With several winter sports reaching the midway point, it's time to bring back the "Top Five" list and take a look at which teams have stormed out of the gates.

5. Darien girls basketball -- Yes, the Blue Wave girls are below .500 at 3-4 in the season's early goings. However, Darien has been competitive in just about every game it has played. Its four losses are against St. Joseph, Trumbull, New Canaan and Westhill, arguable four of the best teams in the league. Even so, the Blue Wave came within a few seconds of capturing the LaVista Tournament crown in a 61-58 loss against rival New Canaan. Seeing as how the Blue Wave only graduated three seniors from last year's team which qualified for both the FCIAC and State Tournaments, there's no reason to think that Darien isn't capable of accomplishing the same feat in 2011-12.

4. New Canaan boys hockey -- Following up a one-loss, FCIAC Championship season is no easy feat for any team, especially when that team loses 17 players from the previous season. However, the Rams have shaken off an 0-2 start and have rapidly put the pieces back together. Without a truly dominant team in the league, New Canaan may well again be in the mix for the FCIAC and State crowns. Additionally, they'll be able to compete without the added pressure of finishing off an undefeated campaign. A dominant 6-1 win over St. Joseph was New Canaan's third in its last four games. The win boosted New Canaan's record to 3-3 and is probably the signature victory for the Rams thus far.

3. New Canaan girls basketball -- New Canaan started off the 2011-12 campaign with a win over Harding before falling to Wilton and St. Joseph. Undaunted, New Canaan reeled off four consecutive wins with the final two (a 46-28 win over Greenwich and a 61-58 nail-biter over Darien) earning them a LaVista Tournament Championship. New Canaan now sits at 4-3 following a tough loss against Trumbull, which hasn't lost a regular season game this season or last season. The Rams have spread out the scoring and they've gone toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the FCIAC, two very positive signs for teams with aspirations of contending for championships.

2. Darien girls hockey -- Perhaps New Canaan's biggest threat in the league, the Darien girls are undefeated after four games to start the season. Darien's dominance is best exemplified simply in the final scores. Through four games, Darien has outscored its opponents by a 27-10 margin. The Blue Wave's "closest call" came in its most recent contest, a 6-3 win over Glastonbury. Similar to the boys hockey team, one has to figure that the Darien girls are anxious to get over the hump and deal the Rams a loss. Come playoff time, the Blue Wave should still be right in the thick of things.

1. New Canaan girls hockey -- Last year's defending FCIAC and State Champions have picked up exactly where they left off, and the Rams' unblemished 7-0 mark earns them the top spot in our countdown. There's just so much depth here, and it's probably a big reason why the Rams seemingly always pull away from the competition sometime in the second period. It's not uncommon for New Canaan to simply work on puck possession by the time the third period starts in a consorted effort to not run up the score. The Rams are easily the favorites to repeat as both State and FCIAC Champions.

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