Notre Dame-West Haven seized the No. 1 ranking in the middle of January, never relinquished it, won a state championship and consequently was the easy and obvious choice for that top spot in the Final 2022 GameTimeCT Hockey Top 10 Poll.
The top-seeded Green Knights defeated Darien, 4-2, in the championship game of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I Hockey Tournament and then were unanimously voted No. 1. They received all 12 first-place votes from the four coaches and eight media members who voted all year on the poll.
Several FCIAC teams were prominent in the upper half of the poll all season long and such was the case once again with four conference teams ranked among the top six.
Darien finished No. 2 while the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe co-op program, New Canaan, and Ridgefield were ranked 4-through-6, respectively.
Notre Dame-West Haven finished with a 20-4 record, with three of those losses occurring against perennially powerful programs from Massachusetts and just one loss to a team from Connecticut.
After New Canaan scored in overtime to pull out a 4-3 home victory over ND-West Haven back on Dec. 23, 2021, the Green Knights then went 15-0 against in-state opposition.
Notre Dame-West Haven had victories over Ridgefield, New Canaan, and Darien in the last three rounds of the Division I state tournament to secure its state title and the accompanying No. 1 ranking. The Green Knights received the maximum 120 polling points.
Darien was chosen No. 2 by a comfortable margin as the 15-9-1 Blue Wave received 107 polling points to move up four spots after being ranked sixth in the previous poll.
Darien was seeded sixth in the Division I state tourney. Having advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 semifinal victory over second-seeded Xavier was pivotal toward the Blue Wave moving up to No. 2 and Xavier dropping back one spot to No 3. Xavier (14-8-1) received 88 polling points.
The fourth-ranked Fairfield cooperative program (19-4) received 76 points, New Canaan (15-7-3) advanced to the Division I semifinals and then got 69 polling points to move up two spots to No. 5, while FCIAC champion Ridgefield (13-11-1) was just four polling points behind New Canaan.
Northwest Catholic (17-5-2) was ranked seventh and followed in the Top 10 by Fairfield Prep (13-8), Division II state champion Westherfield (18-6-2), and Hamden (12-9-1).
Fairfield Prep was the two-time defending Division I state champion. Prep’s Jesuits defeated Greenwich, 4-2, in the 2018 state championship game and they defended that title with a 5-2 victory over Notre Dame-West Haven in the 2019 final.
Prior to that, FCIAC teams won the Division I state championship in the three consecutive years from 2015-17.
Darien went back-to-back in 2015 and ’16. The Blue Wave shut out Greenwich, 1-0, to win the 2015 championship and the next year Darien defended its title with a 4-2 victory over Fairfield Prep.
Ridgefield won it all in 2017 with a 6-2 victory over Northwest Catholic.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of ice hockey state tournaments in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 winter high school sports seasons.