Boys hockey: Ridgefield tops ND-West Haven

Scoring the game's first four goals, the Ridgefield High boys hockey team ended its regular season with a 5-2 non-conference win over Notre Dame-West Haven on Friday afternoon at the Winter Garden.

Ridgefield, the defending conference and Division I state champion, takes a 16-4 record into the postseason. Following a first-round bye, the second-seeded Tigers will play either third-seed Darien or sixth-seed New Canaan in the semifinals next Wednesday (Feb. 28) night at the Darien Ice House.

With Friday's victory, Ridgefield avenged one of its regular-season defeats: A 2-1 road loss to Notre Dame-West Haven back on Dec. 27.

The Tigers began the game with four unanswered goals to open a 4-0 lead early in the second period.

Matt Walker scored the first two goals to put Ridgefield in front, 2-0, at the end of the first period. Del Irving then scored two straight goals in less than three minutes to push the lead to 4-0 with 10:39 left in the second period.

The Westies got on the board with just under three minutes left in the period, but Nick Cullinan's tally with 51 seconds remaining restored Ridgefield's four-goal lead.

The final period stayed scoreless until Notre Dame (10-8-0) got its second goal with only one second left in the game.

Will Forrest and Simon van Wees and each had two assists for the Tigers. Henry Garlick and Cullinan added one assist apiece.

Notes: Ridgefield incurred five of the game's six penalties but kept Notre Dame scoreless on its power plays, including a two-man advantage early in the third period.

Below is the schedule for the playdowns and semifinal rounds of the conference playoffs. All games will air live on the HAN Network and then be available on-demand.

FCIAC Playdowns, Saturday, Feb. 24, at Darien Ice House

No. 6 New Canaan vs. No. 3 Darien, 12:50 a.m.

No. 5 Fairfield vs. No. 4 Staples, 6:30 p.m.

Byes: No. 1 Greenwich and No. 2 Ridgefield

FCIAC Semifinals, Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Darien Ice House

Fairfield/Staples winner vs. No. 1 Greenwich, 4:50 p.m.

New Canaan/Darien winner vs. No. 2 Ridgefield, 7:30 p.m.