Fairfield Stags men's ice hockey

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Fairfield Stags men's ice hockey
Fairfield Stags men's ice hockey athletic logo
University Fairfield University
Conference MAAC
Head coach N/A
Arena Arena at Harbor Yard
Capacity: 8,525
Location Fairfield, Connecticut
Colors Red[1]

The Fairfield Stags Men's Ice Hockey was a NCAA Division I ice hockey team that played in the MAAC for five seasons.


Fairfield's hockey program was elevated to Division III status in 1974 and found immediate success with a 19-7-1 mark under head coach John McCarthy. Despite being a D-I school, the Stags competed in ECAC's lower classification. McCarthy retired after the 1995-96 season and was replaced by Peter LaVigne who then stepped down after only one season. Mike Doneghey succeeded Lavigne[2] and in Doneghey's first year Fairfield was ruled ineligible to play in ECAC's North/Central/South postseason after offering athletic scholarships, a violation of D-III rules.[3] Fairfield had offered the scholarships because they were joining the newly formed Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) ice hockey conference which was to begin play in 1998-99. In their first year as a full D-I program Fairfield finished with one of the all-time worst records, going 1-31 over the course of the season and allowed an average of more than 7 goals per game. After the worst record in team history Doneghey was promptly replaced with Mark Dennehy and, though there was improvement, Dennehy himself left after a 3-28-3 season to become an assistant at Massachusetts. Jim Hunt assumed the reigns for the 2000-01 season[4] and saw to a resurgence in Fairfield's fortunes with an 11-win season, but the next two years saw diminishing returns with 6 and 8 wins.

Hunt was not able to push the Stags any further due to the University dropping the ice hockey program to club status after the 2002-03 season.[5] The move came as a cost-cutting measure that also claimed Fairfield's football program. In five season as a D-I school, Fairfield finished last in their conference three times,[6] made two conference tournaments and lost both of its playoffs games by a combined score of 23-7.[7]

Today the Stags Men's Ice Hockey Team is a member of the ACHA and competes in the D3 division. Under new head coach Mike Silva, the team has seen an Empire Conference Championship in 2015 and three consecutive Regional Championships that vaulted the team into contention for the national title. In 2015 the team achieved a record of 0-3-0 on the national stage, yet still finished ranked 14th in the country. In 2016 the team achieved a record of 1-1-1 at nationals nearly qualifying for the semi-finals, ultimately the team finished 7th in the country that year. In 2017 the team earned a record of 1-2-0 and finished 12th in the country.

Season-by-season records

Season Division Conference Record Pct. Position Conference
1974-75 Division III ECAC D-III 19–7–1 .722 John McCarthy
1975-76 Division III ECAC D-III 13–11–1 .540 John McCarthy
1976-77 Division III ECAC D-III 11–11–0 .500 John McCarthy
1977-78 Division III ECAC D-III 8–12–1 .405 John McCarthy
1978-79 Division III ECAC D-III 7–16–0 .304 John McCarthy
1979-80 Division III ECAC D-III 13–13–0 .500 John McCarthy
1980-81 Division III ECAC D-III 14–9–1 .604 John McCarthy
1981-82 Division III ECAC D-III 9–14–1 .396 John McCarthy
1982-83 Division III ECAC D-III 10–13–0 .435 John McCarthy
1983-84 Division III ECAC D-III 8–13–3 .396 John McCarthy
1984-85 Division III ECAC D-III 5–19–0 .208 John McCarthy
1985-86 Division III ECAC D-III 5–19–1 .220 John McCarthy
1986-87 Division III ECAC D-III 7–17–0 .292 John McCarthy
1987-88 Division III ECAC D-III 6–19–1 .250 John McCarthy
1988-89 Division III ECAC D-III 5–21–0 .192 John McCarthy
1989-90 Division III ECAC D-III 9–12–2 .435 John McCarthy
1990-91 Division III ECAC D-III 12–11–2 .520 John McCarthy
1991-92 Division III ECAC D-III 16–12–0 .571 John McCarthy
1992-93 Division III ECAC D-III 10–10–0 .500 John McCarthy
1993-94 Division III ECAC D-III 14–6–1 .690 John McCarthy
1994-95 Division III ECAC D-III 18–9–0 .667 John McCarthy
1995-96 Division III ECAC D-III 11–13–4 .464 John McCarthy
1996-97 Division III ECAC D-III 13–12–1 .519 Peter LaVigne
1997-98 Division III ECAC D-III 12–12–0 .500 Mike Doneghey
1998-99 Division I MAAC 1–31–0 .031 8th Quarterfinal loss Mike Doneghey
1999-00 Division I MAAC 3–28–3 .132 10th None Mark Dennehy
2000-01 Division I MAAC 11–19–2 .375 8th Quarterfinal loss Jim Hunt
2001-02 Division I MAAC 6–23–2 .234 10th None Jim Hunt
2002-03 Division I MAAC 8–23–2 .273 11th None Jim Hunt
29 seasons 284–435–30 .399 5 coaches

All-time coaching records

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1974–1996 John McCarthy 22 230–287–19 .447
1996–1997 Peter LaVigne 1 13–12–1 .519
1997–1999 Mike Doneghey 2 13–43–0 .232
1999–2000 Mark Dennehy 1 3–28–3 .132
2000–2003 Jim Hunt 3 25–65–7 .293
Totals 5 coaches 29 seasons 284–435–30 .399


  1. ^ Fairfield University Visual Standard Manual (PDF). July 1, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "Doneghey Names Head Coach at Fairfield". USCHO.com. 1997-09-24. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  3. ^ "Fairfield Ruled Ineligible for Postseason Play in ECAC". USCHO.com. 1998-02-13. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  4. ^ "Fairfield Makes it Official, Names Hunt New Coach". USCHO.com. 2000-06-12. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  5. ^ "Fairfield Drops Hockey Program". USCHO.com. 2003-02-06. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  6. ^ "MAAC Regular Season Standings". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  7. ^ "MAAC Tournament". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
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