It’s a Monday night Connecticut boys-girls hockey doubleheader live on the HAN Network.
On the girls’ side: One team is looking to continue its impressive season; the other is looking to get its season back on track ahead of the playoffs: Ridgefield vs. New Canaan. On the boys’ side, we have a top team in Division I taking on a top team in Division II: Darien vs. Fairfield.
Those will be two of the storylines when the New Canaan and Ridgefield girls hockey teams tangle on Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the Darien Ice Rink in a game broadcast live on the HAN Network. You can watch the game at HAN.Network or in the video player below:
You can watch the boys game, following the girls in this video player or on HAN.Network:
New Canaan enters the contest with an 11-2 record, having lost just two close games to Darien, the state’s top-ranked team. The Rams began the season with eight straight victories before losing to Darien, 3-2. Three more triumphs followed until New Canaan again fell to Darien, 3-1, on Friday.
The Rams are led by two of the state’s premier players: Senior forward Catherine Granito and senior defenseman Mia Carroll, whom both earned All-State honors last year.A first-line starter since her freshman season, Granito scored her 200th career point earlier this season, becoming just the fourth player in program (and state) history to reach that mark. Carroll, meanwhile, is a force on the blueline and can also make end-to-end rushes and contribute to the offense.
New Canaan has also received strong performances from several underclassmen, including sophomore wingers Brooke Deane and Gianna Bruno and freshman goalie Amanda Hill.
Perennially one of the top teams in both the FCIAC and the state, Ridgefield has been inconsistent so far this season. The Tigers enter Monday’sgame with a 6-6-1 overall record following a 5-2 loss to the Stamford-Westhill-Staples combined squad on Saturday night.
Ridgefield’s losses have come against upper-echelon teams, including a 6-1 setback to New Canaan in the teams’ previous meeting Jan. 6 at the Winter Garden in Ridgefield.
The Tigers get most of their offensive production from senior forwards Meghan Hyatt, Maddie Burns and Ellie Garlick. Freshman defenseman Jenny Guider has made an immediate impact, scoring nine goals, and junior goalie Micheala Gleeson is a proven starter.
One problem for Ridgefield — noticeable in its its games against quality teams — has been a lack of depth. For example, the Tigers trailed Darien by just two goals, 4-2, going into the third period last Wednesday, but then surrendered four unanswered goals during the final 15 minutes. And in the earlier game with New Canaan, Ridgefield allowed three unanswered goals in the final period.
In order to pick up steam going into the post-season, the Tigers need to address those third-period blues against top opponents. They’ll get a chance to do that on Monday evening.
Holding first place in Division II, the Fairfield co-op boys’ hockey team has turned many a head also in Division I.
Said Wave coach Mac Budd: “They are a Division II team that is clearly looking and saying: we know we’re the best in DII, and we think we are one of the best in DI.”
Fairfield can prove that in a game to be streamed live by HAN.Network 7:40 pm Monday at DIR.
“Listen, they are a great team,” said Budd. “They have one kid who is clearly one of the better kids in the state. This kid (Jake) Fuss is lights out.”
Darien has proven itself light years away from the competition — most all of it — so far, losing only once to Notre Dame West Haven and is 4-0 FCIAC and 9-1 overall.
Fairfield is 3-0, 8-1-1 and leads the FCIAC West, while Darien is on top in the East.
Fuss has seven goals in his last three skates.
“Jake is the spark plug of the team,” Fairfield coach Tom Roche reportedly said after the co-op’s recent 4-1 win over Ridgefield, when Fuss scored twice. “He gets everyone going, he’s a talented player on the ice and we’re glad to have him on the team. He makes everyone better.”
Fairfield also has beaten New Canaan (4-8 overall) and St. Joseph (5-5) in DI.
“They’ve been very, very good,” said Budd. “And the thing this year is that they have that one kid. He might be the leading scorer in the state. They clearly have a very, very good first line.”
The rub for Fairfield is that Darien has an array of excellent lines and sets of defense, and goalie in David Voigt. From first man on the roster to last,
Fairfield will be swimming upstream through a very deep Wave.
Darien goal scoring comes from many, with a power play second to none. Senior forwards Jake Kirby, Herbie Hazelton, Riley Mullin can score, as can defenseman — and point on the power play manned by the former three up front — Sam Knowlton.
Junior Thomas Sulger and sophomore Eddie Glassmeyer are explosive scorers as well.
Forward Max Romeyn, a junior, hurts you at both ends of the ice.
Knowlton and Scott Voigt, who is big and hits and is heads-up, Connor McCarthy, a sophomore, plus Colby Ravosa, Harry Congdon, Hunter Hazelton, Matt Smith, Henry Hathaway, Luke O’Neil, Kyle Canelli, with David Voigt’s exploits in net, have resulted inDarien becoming the top performing defensive team in the state.
Plus the forwards all come back.
Darien has five shutouts, Voigt has two in the last three games, and has allowed nine goals this season.
The Wave plays New Canaan on Saturday, but still.
“We are definitely revved up for that game,” Budd said of Monday’s match.
How to watch
The HAN Network live broadcast of the game can be seen on our homepage, HAN.Network, and on affiliate websites including FCIAC.net. The stream usually begin 10 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin. Rob Adams and crew join you five minutes before the contest begins. Keep in mind that start times are subject to change. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for the latest updates.
Upcoming games and more
The HAN Network’s winter season schedule includes many FCIAC teams in boys and girls ice hockey, boys and girls basketball and wrestling. Some facility restraints have prevented us from covering swimming and gymnastics so far this season. We’ll also be covering much of the FCIAC postseason playoffs and most championships.
On Thursday, we’ll have live coverage of the FCIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships in New Haven. Check out the complete broadcast schedule here.
The HAN Network, formerly known as Hersam Acorn Newspapers, is the exclusive FCIAC broadcast partner through the spring of 2018. HAN Network’s broadcasting division replaced HANRadio.com with a new focus on live video streams of high school athletics along with the Network’s news and lifestyle programming.
Along with Connecticut high school sports contests, HAN broadcasts a daily news program, Coffee Break, focusing on southwestern Connecticut at 11 a.m. and a sports talk show, Nutmeg Sports, Monday-Wednesday. You can watch all the shows at live.HAN.Network or on demand atlive.HAN.Network/han-on-demand/.