It’s probably safe to say that Notre Dame-Fairfield head coach Steve Hetherman hasn’t forgotten the controversial double-overtime loss to Glastonbury in the Division I quarterfinals last March.

Neither have his players.

The Lancers scored early in the second OT and appeared to have won the game, only to have the referee blow the whistle and negate the goal, claiming he lost sight of the puck. A few minutes later, Glastonbury scored to end ND-Fairfield’s season.

And while a large chunk of that team, including Connor McCutchinson and Jonathan Suporn, graduated, a equally large piece is back to try and earn a measure of revenge and improve on last season‘s 12-10 record.

“Our top players have to be the best on the ice each game,” Hetherman wrote in his prospectus to the Citizen. “After graduating such a large senior class, we have to get the underclassmen to assume larger roles.”

One who will assume the largest role will be junior goaltender Will Scovill, who shined last season as a sophomore and will be asked once again to anchor the defense. But he won’t be alone as Hetherman also returns Seamus O’Rourke (a quad-captain) and Matt Vizi on defense.

Other returners include, Tyler Henchcliffe, Mark Russo and Mike Antoniou (the other three captains) along with Tyler English, John Garvey and Brian Gallagher.

“We have a good team chemistry and a good team culture,” said Hetherman. “The keys to our success will be attention to detail, desire to focus and work hard and a willingness to sacrifice personal goals for the good of the team.”

FAIRFIELD PREP

Like Notre Dame-Fairfield, the Jesuits season was cut short in the second round of the Division I playoffs, losing to Greenwich to finish with a disappointing 10-11 record.

And while head coach Matt Sather has to deal with the graduation of starting goaltender Jack Taubl and 11-goal scorer Ryan Deering (26 points), he returns an experienced core group, led by senior forward and tri-captain Justin Blachette, who scored 10 goals and added 11 assists last season.

“Smalkais and Schlicthing are hopeful for breakout seasons and Brown, Henry and Celotto all showed the ability to score as well,” Sather said. “Defensively, McGowen and Hadeden lead a young, but experienced group. Casl saw significant time at the end of last season and Kernaghan developed nicely as well. Both Ligas and McGee are capable goaltenders. Both should see important minutes.”

FAIRFIELD CO-OP

The Mustangs will be looking to build on last season’s 15-8 campaign, where they reached the Division II quarterfinals and also earned a berth in the FCIAC tournament.

Fairfield led Branford 2-0 before eventually falling 3-2 in the Division II quarterfinals. In the FCIAC playoffs, the Mustangs fell to New Canaan in double overtime.

The 15 wins were the most in program history.

Head coach Tom Roche lost six seniors but is returning a solid core of players , led by senior goaltender Mike Grace, who made 41 saves in that double OT loss to the Rams in the FCIAC tournament.

Charlie Pippert will captain the Mustangs with Kevin Boldrighini, Jake Fuss and Owen Emmendorfer getting the ‘A‘ as alternate captains. Other top players returning include: Jeremy Zeigler and Jack McCormick.

“We have a good amount of returning players that had significant playing time last year,” head coach Tom Roche wrote in his prospectus to the Citizen. “Our offense looks good and we have the best goalie in the FCIAC. We need to be defensively-minded and work consistently as a team.

“If we continue to work hard individually and work even harder as a team, anything and everything is possible. Our goal is to bring home the state title to Fairfield.”