“Playoffs? Playoffs?” It’s the best time of the year folks, we’ve reach conference playoffs szn and are on the eve of the state tournaments. After the storm of the century struck the Tri-State area last week, we’ve had scheduling chaos, games being canceled, heck even New Fairfield had to have prom on a Monday – that stinks!
Last night the FCIAC quarterfinals were played and all the top seeds advanced, as expected. Maybe some could have seen an upset by either Greenwich or Staples, but in reality, both Ridgefield and Wilton are two steps ahead of them and it showed. Darien rolled over Ludlowe and New Canaan, after a slow start, handled St. Joe’s with ease. We’ll be posting a deep-dive FCIAC Semifinal Preview tomorrow morning, so be on the lookout that.
The SCC and SWC Playoffs start this evening. Be sure to keep tabs on #ctblax or #ctlax on Twitter. We won’t be there, but some dad will be.
Aight, to the poll. As Mike Quick would say, “Let’s get it on!”
- Darien – As noted above, the Blue Wave rolled over Fairfield Ludlowe in the opening round of the FCIAC Tournament by the score of 20-2. Good for Darien to open the floodgates early in this one and to be able to rest up their guns for what is a short week for the FCIAC. Quarters on Monday, Semi’s Wednesday, and Finals on Friday. Darien faces off against Wilton on Wednesday at 7pm at McMahon. Could Wilton give them a run for their money? Sure. Will Darien likely win this game by 3+? There’s a good chance.
- Ridgefield – Note to the FCIAC, Greg Gatto is back and he’s amped up. The Yale-bound senior is finally on the field this spring and is not taking any moments for granted. He paced the Tigers offensively in their opening round rout of Greenwich and will now look to help them beat New Canaan on Wednesday. This matchup is intriguing as it’s the first time in a while Rfield and NC didn’t play in the regular season. I think Ridgefield matches up well against NC in this one, with the only deficit being at the face-off X.
- New Canaan – Well kudos to Trumbull who gave it a shot. NC took down the Eagles 11-7, but Trumbull came in and played their guts out in a game they had circled all year. New Canaan locked up the 2 seed in the FCIAC and took down St. Joe’s in the quarterfinals yesterday. The Rams got off to a slow start but quickly figured things out and rolled to a 13-3 win. It’s a quick turnaround for NC as they face Ridgefield tomorrow, an opponent they haven’t seen this year. This should be a classic at Casagrande Field tomorrow night at McMahon. Tune into the HAN Network stream if you can’t see it live.
- Wilton – For the 2nd time this season the Warriors took down Staples and Paul McNulty. The 4-5 matchup in the FCIAC’s is always a tough one, but Wilton took down Staples relatively handily in a game that was fast-paced and featured strong goalie play by both sides. Wilton moves on to face Darien at 7pm tomorrow night. For Wilton, they’d love to be the one who knocks off the Wave. Do they have a chance? Certainly, and you know Wiseman and co will have a funky gameplan to give them their best shot. This Wilton team has been all over the place at times this year, we’ll have to see if they can put it together in their biggest moment.
- Fairfield Prep – Tough week for the Jesuits. They were caught sleeping on Senior Night as they were upset by Daniel Hand at home, but if there were ever such thing as a “bounceback lost” – FP’s loss over the weekend to Salesianum was a sign of good things to come. 11-10 final with the difference being an own goal by Prep. With the loss to Hand, Prep is the 2 seed in the SCC. They face Guilford tonight in a rematch of a game they won 19-5 a couple weeks ago. The Prep coaching staff was on hand to see Wilton vs Staples last night. Although the L bracket hasn’t come out yet, power rankings and seeds are set, and assuming Prep wins their “qualifying round” game, they will likely be at Staples in the opening round of the L Tourney.
- New Fairfield – U guys ok? The storm was bad, but it seems like up in New Fairfield it was apocalyptic. The Rebels closed out their regular season with a 20-8 win over Guilford and host Bethel in the first round of the SWC Tourney. As we know, this team has yet to be truly challenged, but it’s playoffs, anything can happen. Not saying Prom will affect their game against Bethel today, but these young Rebels can’t sleep on their potential rematches against Weston and Newtown.
- Staples – The theme has been the same all year for the Wreckers and it’s lack of depth. Offensively it’s clear that everything runs through Zinn and anything else, against a strong defense, likely won’t work. Seeing them play last night, their D is good. Garber played out of his mind and has strong poles in front. If this team can find an offensive identity outside of #11 they can be a threat in L. Who’s gonna step up?
- Newtown – The Nighthawks haven’t played in 10 days. A nice break some may say, others would say it’s too long. We’ll find out. They take on Brookfield in the SWC Tourney tonight in a rematch of a game Newtown won 19-2 back in April. Coach Bulkley is obviously battle-tested from his time in Greenwich and Darien. He’ll have his men ready because they want nothing more than another shot at New Fairfield. On the state side, Newtown appears to have the 2 seed in the L Tourney following their 13-3 regular season.
- Greenwich – Baby Cards left the nest, only to get trounced by the Tigers. Thankfully of Greenwich they still qualified for the L Tournament and will have a seed in the 20’s and a play in a game. Not exactly sure who they’ll face off against as this year’s L field is larger than years past, so predicting the bracket based off seeding for teams that far back is tough. Either way, they’ll cause a fit to whoever they square off against. If I’m Coach Lutz, I need to do everything within my power to make sure New England Preps arent poaching Leo Johnson. #33 for the Cardinals has been their best offensive threat (quite the statement playing on a line with Jack Feda and Matt Baugher) and is just a freshman.
- Daniel Hand/Glastonbury – Boo! A tie! Again! Yes, there’s another tie at the 10 spot. I would name this a Top 11 poll, but that be weird. Shout out to Daniel Hand who rolled into Rafferty last week and took town Prep. They didn’t just win, they won by 3. This win bodes well for the Tigers who enter the SCC Tourney as the #1 seed and appear to be the biggest threat to New Fairfield in Class M. As for Glastonbury, they take on Southington tonight and once they play that game they enter the CCC Tourney as the #1 seed and will take on rival Simsbury, a team they beat 10-8 less than a week ago.
Others considered: Trumbull, Weston, Fairfield Ludlowe