Connecticut D2 Preseason Top 10: Branford Eyes Repeat; WMRP, Cheshire Next In Line

Jim Clark
Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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Connecticut Boys Division 2 Top 10

RankTeam[tooltip text="PR*" gravity="ne"]Previous Ranking[/tooltip]WLT
1Branford1833
2WMRP1770
3Cheshire1661
4E.O. Smith/Tolland1760
5Westhill/Stamford11100
6Farmington Valley11122
7Glastonbury 1382
8Eastern CT Eagles 1271
9Daniel Hand1851
10Lyman Hall/H-K/Coginchaug1860

It took 31 years for Branford to get back to the top of Division 2 after winning its first state championship since 1988, but chances are the wait won’t be nearly as long again. At the very least, Branford starts the season as the team to beat and #1 in the initial HNIB News Connecticut Division 2  rankings.

Wethersfield-Middletown-Rocky Hill-Plainville fell to Branford in the semifinals last March, and the Eagles check in at #2 coming out of the preseason.

Cheshire was the #3 seed in the tournament last March, and that’s where it starts again with an All-State goalie and four of its top six scorers back.

E.O. Smith/Tolland is not eligible for the CIAC tournament, but for our rankings the co-op team still will be a factor and starts out at #4.

With a potentially explosive offense, Westhill/Stamford has what it takes to make a run to Yale in March, but as of mid-December sits at #5.

#6 Farmington Valley and #7 Glastonbury squared off in the semifinals a year ago. Glastonbury prevailed in an OT thriller before falling to Branford, but both squads are poised for big years again.

With reinforcements from the defunct Redhawks, #8 Eastern Connecticut Eagles are a trendy pick to make some noise this season.

Meanwhile, a pair of powers up from Division 3 — #9 Daniel Hand and #10 Lyman Hall/H-K/Coginchaug – should be intriguing teams in their new surroundings.

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