The puck will drop on the FCIAC boys ice hockey playoffs and you can catch both opening-round games — part of an HAN hockey tripleheader — at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford live in streaming HD at HAN.Network and our affiliate websites.
After the girls FCIAC championship, which we’ll have live at 12:50 p.m. on Saturday, the boys’ first playoff game will feature No. 4 Ridgefield Tigers against No. 5 New Canaan Rams at 3 p.m., and the final game of the day will have the No. 3 Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe co-op facing No. 6 St. Joseph Cadets at 5 p.m.
Top-seeded Greenwich and No. 2 Darien have first-round byes and will host Saturday’s winners in the semifinals next Wednesday on the HAN Network. We broadcast the Blue Wave and Cardinals’ second regular-season showdown last week. You can watch it at this link.
12:50 PM: Girls Final: Darien vs. New Canaan • Watch game!
Longtime rivals Darien and New Canaan skated through the semifinals — without giving up a goal — to set up a top-notch matchup to start a fun Saturday of FCIAC hockey.
No. 1 Darien, which beat Stamford-Westhill-Staples, 8-0, is bidding for its fourth consecutive FCIAC championship. The Blue Wave is unbeaten (15-0) in the FCIAC this year and 19-1 overall. Darien has earned the No. 1 seed in the state tournament as well.
No. 2 New Canaan comes into the game 19-2 overall and 13-2 in the FCIAC. The Rams’ only two losses came against Darien — both were essentially one-goal games. The Wave won the first meeting 3-2, and took the second game 3-1 with an empty-netter icing that win.
3 PM: Ridgefield vs. New Canaan • Watch game!
No. 4 Ridgefield (10-8-2 overall, 7-4 FCIAC) and No. 5 New Canaan (10-10, 7-4) will be squaring off for the third time this season after the home teams split the first two games The Rams took the first contest, 3-2, at the Darien Ice Rink, while the Tigers won the second, 1-0, at the Winter Garden.
After a slow start that saw it drop seven of its first nine games, New Canaan has been a different team, going 8-3 since Jan. 18 to finish the regular season at 10-10.
The run began with a 5-1 rout of Xavier, a team currently ranked No. 1 in the CIAC Division I standings, and included two wins over St. Joseph, 4-1 and 2-1, and one-goal losses to Ridgefield and rival Darien, 4-3.
Ridgefield has also had its ups and downs. The Tigers defeated Fairfield Prep, 3-2, on opening day, but lost their next four games. They were 2-5-1 after eight games before going 8-3-1 over the final 12.
New Canaan’s George McMahon put an end to the first game between the two teams, netting the winning goal with 4:09 remaining in the third period. Goalie Peter Windas made 18 saves in the net, as New Canaan outshot Ridgefield, 35-20.
Ridgefield had goals from Pete Sarath and Jeff Pracella, and goalie Sean Keegans made 32 saves.
In the second contest, New Canaan outshot the Tigers, 30-20, but Jimmy Wilkinson’s goal in the first minute held up for a 1-0 Ridgefield victory at the Winter Garden. Keegans made 30 saves to nail down that win.
5 PM: Fairfield vs. St. Joseph • Watch game!
No. 3 Fairfield and No. 6 St. Joseph clashed once during the regular season, with Fairfield winning, 6-3, on Jan. 25 at the Wonderland of Ice.
Fairfield goalie Mike Grace is in the midst of an outstanding season, and he collected 36 saves in that win over St. Joseph. Fairfield’s top offensive weapon opened the scoring at 5:47, and finished with one goal and three assists. Jack McCormick added two goals and three assists, while Gareth Gacetta scored twice and Kevin Boldrighini scored once.
St. Joseph also features a strong goalie in Ryan Wilson, who had five shutouts this year, including i games against top D1 teams Notre Dame-Fairfield, Notre Dame-West Haven, Greenwich, and Ridgefield.
The Cadets are led by Adam Usinger, Andrew Van Etten and Nick DiSabella.
St. Joe’s has had a wild season, with many big victories scattered among some odd losses and a tie. The Cadets will also be playing their fourth game in six days, which includes a 2-1 loss to New Canaan on Monday, an 8-0 win over Norwalk on Wednesday, and a 3-2 win over NDFF on Thursday.
Fairfield made a statement early in the season, when it started off 9-1-1 and defeated Ridgefield 4-1, New Canaan 3-1, and St. Joseph 6-3 during a two-week span. Fairfield went through a dry spell with three losses in four games in early February, but is riding a four-game winning streak into the postseason.
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 (teams often share venues and schedules can fall behind). Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for the latest updates.
Winter 2016 Postseason Broadcasts:
• FCIAC 2016 Girls Basketball Championship: No. 1 Fairfield Warde vs. No. 2 Stamford
• FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Semifinal: No. 1 Darien vs. No. 4 Stamford-Westhill-Staples
• FCIAC Girls Ice Hockey Semifinal: No. 2 New Canaan vs. No. 3 Ridgefield
• 2016 FCIAC Wrestling Championship
• 2016 FCIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
• 2016 FCIAC Cheerleading Championships
About the HAN Network
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. Check out the complete broadcast schedule here.
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 at live.HAN.Network/han-on-demand/.