With the halfway point in the rear view mirror for most teams, the rankings have less changes every week with BC High nearly cementing themselves as the best team in the state. The Middlesex vs Catholic Showdown today should provide a few upsets. Lets take a look where everyone sits as of right now:
1. BC High: Just as it looked like Austin Prep could pass BC High as the top team in the state, they lost to #2 Pope Francis in convincing fashion. The Eagles handled #6 Catholic Memorial and #9 Xaverian with ease this week as they remain the best and most dominant team in the state.
2. Pope Francis: The Cardinals are back up to number two this week after an impressive victory over #4 Austin Prep by a score of 4 to 0. The talent is finally shining for Pope Francis as they have won five games in a row, featuring wins over #4 Austin Prep and #8 Framingham. They play St. Johns (S) in their next game.
3. Arlington: With their eyes set on a January 28th matchup with #4 Austin Prep, the Spy Ponders have just one loss on the year and that is to #1 BC High. This past week they beat both Wakefield and Belmont, scoring a combined 11 goals in these two games.
4. Austin Prep: A tough loss to #2 Pope Francis knocks the Cougars off of the undefeated plateau. Still a Super 8 contender, Austin Prep plays St. Johns (S) in their next contest.
5. St. Mary’s Lynn: The Spartans have 11 wins this season with only one loss so far, automatically qualifying for the state tournament, but they have their eyes set on the Super 8. Seven wins in a row and St Mary’s Lynn is cruising past their halfway point on the season. Next up for them is #10 Hingham.
6. Catholic Memorial: A loss to #1 BC High was expected, but the Knights are still having a solid year so far. Their next three games are against teams out of the rankings, but good enough to give them a tough time. These teams are Reading, Falmouth and Malden Catholic.
7. Melrose: Still undefeated are the Red Raiders. They are already creating a buzz around them, but todays matchup with #14 St. Johns Prep will arguably be their toughest task of the season to this point. A win today may cement them to the top half of the rankings.
8. Framingham: After losing a one goal game to #2 Pope Francis, the Flyers have won three straight games. They look forward to playing Newton North next then face off against #18 Walpole on January 26th.
9. Xaverian: The Hawks suffered their second loss of the season to #1 BC High in a 6 to 2 game. The Hawks are looking to get back in the win column against Belmont today in a Middlesex vs Catholic day of games.
10. Hingham: The Harbormen are back in the top 10 after a 3 to 0 victory over Reading a week ago. A strong start to the year was followed by some ups and downs, but for Hingham they hope this three-game winning streak can continue as they play #5 St. Mary’s Lynn in their next game.
11. Duxbury: With still an outside shot at the Super 8, the Dragons already have 10 wins on the year. Their next two games could push them further into Super 8 discussions as they play #12 Marshfield followed by #9 Xaverian.
12. Marshfield: A dominant win over a very good Falmouth team has the Rams up at #12 this week. They can push ahead even further with a win over rival #11 Duxbury today in the Green Cup.
13. Archbishop Williams: After a loss to #5 St. Mary’s Lynn, the Bishops followed up by beating a good Lowell Catholic team. Archbishop Williams still has strong opponents remaining to propel them into the top of the rankings, but they need to take advantage of their next two games against Matignon and Arlington Catholic.
14. St. Johns Prep: A losing record is not where St. Johns Prep wanted to be at this point in the season, but nearly all of those losses have been to the top half of the rankings, including a loss and tie to #1 BC High. Things do not get easier as today they play undefeated #7 Melrose.
15. Barnstable: Something I look for in a high school hockey team is which teams can play in the loud atmospheres and win big games. Barnstable played in front of a massive crowd this past week as they hosted Falmouth as both teams student sections showed up heavily. The Red Raiders won the contest 5 to 3 and continue their impressive season.
16. Andover: With no losses in their past six games, Andover is red hot entering a matchup against #2 Pope Francis. Andover is currently 1-1-1 against ranked opponents and has a great opportunity to make a splash against the Cardinals of Pope Francis.
17. Billerica: New to the rankings are the Indians as they have three wins in a row. In their games against ranked opponents, they are 1-0-1. They play Methuen next followed by #15 Barnstable.
18. Walpole: The Rebels of Walpole have a very strong record of 7-2-2, but have not played a very tough schedule to this point. They have one ranked opponent so far and it was a loss to #19 Mansfield. They look to keep the winning going against a good Needham team in their next game.
19. Mansfield: With still only two losses on the year, it is difficult to keep the Hornets out of the top 20. As of right now the Hornets only have one ranked opponent left on their schedule and it is #18 Walpole, which makes it tough to climb in the rankings. Mansfield can set their eyes on a high tournament seed and hopefully a long run.
20. Burlington: Back to back ties against #7 Melrose and Reading have the Red Devils sitting at #20. Unlike a few of the teams above Burlington, they have plenty of ranked opponents left on the schedule to help them climb the rankings with a few wins in these contests. They play #1 BC High today in hopes of a massive upset.
Best of the rest: Winchester, Westford Academy, Reading, Braintree, Falmouth