Unless St. Joseph High School or Fairfield pulls off a major upset in Saturday’s opening round, fans of Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference boys ice hockey will be in for a special treat when the tournament semifinals unfold next Wednesday at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford.
Ridgefield first must get past St. Joseph in the opener Saturday at 2:20 p.m. at Conners, and defending champion New Canaan will have to do the same against the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe co-op team in the nightcap at 4:20. If both favorites advance, the league would showcase four of the state’s top 10 teams in the semifinals.
“If we and Ridgefield can take of business Saturday,” New Canaan coach Pat Gore said, “well, it would set up a couple of great matchups in the semifinals. I can’t remember a better FCIAC semifinal doubleheader than that.”
Greenwich (17-1-2, 10-0-2 FCIAC), the state’s top ranked team according to the New Haven Register Division 1 poll, is the top seed, and the Cardinals along with No. 2 seed Darien (18-2-1, 10-1-1) earned first-round byes. Third-place New Canaan (11-6-3, 9-1-2) beat Fairfield (14-6, 7-5) 6-2 on Jan. 5, while No. 4 Ridgefield (14-5, 10-2) cruised past St. Joseph (9-8-1, 8-4) 5-2 on Jan. 31.