Four FCIAC teams skate into Div. I boys ice hockey quarterfinals

The FCIAC is represented with four teams among the eight teams in Saturday’s quarterfinals of the 2023 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I Boys Hockey Tournament.

Darien, New Canaan, Ridgefield, and Greenwich all won their first-round games on Wednesday (March 8) to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The victories by fourth-seeded New Canaan and fifth-seeded Darien set up a quarterfinal showdown between the two rivals, with the puck scheduled to be dropped at 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon at Sacred Heart University’s new Martire Family Arena.

New Canaan cruised to a 9-0 victory over 13th-seeded Hamden and Darien followed that up with an 8-1 victory over 12th-seeded West Haven in the opening-round doubleheader at Darien Ice House on Wednesday.

Ridgefield is seeded eighth and that enabled the Tigers to be the host team in their 5-1 victory over ninth-seeded St. Joseph. Ridgefield will play top-seeded Notre Dame-West Haven at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Sacred Heart University’s new arena.

Greenwich’s 11th-seeded Cardinals made the lengthy trip to Simsbury and pulled out a 3-2 victory over sixth-seeded Northwest Catholic. They will play against third-seeded Simsbury at noon on Saturday at Wesleyan University.

Six of the eight quarterfinal teams are ranked in the most recent GameTimeCT Boys Hockey Top 10 Poll which was released March 6. Greenwich received the 11th most points in the poll voting.

Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven are ranked first and second, respectively. They flip-flopped spots from the previous poll because Fairfield Prep defeated ND-West Haven, 4-3, in a shootout thriller in the championship game of the SCC/SWC Division I Tournament. Fairfield Prep received nine first-place votes and defending state Division I champion Notre Dame-West Haven got the other two.

FCIAC teams Darien, Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe and New Canaan are ranked 3-5 and followed by Simsbury, Northwest Catholic, North Haven, and Xavier.

Ridgefield is No. 10 as the fourth FCIAC team in the Top 10 after being unranked in the previous poll.

Darien vaulted up two spots from No. 5 up to No. 3, due in large part to the Blue Wave winning the 2023 FCIAC Boys Hockey Tier I Tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Fairfield co-operative team.

Darien improved to 15-5-3 overall, New Canaan is 15-6-2, Ridgefield improved to 10-12, and Greenwich is 8-14-1 after their respective victories in Wednesday’s first round of the state tournament.

Darien and New Canaan played to a 3-3 tie on Jan. 11 and New Canaan’s Rams won the rematch, 4-1, on Feb. 11.

Notre Dame-West Haven defeated Darien, 4-2, last March 22 in the 2022 CIAC Division I Boys Hockey Tournament.

The M&T Bank Arena on the Quinnipiac University campus is the site of this year’s semifinal round and championship game. The first game of the March 15 semifinal doubleheader is 5:30 p.m., and the second game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The championship game begins at 7 p.m. on March 21, a Tuesday night.

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