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short shifts

December 19, 2018

A look at Wednesday’s hockey schedule brings only one question to mind: What’s with Notre Dame-West Haven and Northwest Catholic, waiting three and a half weeks to meet?

The other eight teams in the preseason GameTimeCT poll have head-to-head meetings on an early Super Wednesday.

It hasn’t been a bad start to the season, really: There have been six all-top-10 meetings already in the first week and a half of the season. But four in a day should be fun.

There’s No. 4 Hamden visiting co-No. 5 Xavier at Wesleyan. No. 1 Fairfield Prep head down to the other co-No. 5, Darien. No. 2 Ridgefield, which beat the No. 1 Jesuits to open the year, have No. 10 Notre Dame-Fairfield. No. 9 New Canaan visits No. 3 Greenwich. They’ll jockey for position before the poll returns at New Year’s.

And the other two don’t have slouches, either: preseason No. 8 Northwest Catholic hosts an always-game South Windsor program, while No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven faces Simsbury, which is coming off a win over New Canaan, which beat the Green Knights.

A look at the week to come (clipped, because the CIAC schedule goes dark for three days, Sunday through Christmas) and back at some of the top performances of the first week (extended, since the openers came on a Monday):

Fine performances

Sean Bradley, Darien: Two goals and an assist in a 3-1 win over Hamden.

Cole Chapman, Simsbury: Scored twice as the Trojans beat New Canaan 4-3.

Nick Cullinan, Ridgefield: Hat trick in a 5-2 win over preseason No. 1 Fairfield Prep.

John DeLucia, Guilford: Five points, including the 200th of his career, in an 8-7 win over West Haven.

Patrick Fleming, Enfield/East Granby/Stafford: Scored in overtime to beat Staples 3-2.

Owen Lacourciere, Farmington Valley: Had three goals and two assists as the Generals topped East Haven 7-3.

Ed Martino, Amity: Three points in a 3-1 win over NFI.

Donald Moorcroft, Hamden: Made 30 saves in a 3-1 win over New Canaan.

Cam O’Connor, South Windsor: Two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over North Branford.

David Overbeeke, Wilton: Six points, including four goals, in a 7-4 win over JBWA.

Matt Pettit, LHK: Four points, including the winner in a 5-4 overtime win over North Haven.

Adam Poetto, Glastonbury: Hat trick in a 4-0 win over Branford.

Ethan Ranger, Newington co-op: Had five points, including a hat trick, in an 11-10 win over JBWA.

Mason Sullivan, North Haven: Two goals in the third broke a tie in a 4-2 win over Hall/Southington.

Evan Tower, Eastern CT Eagles: Three goals and two assists in a 7-2 win over the Redhawks.

Ethan Utermarck, East Catholic: Made 29 saves in a 4-3 win over E.O. Smith, snapping the Eagles’ 23-game winless streak.

Games to watch

LHK at Cheshire (Wesleyan), Wednesday, 5 p.m.: The Rams beat one Wallingford team last week. Can they beat the other this week?

New Canaan at Greenwich (Hamill), Wednesday, 5:15 p.m.: Two FCIAC perennials.

Hamden at Xavier (Wesleyan), Wednesday, 7:15 p.m.: Maybe the game of the week, two top-10 teams with intriguing potential.

Notre Dame-Fairfield at Ridgefield (Winter Garden), 7:30 p.m.: No. 10 at No. 2-and-might-well-be-1-now.

Fairfield Prep at Darien, Wednesday, 8 p.m.: Another interesting matchup, the Jesuits’ second game after their opening loss to Ridgefield, with the Blue Wave coming off a win over Hamden.

Watertown/Pomperaug at North Branford (Northford), Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.: Two teams who are usually strong in Division II.

Ridgefield at LaSalle Academy (Schneider Arena, Providence, R.I.), Friday, 7 p.m.: The defending Rhode Island champs are playing five Connecticut top-10 teams this year. Can a school win championships in two states in one year?

Notre Dame-West Haven at Hamden, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Always a good one.

Fairfield Prep at Notre Dame-Fairfield (Shelton), Saturday, 3:45 p.m.: Crosstown rivals both looking to put some things together early.

Simsbury at Northwest Catholic (ISCC), Saturday, 3:50 p.m.: Moved up from later in the day. Simsbury made a statement with a win over New Canaan. This will be the Lions’ first game against a Division I team.

Cheshire at Glastonbury (Trinity College), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: Both opened the season with a couple of good wins.

Guilford at Watertown/Pomperaug (Taft), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: In their past seven meetings, three of which have come in the postseason, the teams have played five one-goal games.

— Michael Fornabaio

MFornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

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