Connecticut D2 Poll: Branford loses but stays on top

Michael Fornabaio
Michael Fornabaio
Michael writes for Hockey Night in Boston, covers the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the Connecticut Post, and once covered the Beast of New Haven. He grew up at the New Haven Coliseum. Story, blog links @BSTSoundinOff blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio.

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Connecticut Division 2 Poll

RankTeamPrevious RankingWLT
1Branford11320
2Fairfield21050
3Conard31040
4Suffield/Granby/WL51040
5North Branford41240
6North Haven6661
7Cheshire7771
8New Milford8942
9Milford9860
10Newington/Berlin/ManchesterNR1240

A few teams in the HNIB News Connecticut Division II rankings came up with some big wins this week, keeping up the division’s competitive reputation. No. 4 Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks got the biggest of those, besting No. 1 Branford, 4-1. No. 3 Conard took down Division I Simsbury by the same score.

East Haven, a team that had drawn some interest from coaches in the preseason, suffered through injuries most of the season but put together a 3-1 win over No. 5 North Branford this week.

No. 2 Fairfield, No. 6 North Haven and No. 9 Milford all split games this week, each one losing to a Division I team.

With Hand on a losing streak, we’ll give a nod to No. 10 Newington/Berlin/Manchester, whose schedule hasn’t given them much of a shot at a signature win, but who keeps winning. There’s a chance Tuesday for one of those, though, facing Conard.

No. 7 Cheshire and No. 8 New Milford both had their weeks disrupted, whether by weather or by lack of officials. Cheshire has Suffield on the schedule this week, though the weather forecast isn’t promising.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Can you add a post explaining how you rank the teams? Is it coach/media voting (who are the voters), or is it your own formula? I am curious how it is not Conard, Suffield 1, 2 in DII.

    DII teams have beaten DI teams only 10 times this season; losing a whopping 41 times (I am not counting the phony out of state DI games credited to Newington). Of those 10 wins, Conard has 5 quality DI wins, including a win over Xavier who is in your DI top 10 and Suffield has 2, no other DII team has more than 1.

    Additionally, Conard (i) has not lost a DII game – their only losses are to good DI teams, in fact, Conard’s 2-1 loss to Glastonbury (who is somehow absent from your DI rankings) is probably stronger than just about any other DII showing against DI teams, save for Suffield’s win over Simsbury and (ii) leads in the DII state tournament point ranking despite having played fewer games than either Branford or Fairfield.

    Suffield (i) dismantled number 1 Branford this week (Branford never even threatened during the game), (ii) has 2 DI wins, and (iii) has only quality losses (2 to good DI teams and a third to Conard, who would be a good DI team if it were DI).

    Number 1 Branford (i) has yet to play a DI team, (ii) lost to DIII Westhill (compared to Suffield’s win over DIII EOS), (iii) was dismantled 4-1 this week by Suffield who was beaten just two weeks ago by Conard, and (iv) has only 2 wins of any quality yet this season.

    Number 2 Fairfield (i) is 0-4 against DI, (i) has a padded schedule with 4 wins against DIII teams (3 of those teams together have less wins 9, than Fairfield’s 10) and (iii) has no quality wins yet this season (unless you consider DIII Westhill high quality – not quite Xavier or Simsbury). Fairfield probably shouldn’t be ranked over Newington, much less Suffield or Conard.

    Thanks in advance for responding.

    • Hi Jack, here’s what our writer had to say…

      It’s hard to deny your logic. There’s as good a case for your order as any. Mine comes from a few different directions.

      It begins by compiling the opinions of as many coaches as possible in the preseason. Perhaps not perfect, but it gets a varied viewpoint. I try to move from there as much as possible. I took some grief earlier for sticking with North Haven and Cheshire longer than I should have, but they were a pretty decided 1-2 in the preseason, with Branford close behind.

      I try to move from there, usually trying to be more flexible early. This year, for instance, though Fairfield wasn’t in the preseason poll, it was 11th, right there with teams like Conard. Was one more underrated than the other, with almost three months’ hindsight? Maybe. Did some of Fairfield’s early wins look better then than they do now? Maybe. (Not sure I’d say that about its North Branford win, but anyway.) But there they were. I’m sometimes more conservative about not docking a team for a higher-division loss than I am crediting a team for a higher-division win. Call that a flaw if you will. (And yes, I’m not as high on Glastonbury as some others. They haven’t been higher than sixth in the Register poll, either; I’ve had them two to four places lower each week.)

      Some of it’s just hunch, too, like keeping Branford where it is for now. Is that funny, given how often Branford has been among the favorites while making just one state final since 1988? I’ll grant you that. But you wouldn’t have gone broke betting on the SCC and FCIAC in Division II the past decade, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t play into the thinking at times, back of my head or not.

      Sometimes those mix up in different percentages, but that’s where I’m generally coming from.

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