Ridgefield starts FCIAC title defense Wednesday; game on HAN Network

The Ridgefield High boys hockey team begins defense of its conference championship on Wednesday night in Darien.

After getting a bye in the playdown round, the second-seeded Tigers will face third-seed Darien in the second game of an FCIAC semifinal at 7:30 p.m. at the Darien Ice House. Darien defeated sixth-seed New Canaan, 5-2, in a playdown game Saturday.

Top-seed Greenwich and fifth-seed Fairfield play in the first semifinal Wednesday at 4:50 at the Darien Ice House. Both semifinals and Saturday's championship game will air live and on-demand on the HAN Network.

Ridgefield went 16-4-0 overall during the regular season and had a 10-1-0 record in conference play. The Tigers' only FCIAC blemish came in a 5-3 loss to Greenwich on Feb. 19.

In their regular-season meeting Feb. 16, Ridgefield defeated Darien, 5-3, at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford. The Tigers killed off a late penalty in that game before getting an empty net goal to end the scoring.

Following the FCIAC playoffs, Ridgefield will look to defend its Division I state championship. Ridgefield is currently fourth in the Division I point rankings behind Fairfield Prep, Greenwich, and Xavier.

Official state tournament brackets are scheduled to be released by noon on March 2. The Division I tournament begins March 7.

The Tigers defeated Northwest Catholic, 6-2, to win the program's first-ever Division I state title last year.

This season's Ridgefield team has been led by forwards Nick Cullinan, Will Forrest, Del Irving, Kees van Wees, Matt Walker, Brady McSpedon, and Kieran McGowan.

Liam Galloway, Simon van Wees, Ty Fujitani, Tom L0mbardozzi, Daniel Parson, and Kevin McNicholas anchor the defense in front of junior goalie Sean Gordon, who has been one of the FCIAC's best netminders  this winter.