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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Short Shifts 1/19: Bottom of D3 & Streakers

By: Luke Devoe


16 of these teams get in?
D3 has been a little more top heavy than the other two divisions this year with the bottom seven teams with a combined 9 wins to this point. However, with only 20 teams at the D3 level, three of those seven teams will make the state tournament regardless of how ugly their record is. I've posted the current D3 standings below and with the exception of (3-3) Woodstock Academy, who the jury is still out on, those teams should be pretty safe to book a trip to the D3 state tourney. That leaves those aforementioned seven squads. Joel Barlow sits the prettiest with a (2-6) record however, they play teams with a combined (48-38-2) record here on out. Westhill is also in decent shape to get one of the last spots and are probably the most talented of the seven teams being discussed. The Vikings are (2-7) and their remaining schedule consists of teams that, while they're a combined (27-51-5), they are primarily D1 and D2 FCIAC clubs. Recordwise, Rocky Hill-Middletown-RHAM (1-5) has the most time to turn things around but they, along with the Eastern CT Eagles, have arguably been the worst teams in the state and have only scored more than one goal once, a 5-2 win over Eastern CT. RMR's remaining schedule consists of teams with a combined (56-62-5) mark. Speaking of the Eastern CT Eagles, they're all but eliminated. After shocking the state by beating Sheehan on opening night, they've lost their last nine and sit at (1-9). They really haven't lost badly with many close losses and their remaining schedule sees them playing teams with a combined (30-42-4) cumulative mark. I just think with 9 losses and ten games to go, they're in trouble. So is St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon (1-8). The Saints are only a year removed from a 9-11 campaign and were a two overtime loss to BCR away from a D3 state championship birth. Now, they are in shambles and have only given up less than 5 goals once, a 10-3 win over Norwalk-McMahon. Their remaining slate consists of teams with a combined (45-43-1) record. Both Norwalk-McMahon (1-6) and Wethersfield (1-8) are in similar positions. It's not out of the realm of possibilities for them to get in but they need to find wins where these other squads won't. Norwalk plays a group of teams with a combined (40-66-6) mark while Wethersfield's remaining schedule is a combined (52-44-3). If I had to make a prediction I'd say Eastern CT, RMR, Wethersfield and St. B-NFA-Bacon are the odd teams out when the season comes to an end.

Last year seems like a distant memory.
Back on March 2nd of last year, when the final buzzer sounded, Watertown-Pomperaug had just completed a 5-1 SWC title victory over BBD. It was WP's second SWC title in three years, BBD won the other. Things have certainly changed. The SWC has merged with the SCC and now, these two teams are in the midst of record breaking bad seasons. Entering play Monday, BBD and Watertown-Pomperaug are a combined (1-16-1). This is quite the shift from last season which saw WP and BBD both go (14-5-1). In fact over the last four years BBD has an impressive (57-21-2) mark. Watertown has gone (50-29-1) over that period. This year is all but lost for these teams. Both were decimated with graduations after last year and are struggling to find identity. BBD has a little easier of a schedule here on out but both still have a steep hill to climb this year. They should bounce back in the future. While young, they are proud programs. Hopefully, for their sake, this is just a bump in the road.

Going streaking...
Here's a quick look at some recent hot and cold streaks in each division.

Division 1
NDWH- Since opening day loss to New Canaan, the Knights are 8-0-1.
Fairfield Prep- Jesuits are 5-0-1 over their last six games.
Glastonbury- The Tomahawks have won four straight and are outscoring opponents 24-2 over that period.
Darien- Like the Jesuits, Darien is 5-0-1 since their opening night loss to Hamden.
Hamden- The Dragons, on the other hand, are only 1-3-1 over their last five.
Northwest Catholic- The Indians are in the same boat... 1-3-1 over their last five.
Xavier- The Falcons are 0-3 since beating Hamden.
ND Fairfield- The Lancers have yet to win or lose back to back games this year. If the pattern continues they should lose to Hamden on Wednesday. Not saying they will though.

Division 2
Newington-Berlin- 4-0-1 over their last five.
Branford- 4-0-1 over their last five as well.
East Catholic- Eagles have won five straight.
Trinity Catholic- Obviously, they've won 8 straight. They get Trumbull, followed by Darien in their attempt to stay perfect.
New Milford- The Waves are crashing. New Milford has won six straight.
Cheshire- The Rams have won four straight after starting the year 1-4.
Milford Co-op- The Indians have won three straight after starting the season 1-4-1.
Suffield-Granby-WL- The Wildcats have won five of six.
Farmington Valley- After starting the year 2-1, the Generals have lost six straight.
Daniel Hand- Hand is 1-5 over their last six with their only win coming against BBD.
BBD- Speaking of, BBD has lost eight straight after beating Byram Hills (NY) on opening night.
North Branford- The T-Birds have lost three in a row after starting 4-1.

Division 3
Hall-Southington- Hall has won four of their last five.
Newtown- The Nighthawks are 5-0-1 over their last six.
Staples-Weston-Shelton- The Wreckers are 4-1 over their last five including beating D1's Greenwich.
Tri-Town- The co-op is 1-3 after starting the season 4-0.
Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug- Shepaug is 3-0 after starting the year 1-4. However, those three wins have come over lowly Mt. Everett, MA (twice) and Joel Barlow.
Westhill- Vikings play a tough schedule but are 0-6 after starting the year 2-1.

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