Connecticut D3 Poll: Parity reigns in early-season

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

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Connecticut Division 3 Poll

RankTeam[tooltip text="PR*" gravity="ne"]Previous Ranking[/tooltip]WLT
1Woodstock Academy1100
2Lyman Hall/H-K3010
5Trinity CatholicNR200

(through games of 12/26/16)

So you spend a month gathering intel on an assortment of sports teams, you assemble their coaches’ and your sources’ opinions into a ranking (how deep a ranking? Ehh, got 10 fingers) and you wait a few weeks for the season to start.   And then the first 15 games those 10 teams play? They blow your carefully assembled rankings apart.

Happy holidays to you, too, Division III.

What to do with the HNIB News first in-season Connecticut Division III top 10 this week? The top spot is obvious, at least: Preseason No. 1 Woodstock Academy opened with a 3-0 win over Staples/Weston/Shelton, getting at least a tiny bit of revenge for last year’s state semifinal. And though No. 2 Lyman Hall/HK/Coginchaug opened with a loss, it was a close loss to Cheshire, which looks like a strong Division II team.

After that? If the early going suggests this’ll be a year of parity, bring it on.   No. 3 Wilton, down from Division II this year, opened up with an overtime win over highly regarded No. 4 Newtown, then got smoked by strong East Haven, then came back with a win over Milford. (Whew.) Newtown rebounded with a win over Sheehan. It faces No. 5 Trinity Catholic on Friday; the Crusaders started 2-0 with wins over Sheehan and a big one over No. 8 Masuk.

No. 6 BCR bested Newington, a preseason favorite that started out 0-2 and won’t see a Division III team for a while, after an opening loss to NFI. The newly christened No. 7 WMRP co-op got a shutout win to start, and No. 9 Hall/Southington beat Newington to start and tied Tri-Town. No. 10 BBD opened with a win before a couple of tough losses.

Are a lot of these rankings just so as not to drop a team in the preseason Top 10 that hasn’t lost yet? Yes. Could a lot change back rapidly off another couple of results? Sure. And there are a few other teams that easily fit in this picture. The NFA Redhawks beat Tri-Town, for one. Housatonic/Northwestern was the fifth unbeaten team remaining in Division III, with tight wins over the Eastern Connecticut Eagles and Norwalk; they’ve got Woodstock Academy on Wednesday. And Newington has a tough schedule before it gets back to Division III opposition but has always been dangerous at this level.

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