The CIAC announced the brackets for the upcoming boys ice hockey state tournaments on Friday morning, and all three area teams will be hosting a game in round one.
Newington-Berlin has lost two of its last three games after rattling off a 10-game winning streak, but the Indians still head into the Division III state tournament with a 17-3 regular season record and the second overall seed. Newington-Berlin hosts Housatonic in the first round, with puck drop scheduled for Monday night at 6 p.m. at Newington Ice Arena. The Mountaineers went 7-12-1 during the regular season, including a 2-1 loss at home to Newington-Berlin back on Jan. 4.
The Indians will be trying to improve upon their finish in last year’s state tournament, when they lost a close 4-3 match to eventual state champion Lyman Hall in the semifinals.
Hall-Southington just beat Newington-Berlin for the second time in a week, and heads into the Division III tournament with the third overall seed, earning a right to host Staples on Monday night at 7:40 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in West Hartford. Staples went 6-13-1 this season, but never faced the Warrior-Knights during the regular season.
Hall-Southington head coach Brian Cannon, who was recently named Division III Coach of the Year, will be looking to lead the Warrior-Knights to Ingalls Rink and a state championship after missing the state tournament last year as a member of Division II.
WMRP is still competing in Division II, and will host Eastern CT on Monday night at 8:05 p.m. in the first round. The game will begin right after Newington-Berlin’s contest at Newington Ice Arena. The Eagles went 17-3 during the regular season, including three straight wins to close things out, but right before that streak came a loss to Eastern CT at home on Feb. 22, but WMRP did beat them 5-1 earlier in the year on the road.
The Eagles reached the state semifinals last year as the ninth seed, but was routed by Branford 6-1 at Ingalls.
The Division III semifinals will take place on March 16, and the championship game will be on March 19. Division II will hold its semifinals games on March 17, and the championship on March 23, all at Ingalls Rink.