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Monday, February 6, 2012

CTHS Hockey's Top 10 2/6

February 6, 2012
By: Luke Devoe

After a crazy week in the top ten, miraculously Hamden and Notre Dame-West Haven don't budge at all simply because all the teams lower than them didn't do enough to overtake them.  Prep and Ridgefield stand strong as #1 & 2.  A red hot Simsbury team cracks the rankings and an equally as hot Darien Blue Wave group rockets up the rankings.  

Fairfield Prep (12-2-0)- Prep coasted to an easy 4-0 victory over the Falcons this past week in their lone game.  Goaltender Riley Wikman has had a shutout in three of his last four games while the trio of David White, Connor Henry and AJ Unker have proven the Jesuits are more than just an insanely defensively sound team.
LW: 1   PAST WEEK: Xavier W 4-0   THIS WEEK: North Haven 2/8, Notre Dame-Fairfield 2/11 

2. Ridgefield (13-1-0)- If it wasn't for Prep rolling over instate opponents, the Tigers would easily be our number one.  They had arguably the toughest week taking on a red hot New Canaan squad and a desperate South Windsor team and responded excellently handling both.  Winners of 13 straight, I think the Tigers would have more than a fighting chance if they played Prep (lost to the Jesuits in the season opener 3-0) again at this point of the season.
LW: 2   PAST WEEK: New Canaan W 5-3, South Windsor W 3-1   THIS WEEK: Wilton 2/8, Darien 2/11
3. Notre Dame-West Haven (11-3-1)- Notre Dame completely outplayed West Haven for the second and third periods on Saturday.  The unfortunate part for them is they were throwing pucks at Justin Shepard who stood on his head to allow the Westies to post the victory.  Luc Amatruda, while not awful, was left out to dry on a few occasions.  Even in the loss, Notre Dame looked like the better team as West Haven struggled to clear the zone for most of the second and third periods.  Big matchup with Xavier today before a 12 day layoff.
LW: 3   PAST WEEK: West Haven L 4-1   THIS WEEK: Xavier 2/6
4. Hamden (7-3-2)- With the exception of the NDWH game, Hamden's been pretty boring to watch this year.  At this point, they are a very good defensive team with a dynamite goalie in Andy Varga.  They will need to be able to score more and against better competition if they want to truly compete with the state's best.  Three goals in two games against mediocre teams won't inspire much confidence.

LW: 4   PAST WEEK: Cheshire W 2-0, Simsbury T 1-1   THIS WEEK: South Windsor 2/11
5. Darien (10-3-0)- 9 straight for the Blue Wave puts them fifth in the state.  Sure the competition isn't that of what Prep's facing on a nightly basis but Darien is simply winning games.  They'll have a big chance to prove themselves Saturday against Ridgefield but for now, the Blue Wave is cruising through their competition and don't look to slow down.
LW: 9   PAST WEEK: St. Joseph W 3-2, Stamford W 6-0   THIS WEEK: Trumbull 2/8, Ridgefield 2/11
6. West Haven (9-4-0)- West Haven took advantage of opportunistic goals on Saturday and the hot glove of goalie Justin Shepard who put in a stunning 40 save performance against the Green Knights.  The Westies have been an anomaly this year, beating teams like NDWH, losing to teams like ND-Fairfield and losing big when the lights shine the brightest (8-1 loss to Prep).  They're tough to read but after seeing the way senior Mike Troiano weaved in and out of Notre Dame defensemen Saturday, I wouldn't want to draw them in the first round.
LW: 6   PAST WEEK: Notre Dame-Fairfield L 4-3, Notre Dame-West Haven W 4-1   THIS WEEK: South Windsor 2/8, Fermi/Enfield 2/11
7. East Haven (11-2-2)- East Haven's run against lower tier teams continued with two wins against Amity and Branford.  The Yellow Jackets outscored their opponents 13-2 in the two wins and have proven they can beat the teams they are supposed to.  However, the Yellow Jackets have only played top ten teams twice and those two games amount for their two losses (a 4-3 loss to West Haven and a 5-0 loss to Notre Dame-West Haven).  Against teams outside of the top ten they are 11-0-2.
LW: 7   PAST WEEK: Amity W 7-1. Branford W 6-1   THIS WEEK: Xavier 2/9, Guilford 2/11
8. Glastonbury (9-3-0)- The Tomahawks are having a tough time keeping the puck out of the net in wins and losses.  They allowed 6 in an overtime loss against a middle of the pack North Haven Indian squad and then simply out-talented an Amity team in a 6-4 win.  They will need to be able to win some low scoring games if they are going to factor into things at season's end.
LW: 5   PAST WEEK: North Haven L 6-5 OT, Amity W 6-4   THIS WEEK: South Windsor 2/6, East Catholic 2/8, Branford 2/11
9. Simsbury (6-6-1)- A .500 team in the countdown?  You bet.  A once proud program might be back on the map.  Simsbury started the season abysmally going 0-5-0.  Since then they are 6-1-1 and have rattled off quality outings against teams like West Haven (3-1 W), Glastonbury (2-1 L), South Windsor (4-1 W) and most recently Hamden (1-1 T).  The Trojans are eagerly awaiting their rematch with the Tomahawks but can't afford to overlook teams like Fermi/Enfield, Windsor/Farmington/Avon and Conard en route to that game as they have still yet to clinch a tourney spot.

LW: Unranked   PAST WEEK: Daniel Hand W  3-0, Hamden T 1-1   THIS WEEK: Fermi/Enfield 2/8, Windsor/Farmington/Avon 2/11
10. Xavier (7-5-1)- Now is their chance to shine.  The Falcons are only 1-3-1 in their last five and I vowed I wouldn't keep them in my top ten, but chalk it up to lack of talent around the rest of the state that kept the Falcons ranked 10th.  They have three straight against quality opponents and can clinch as well as gain some self confidence.  They could also flounder and fall out of contention.
LW: 10   PAST WEEK: Fairfield Prep L 4-0   THIS WEEK: Notre Dame-West Haven 2/6, East Haven 2/9

Dropped Out: #8 New Canaan
On the Bubble: New Canaan (8-5-1), North Haven (7-7-0), Notre Dame-Fairfield (6-8-0)

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