Ridgefield and Greenwich ranked in top 5 of latest state ice hockey poll

Defending state Division I champion Ridgefield and Greenwich are ranked second and fifth, respectively, as the only two teams from the FCIAC in the most recent GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 Boys Ice Hockey Poll which was released Feb. 6.

Ridgefield was last beaten by current fourth-ranked Notre Dame-West Haven, 2-1, on Dec. 27 in West Haven. That dropped the Tigers to 1-2 as they previously suffered a 6-1 home loss in the season opener to Fairfield Prep. Since then they have reeled off 10 consecutive victories, including four via shutout, and improved to 11-2 with their 6-0 home victory over Simsbury on Feb. 3.

Undefeated Fairfield Prep was the unanimous choice for No. 1 as the Jesuits received all 15 first-place votes from the media pollsters after they improved to 13-0 last week with an impressive 8-1 victory over ninth-ranked Notre Dame-Fairfield.

The records of all the teams in the Top 10 reflect the games played through the end of last week, Feb. 3.

Fairfield Prep and Ridgefield have a rematch scheduled for 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport with the the strong possibility that that will be a showdown of the top two teams in the state.

That is also a rematch of last year’s matchup in the quarterfinals of the 2016-17 CIAC Division I boys ice hockey tournament when the second-seeded Tigers won an overtime thriller, 4-3, over the seventh-seeded Jesuits. The Tigers then beat sixth-seeded West Haven, 5-1, in the semifinals and won their state championship with a convincing 6-3 victory over top-seeded Northwest Catholic.

Xavier (10-5) is ranked third and followed by Notre Dame-West Haven (9-5) in the current poll.

Greenwich, that second FCIAC team among the top five, improved to 11-2 last week with a 6-1 victory over Iona Prep and a 7-3 victory over Rye Country Day, a pair of nearby New York teams.

Greenwich’s Cardinals have yet to play Ridgefield as they are scheduled to host Ridgefield at 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Dorothy Hamill Ice Rink.

That matchup will have serious implications toward determining the highest seeds in the FCIAC tournament, which commences on Feb. 24 with the playdown round of the four lowest seeds at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford. The top two seeds draw byes into the Feb. 28 semifinals at the Conners Rink, with the final scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3, also at Conners.

Hamden (8-5) is ranked sixth in the current Top 10 and followed by the New Fairfield/Immaculate cooperative team (8-2-2), Farmington Valley (12-1), Notre Dame-Fairfield (8-5) and the Watertown-Pomperaug co-op team (11-1-1).

The 15 media voters vote on their own Top 10 and points are tabulated on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. New Canaan (6-8) received five total points and the 12th most points from the pollsters as the the only FCIAC team among the four total teams in the “Others receiving votes” category.

Ridgefield’s Ty Fujitani (23) looks for a chance to attack the zone during a recent Tigers’ victory at the Winter Garden. Ridgefield is 11-2 this season and is ranked No. 2 in the state poll. — Scott Mullin/Ridgefield Press photo

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