South Shore high school boys hockey Top 10 ranking
Rounding up the usual suspects for our latest high school hockey top 10 list of Patriot Ledger/Enterprise boys.
Nine of the teams we featured in the first issue on January 5 are back for the second installment. The exception is BC High, which has lost five of its last six and is now essentially 11th in our ranking. The Eagles play a brutally tough schedule, however, so skip their postseason chances at your peril.
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With the postseason fast approaching, the South Shore should again have several contenders for the state title. The latest MIAA performance rankings, released Tuesday morning, had two local teams in first place – Duxbury in Division 2 and Norwell in Div. 4 – and 11 other clubs in the top 10 in their respective divisions.
Records from February 1st and last week’s ranking are in parentheses.
1. Hingham (8-1-4, 6)
Talk about running the gauntlet. The Harbormen’s next three games are on Saturday against Pope Francis (9-1-3), on Sunday against Reading (8-2-1) and on February 8 against Catholic Memorial (13-1). Hingham already has big wins over Arlington (11-2-2) and Canton (12-3) and played against St. John’s Prep (11-1-1), Marshfield (12-1-2), Braintree (7- 4-1) and St. Mary’s (9-3-3) to a draw, so the task ahead is at least manageable. “We played games,” said coach Tony Messina. “Sometimes it’s not pretty, but we find ways to get to the top or at least not lose.” Senior goaltender Luke McLellan was a standout player in his first year as a starter. “We are very happy with his performance so far,” said Messina. “He stepped in and kept us in every game.”
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2nd marching field (12-1-2, 4)
The Rams lost outright on Sunday, losing a 2-0 decision to Belmont. Her other loss – to Framingham in December – was a foundation game that doesn’t count for MIAA seeding purposes. A 4-1 win over Silver Lake on Saturday gave coach Dan Connolly his 350th career win. He called it a “nice number”. Marshfield’s recent success has been built on a suffocating defense that made six straight shutouts in its opener in January. The Rams conceded just four goals in nine games throughout the month as the goaltender tandem of senior Brady Quackenbush and junior Kevin Murphy was sharp. “I think Division 1 is wide open,” Connolly said of his team’s chances of winning a third state crown under his watch. “In a single-elimination tournament, every team has a chance.”
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3 Duxbury (10-4-2, 3)
The Dragons started the season 1-2-2 but have been 9-2 ever since, with both losses going to Marshfield 4-0 and 1-0. Duxbury are the only team so far to beat Norwell (4-2 on December 29) or Hingham (4-2 on January 2); These two teams are a combined 22-0-4 when playing someone else. The Dragons also pulled off a huge 4-2 win over Plymouth South on Wednesday. Senior goalkeeper Sam Mazanec who was great in last year’s run to Div. 2-state semifinals, has a 2.45 clean sheet average and a .951 save rate. The Dragons get a big scoring boost from the blue line with senior Brendan Bonner (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points) and junior Michael Hussey (4-12–16) matching the production of forward Aiden Harrington (7-13 –) complete. 20) and Connor O’Connell (8-12–20).
4. Archbishop Williams (10-5, NR)
The Bishops saw their five-game winning streak end in overtime on Tuesday from Franklin (12-3). The five opponents they had beaten were a combined 40-25-7 so the run was a quality run punctuated by a 5-3 win from behind against Canton (12-3) in which the Bishops had four goals scored in the third season. Archies’ offense was evenly balanced with 10 players in double digits led by the trio of Finn Kelly (14-4–18), Pembroke’s Matt Deminico (3-11–14) and Casey Kelley (5-7-). -12). Weymouth defender Matt Keenan came on with a 4-6-10 goal line and Avon senior goalie Cole Sweet was a standout, particularly against Canton. Catholic Monument (13-1) and Pope Francis (9-1-3) are on the schedule, so the course won’t be easy.
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5th Canton (12-3, 1)
The Bulldogs were 6-0 and #1 when we first created this top 10. They’ve been 6-3 since then – hence the slip to fifth – and coach Brian Shuman is looking for a bit more consistency after watching his side give up four third-half goals in a loss to Archbishop Williams and fall back in the first period of the 1st quarter :3 loss to Hingham on Sunday at the Ed Burns Coffee Pot Tournament relegated 3-0. “We have to find a way to put together a full 45-minute performance against good teams,” said Shuman, whose team was the Div. 2nd national vice champion a year ago. The Bulldogs have eight players with 10 or more points, led by Jack Digirolamo (5-12–17), Brendan Tourgee (7-8–15), Brian Middleton (8-4–12) and AJ Thomas (7th -4–11). Wellesley (11-2) is up next, on February 5th.
6. Braintree (7-4-1, 8)
Three of the Wamps’ losses came against powerhouses Pope Francis (9-1-3), Wellesley (12-2) and Arlington (11-2-2), the latter two in overtime. Braintree also ran to a 2-2 draw with Hingham (8-1-4). Sunday’s showdown with Marshfield (12-1-2) at the Ed Burns Coffee Pot Tournament in Canton should be good, and the rematch with Arlington wraps up the regular season schedule on February 22 at Zapustas Arena. As usual, the Wamps are taking a balanced approach to scoring, with Nick Fasano (7-3–10), Anthony Cappello (6-3–9) and Charlie Dimartino (4-5–9) taking the lead . Drew Coady anchors the blue line and senior goaltender Ryan Cochrane sports a 2.50 goals-against average.
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7. Norwell (14-1, 7)
Business as usual for the Clippers, whose only loss came against Duxbury (10-4-2) on December 29. Norwell entered week #1 in MIAA Div. 4 Power Rankings, ahead of Winthrop (10-2-1) and owns wins over Nos. 3 (Sandwich), 10 (Cohasset/Hull), 12 (Abington), 13 (Latin Academy), 16 (Rockland) and 23 ( West/East Bridgewater) seeds. The Clippers also beat Scituate (No. 2 in Div. 3) and Hannover (No. 9 in Div. 3), so another deep playoff run seems inevitable. Norwell only brought back six players from last year’s club who made it to the state semi-finals, but senior striker Timmy Ward (17-21–38) was a valuable follower. Coach Jim Casagrande said, “He was a great leader and took his game even further from the All-Star level.”
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8. Plymouth South (11-3-1, 9)
The Panthers ended their seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) on Wednesday with a 2-4 loss to Duxbury. Their other losses were against crosstown rivals Plymouth North (in overtime) and against Hannover in the first game of the season. Junior winger Sean McNamara had 14 points in his first 13 games, including a hat-trick against St. John Paul II to speed up offense. “Sean has improved offensively this year,” said coach Stephen Whyte. Freshman center Liam Kailher has also provided a spark, including the OT winner against Scituate on Jan. 11. Defenders James Lopes and Zack Miller were key alongside senior goalies Tristan Holmes and Matt Mulligan. The challenging track run includes matches against Marshfield, Scituate, Silver Lake and Oliver Ames.
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9. Place (10-4-2, 10)
The Sailors, #2 in the latest MIAA Div. 3 Power Rankings, are the highest-scoring team in our top 10 with 73 goals, averaging 4.6 goals per game. Teagen Pratt (15-18–33) leads the way, followed by James Sullivan (6-22–28 ), Johnny Donahue (10-14–24) and defenseman Matt Seghezzi (5-11–16). “We have three lines that all play well and create attacks,” said coach Brian Hurcombe. Scituate lost to Norwell (14-1), Pembroke (6-6-1), Plymouth South (11-3-1) and Marshfield (12-1-2). The Sailors also own ties against Duxbury (10-4-2) and defend Div. 3rd State Champion Hanover. Their best wins are against Whitman-Hanson (9-6) and Silver Lake (10-4-1). A forthcoming four-game swing against Hanover, Plymouth South, Barnstable and Pembroke will be a tough test.
10. Silver Lake (10-4-1, 5)
The Lakers broke a three-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over Quincy on Wednesday. The losses came against stiff competition – other top 10 players Scituate, Duxbury and Marshfield – although the games weren’t particularly close as Silver Lake was edged 14-2. Senior defender/captain Aiden Dunphy goes on offense with an 8-22-30 goal line, aided by senior forwards Brandon Cavicchi (23 points), Ben Cronin and Connor Finn. Second goalies Strummer Beals and Andy Renner impressed. “We’re getting healthier and the power play is looking good,” said coach Dan Scott. “If we take care of our own end, the offensive should find its way.”
On the bench: BC High (5-7-1), Whitman-Hanson (9-6), Milton (6-7-1), Weymouth (6-7-1), Oliver Ames (8-6-1), Cohasset/Hull (8-2-3), Pembroke (6-6-1), Southeastern/Bristol-Plymouth (6-3-1), West/East Bridgewater (7-7-1)