The FCIAC boys ice hockey playoffs are just two weeks away, and there are still a number of questions waiting for answers. Who will be the No. 1 seed? Which two teams will receive first-round byes? And which of the six FCIAC teams will even make it in the door?
Here’s a quick look at the standings heading into the week of Feb. 12. Games left include remaining FCIAC games only — non-conference games are not included. The final column, which shows the maximum possible points available, is key, as teams that win all of their remaining league games will end up at that number.
The order of rank is based on current point standings.
2017-18 FCIAC Playoff Race (as of Feb. 10)
||Games Left||Max. Pts|
|5t. New Canaan||4-4-0||8||3||14|
|9. St. Joseph||3-6-0||6||2||10|
The top six teams will qualify for the FCIAC tournament, with No. 1 and 2 receiving opening round-byes. The entire tournament will be hosted by Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, with the first round set for Saturday, Feb. 24. The semifinals will be played Wednesday, Feb. 28, with the final on Saturday, March 3.
The Ridgefield Tigers and Greenwich Cardinals have the upper hand in the race for the top seed, but they will face each other on Monday, Feb. 19, at Dorothy Hamill Rink in Greenwich. Ridgefield also has games against Staples or Darien to come, so the race for the top seeds is still wide open.
Ridgefield is unbeaten in league play, and will face Norwalk/McMahon, Darien and Staples this week, before its showdown with Greenwich on the 19th.
Staples and Darien are currently tied for second place with matching 6-1-1 records for 13 points. Staples is ranked second based on its 4-1 victory over Darien on Jan. 18.
Staples, which tied Westhill/Stamford 4-4 on Saturday, has an imposing week ahead, with back-to-back games against Greenwich on Wednesday and Ridgefield next Saturday, but the Wreckers will host both at the Milford Ice Pavilion, giving them home ice advantage. The Wreckers’ last league game will be against Wilton on Feb. 22.
The Darien Blue Wave picked up two huge points on Friday when they topped rival New Canaan 3-2 at the Darien Ice House. The Wave tied the game with a minute remaining and then netted the winner in overtime.
Darien is unbeaten in its last five FCIAC games (4-0-1), and, much like Staples, has a couple of key games on deck as they host Fairfield on Monday and play Ridgefield on Friday. That Ridgefield game was rescheduled from last week, and will be played at 12:30 p.m., Friday, at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford. Darien closes out the regular season against Wilton on Feb. 21.
Greenwich has four games remaining, so if the Cardinals win out, they would leapfrog past Staples and Darien based on points and past Ridgefield based on tiebreakers. The Cards’ remaining games are against playoff contenders, including on back-to-back days at Staples and home against Fairfield on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Greenwich will then host Ridgefield on Feb. 19, and close the regular season against St. Joseph on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Shelton.
Fairfield, New Canaan and the Westhill/Stamford co-op are tied for fifth place with 8 points each, but Fairfield has the advantage with five games remaining — New Canaan and Westhill/Stamford each have three — and a head-to-head tiebreaker over New Canaan. Fairfield and Westhill/Stamford will square off in the regular-season finale, Wednesday, Feb. 21, in yet another key game.
Fairfield’s remaining schedule is packed with road games at Darien, Greenwich and Trinity Catholic this week, and at Wilton on Feb. 19 before the finale at home against Stamford/Westhill.
Stamford/Westhill hosts Trumbull on Wednesday, and Norwalk/McMahon next Saturday, before the finale against Fairfield.
New Canaan hosts Wilton on Wednesday and plays a road game against St. Joseph on Saturday, before wrapping up the regular season at home against Norwalk/McMahon on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Trailing the top seven by two points are the Norwalk/McMahon co-op and the St. Joseph Cadets.
Norwalk/McMahon has four games remaining for a possible 14 points, but would likely have to win out to have a chance at the FCIAC playoffs. Ridgefield, Trinity Catholic, Westhill/Stamford and New Canaan remain.
The Cadets are 3-6 and have just two games remaining against New Canaan and Ridgefield. One loss and they’re out of the race, and even with two wins, they’d need a lot of help in order to qualify.