the only FCIAC team among the four in the “Also receiving votes” category.

The voting pollsters vote for 10 teams and points are compiled on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

St. Joseph’s Cadets caught the respect of one voter with their stunning 5-1 upset victory at Darien on Jan. 24. That longtime hockey adage about the wonders of what a sizzling hot goaltender can do for a team certainly applied in the win at Darien. St. Joseph goalie Tyler Stiewing had 51 saves against the Blue Wave and teammate Johnny Karafa contributed a hat trick to the cause.

Given the strength of the FCIAC, suffice it to say, virtually every week features big games involving conference teams. Several big games occurred early in the week with several more scheduled for the weekend.

Tuesday’s schedule included a pair of pivotal games which included some movement in the FCIAC standings and will eventually affect some more movement in the next state poll.

Darien hosted Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe in a rematch of the Jan. 19 showdown which the host Fairfield cooperative team won by a 6-4 margin, and Darien’s host Blue Wave scored the game-winning goal in overtime to snatch a 4-3 victory that avenged that Jan. 19 loss and catapulted Darien to the top of the FCIAC West Division standings.

In the FCIAC West Division standings which included games updated as of Tuesday, Feb. 1, Darien’s 4-3 OT victory over Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe enabled the Blue Wave to leapfrog over Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe into first place with eight points and a 4-2 record.

New Canaan utilized its impressive 5-1 home victory over St. Joseph on Monday to improve 3-1-1 in the conference and is in second place with seven points.

Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe (3-2-0) and Greenwich (3-3-0) both have six points while Ridgefield’s 2-3-1 Tigers are one point behind them after the Tigers tightened things up with Tuesday’s impressive 4-1 victory at Greenwich.

The Stamford/Westhill cooperative team and Trumbull were atop the East Division with 2-0-0 records.

Trumbull was set to be the host team against St. Joseph in the Wednesday night (6:30 p.m.) matchup at Rinks at Shelton for the Coach Eddy Cup, in honor of the late Eddy LeMaire.

This Saturday’s schedule includes four games in which FCIAC teams play against strong non-conference teams. Ridgefield visits Fairfield Prep (4 p.m.), Greenwich plays at Northwest Catholic (6:20 p.m.), St. Joseph hosts Hamden (6:30 p.m.), and New Canaan travels to Xavier (7:30 p.m.).

The 2021-22 FCIAC Boys Hockey Tournament commences Feb. 26, a Saturday, at the home rinks of the four highest-seeded teams.

The semifinals on March 2 will also be at the rinks of the higher seeds and faceoff for the Saturday afternoon championship at Danbury Ice Arena on March 5 is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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