The Fairfield Warde High School Mustangs' ice hockey team reached the state championship game for the first time in school history this year. Warde lost to Amity in the title game.
The foundation of the Warde hockey program was constructed 36 years ago when Arnie Larsen, the school's first hockey coach, organized a team midway through the 1972 season.
This is the fourth in a five-part series on the history of Andrew Warde High School hockey. Today we take a closer look at the 1975-76 season, including the Second Annual Senior Stars Game.
The start of the 1975-76 hockey season saw the addition of Trumbull High School to the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, giving the circuit 15 teams. Each team played every other FCIAC team once for a 14-game league schedule.
Overall, the Andrew Warde High School hockey team had a 20-game schedule, including a pair of contests each against arch-rival Roger Ludlowe, Trumbull, Stamford, and Rippowam. The Eagles also played cross-town rivals Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame, too.
Prior to the start of the season, which began during the first week of December, the Crimson Eagles were invited to participate in a six-team jamboree on Friday night, November 28, 1975, at the newly-opened Milford Ice Rink.
Although the Eagles' skaters defeated Trumbull, 4-2, to christen the season, they finished with a 6-11-3 overall record for 15 points. However, Warde posted three straight victories in December, punctuated by a 10-1 drubbing of town rival Notre Dame. Warde's FCIAC record was 2-10-2 for six points.
Senior Andy Larsen led the team with 55 points on 38 goals and 17 assists. Other leading scorers included George Swift (7-7-14), Paul Larsen (6-7-15), Joe Hamilton (4-9-13), Craig Benak (2-11-13), Bob Chizmadia (1-4-5), and Bob Hey (0-5-5). Cumulatively, Warde tallied 61 goals and yielded 93.
Warde closed the season on February 16 with an exciting 5-5 tie against league foe Stamford. Paul Larsen scored a three-goal hat-trick and brother Andy added two more goals to help the Crimson Eagles to the draw at the Wonderland of Ice. The tie snapped a three-game losing streak for Warde.
The highlight of the season was the prominent role of Warde's Andy Larsen in the second annual Senior Stars Game at the Darien Ice Rink on Saturday, April 3, 1976. Larsen and Jack Vichiola of Ludlowe each scored goals to lead the East to a narrow 6-5 victory over the West in the FCIAC clash before over 400 fans.
Warde's junior varsity hockey team was part of a six-team league in 1975-76. The other schools participating included Fairfield Prep, Roger Ludlowe, Wilton, Trumbull, and Masuk.
Please sign the AWHS Guest Book.
Visit the Andrew Warde High School Gift Shop.
Watch the AWHS 1976 vintage "film".