It is an exciting time for the Ridgefield-Danbury girls ice hockey program. Although there is just one senior on the roster, Ridgefield-Danbury improved its overall record to 7-7-1 by posting a 6-1 road triumph over Stamford-Westhill-Staples on Saturday at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford. The Tigers are now 5-4-1 in the FCIAC and entered the contest ranked No. 13 in the state. \u201cWe had a bit of a slow start to begin the season. We have worked ourselves into a good position now,\u201d said Ridgefield-Danbury coach Lauren Lubrano. \u201cWe can own the rest of the year. We have opportunities all in front of us. Consistency is what I want to see. It\u2019s up to the players.\u201d On Saturday, the Tigers took care of business. They jumped out to a 3-0 edge just 4:56 into the contest and a 4-0 lead 8:37 in. The early cushion allowed Lubrano to use most of her young roster (two freshmen, nine sophomores, six juniors) over the final two periods. Junior goalie Kendal Mountain (five saves) was in net for the first period. Classmate Reagan Bonadies (18 saves) played the final two periods. \u201cThe work ethic of the entire group has been a key factor. If the puck doesn\u2019t bounce our way, the work ethic keeps us in every game,\u201d Lubrano said. \u201cYou can never have enough depth or experience. Hard work in practice deserves a taste of game time on the ice.\u201d Sophomores Emily Stefanelli and Julia Bongo \u2014 both members of the Tigers' top line \u2014 each had two goals Saturday. Lone senior Natalie Preveza and sophomore Julia Zangre also scored for the Tigers. All the hours that Lubrano and her staff have put into the Ridgefield-Danbury program are coming to fruition. Two seasons ago, the Tigers took their lumps (5-15, 5-9 league) in the tough FCIAC. Last year, Ridgefield-Danbury finished 8-11-1 overall, 7-7 in league and qualified for the fourth and final FCIAC playoff slot. They were also ranked No. 13 in the state. \u201cEvery time we get on the bus now, we believe we can win,\u201d Lubrano said. \u201cWe can compete.\u201d The remainder of this season is both an opportunity and a challenge. The Tigers will be road warriors with four away games in the final five of the regular season. They will meet powers New Canaan, Greenwich, Hall-Conard and Trumbull-St. Joseph away while hosting McMahon-Norwalk. Ridgefield-Danbury will be battling Fairfield and Greenwich for the final two FCIAC playoff slots. \u201cOur team is young. But they understand the season is a marathon not a sprint,\u201d Lubrano said. \u201cI see improvement. I see the effort is always there. That gives me hope.\u201d As does the possibility of returning 17 players next season. \u201cRight now, my big-picture view is what we can do in the state tournament this year,\u201d Lubrano said. \u201cBut every day I get excited about the future. I want the girls to get there. I have to contain my excitement about the possibilities.\u201d Stamford-Westhill-Staples (2-10, 2-7 FCIAC) had a shot ring off the crossbar and drop over the goal line just 10 seconds into Saturday\u2019s contest. \u201cWe played them even in the third period (scoreless). And we killed off a couple of five-on-three situations,\u201d SWS co-head coach John Fay said. \u201cWe paid a heavy price for mistakes. And drawing seven penalties hurt. We had opportunities we didn\u2019t cash in. But Ridgefield-Danbury is a good squad.\u201d Ridgefield-Danbury 6,\u00a0Stamford-Westhill-Staples 1 Goals: R - Emily Stefanelli 2, Julia Bongo 2, Julia Zangre, Natalie Preveza. SWS - Rachel Mensah. Assists: R -\u00a0Kate Zangre, Stefanelli, Julia Zangre. SWS - Meadow Gilchrist, Abby Sottile.Saves:\u00a0R - Kendal Mountain (five), Reagan Bonadies (18). SWS - Tori Morgan (21).