Four teams will hit the ice in pursuit of the FCIAC girls hockey championship and you can catch all the action live on the HAN.Network starting on Wednesday night.
The league semifinals will begin with the No. 2 New Canaan Rams taking on the No. 3 Ridgefield Tigers at 6 p.m., with top-seeded Darien Blue Wave facing the No. 4 Stamford-Westhill-Staples co-op at 7:40 p.m.
Both games will be available live and on-demand for free on HAN.Network or in the video players below:
Game 1: No. 2 New Canaan vs. No. 3 Ridgefield, 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Darien vs. No. 4 Stamford-Westhill-Staples, 7:40 p.m.
Darien is bidding for its fourth consecutive FCIAC championship, and was unbeaten with a 14-0 record against conference opponents this year. The Wave is also 19-1 overall and earned the state’s No. 1 seed as well.
New Canaan finished the regular season with records of 18-2 overall and 12-2 in the FCIAC. The Rams’ only two losses have come against rival Darien, and 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.
Ridgefield (10-9-1 overall, 9-5 FCIAC) and Stamford-Westhill-Staples (12-8, 8-6) earned the No. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively, and while they split their two meetings, neither team has been able to solve the top two seeds this year
In the opening semifinal, New Canaan will be looking for measure of revenge against Ridgefield, which knocked the Rams out in last year’s semis.
The Tigers have traditionally played well against New Canaan, especially in the playoffs. This year, however, the Rams dominated the regular season series, beating the Tigers 6-1 and 7-0.
New Canaan is led by senior tri-captains Mia Carroll on defense, and Catherine Granito and Kate McMahon at forward.
Carroll is the key cog in a defense which has allowed just 18 goals in 20 games. The blue line also features sophomore Liz McCarthy and freshmen Jess Eccleston and Christina Marciano, with freshman Amanda Hill and sophomore Sarah Street mixing it up as goalies.
Granito is a member of the 200-point club and is the Rams’ primary offensive weapon while playing alongside linemates Gianna Bruno and Brooke Deane.
Ridgefield has had a big offensive season from Meghan Hyatt, who has 30 points, along with Maddie Burns, Jenny Guider and Ellie Garlick.
Goalie Michaela Gleeson is the Tigers’ leader on the defensive end.
In the second semifinal, Darien boasts a deep and talented squad, and its seniors will be looking to make it a perfect 4-for-4 in conference championships.
The Wave is led by four senior captains: Georgia Cassidy, Schulyer van den broek, Marissa Baker and Chandler Kirby.
Cassidy, a forward, is the big gun on offense. She recently joined the 200-point club while also breaking her own team record for points in a season.
The Wave also features a standout goalie in Emily Gianunzio, a junior, with Kirby and senior Katie Zaro also leading the defensive effort, which has allowed 20 goals in 20 games.
Darien has shut out Stamford/Westhill/Staples co-op twice this season, including a 7-0 win on Feb. 2, but the first meeting was a narrow decision, 1-0, back on Jan. 6.
SWS goalie Claire Parry was outstanding in that game, and a power play goal was the difference.
Stamford will be looking for scoring from sophomore Steph Walsh, junior Kyra DalBello, and senior Erin McGroarty.
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:
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/.