Connecticut High School Hockey Playoffs: Division 3 Predictions

The boy’s ice hockey state tournament in Connecticut kicks off tonight with the Division 3 combatants taking the ice. Click here to view our full D3 bracket!

Division 3 hockey in Connecticut this season has really boiled down to scoring. All of the teams at or near the top of the D3 rankings have been able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack because they can put the puck in the net:

CIAC D3 Rank
Windsor/Avon/East Granby

Staples/Weston/Shelton WreckersAfter careful consideration, our pick to take home the 2010-2011 D3 crown is Staples/Weston/Shelton. Why? For us it comes down to three factors:

1.) Scoring: The top line for Staples has been nothing short of prolific this season in terms of putting the puck in the net. The Wreckers’ line of Wehmoff/Liu/Laifer has accounted for 174 points this season and showed no signs of letting up as the playoffs approached:

# Player Goals** Assists** Points**
15 Kyle Wehmhoff 29 40 69
12 Aaron Liu 24 37 61
3 Tali Laifer 11 38 49

**Statistics according to NH Register, 3/2/2011

2.) Goaltending: Luke Andriuk is one of the better goaltenders in the state, but is rarely mentioned with the likes of Withington, Nowak, et al because he plays in D3. The 2011 playoffs will be his time to shine.

3.) Experience: Possibly the biggest factor in play here. Staples is less than two years removed from a trip to the D3 finals – a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to St. Joseph. Many of the seniors on this year’s team, saw ice as sophomores during that 2009 run. In short, they understand what it takes to get to Ingalls and won’t let the opportunity to win it all pass them by a second time.

Click here to view our D3 playoff bracket!

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think! Comment on this post or hit the Connecticut high school hockey forums and start up a discussion.