NEW HAVEN—When Todd Sharinn took the Staples-Weston-Shelton hockey job in 2013, he knew he’d have a team that would be able to contend for a state championship down the road.

Flash forward three years and he has the Wreckers a win from writing their names in the record books as state champions.

A lifelong hockey player and coach, Sharinn will lead third-seeded Staples (15-8) out of the tunnel on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Division III final against No. 5 Westhill-Stamford (14-6-2), an ironic twist for the former Vikings assistant.

Sharinn will be across the bench from Westhill co-coaches John Santagata and Doug Robinson after spending time in the same locker room in the past.

“They’re a very well-coached team, I used to work with them and I’ve coached with Doug and John as an assistant with two different teams in the past,” Sharinn said. “I know how much they know about the game and how much they love it and how good they are at managing and motivating their players.”

Several four year players were with the club when Sharinn — a former youth national, college and professional coach — first took the reins. He immediately set off on establishing a family identity and — though there have been bumps in the road including lopsided defeats against FCIAC giants — the Wreckers have collectively peaked at the right time.

The teams played out a pulsating game at Terry Conners Jan. 30 with the Wreckers pulling out a 3-2 win. Following that contest, both coaches noted that they might see each other down the road in the postseason.

The Wreckers have had recent success at states; they reached the DIII final in 2009 and 2011. The Stamford co-op has not reached the title game since 2001, when Stamford defeated Westhill. Staples’ lone title win came in 1981.

Trips to the final are rare for both schools, adding intrigue to Saturday’s showdown.

“We’ve been through way too much and been at this way too long,” defenseman Ian Offenberg said. “Todd pushes us way too hard for us to let this slip away. This is the biggest stage any of us have ever been on.”

“It will be fun, we have some familiarity with them so it should be a good battle,” said captain Jesse Greenspun.

Staples — which was ranked No. 1 in Division III for most of the season — reached the final by overcoming a 5-3 third period deficit to defeat Woodstock Academy 6-5 in overtime. The Wreckers fired 56 shots at the Centaurs cage, with the last one by Offenberg with 4:41 left in overtime sent his team to the win.

Westhill advanced to the final with an impressive 4-1 win over top-seeded New Fairfield-Immaculate Tuesday. Locking up the Mustangs’ top threats, Westhill played a composed semifinal after falling in the final four to Masuk a year ago.

To lift the state title, Staples will likely need it’s top players — Greenspun, Ryan Johnson and sophomore Sam New — to beat Westhill standout goalie Christian Compolattaro. In the last two tournament games, Staples has fired 103 shots on goal.

“We’re excited,” Sharinn said. “If I have to have a game to win the final, they are the team I would want to play against. I have no idea how this is going to come out, just hope that my team shows up and does their best. Whoever wins, wins.”