With the season coming to a close, it is time to look at who will finish the year in my edition of the top 20. Take a look to see who finished where and feel free to let me know who is going to do some damage in the playoffs on Twitter! Let’s dig in:
1. BC High: The Eagles have not left my number one spot the ENTIRE season as I believe they are the best team in MIAA hockey. They have an impressive record with a win and tie over #2 Pope Francis, the only other team who I believe could have been slotted into the top spot. The Eagles will enter the Super 8 as one of the favorites and it will be interesting to see if they can repeat.
2. Pope Francis: The Cardinals enter the playoffs with a great shot of getting back to the Garden. They are coming off of a Cardinal Classic championship in overtime over #8 St. Mary’s Lynn. They only have one MIAA loss on the year and it is to #1 BC High in a one goal game.
3. Hingham: I have the Harbormen as my top ranked public school for the season. They battled many top teams this year and most recently knocked off Arlington Catholic and #8 Duxbury on their way to facing off against #1 BC High in the buddy Ferreira championship game. Unfortunately, they lost the championship 3-0.
4. Arlington: The Spy Ponders enter the final season rankings one spot behind Hingham, a team that they tied earlier in the season. With only three losses the entire season, Arlington enters the playoffs coming off a massive 9-3 victory over #20 Andover. They are a near lock for the Super 8.
5. Austin Prep: Austin Prep has had an extremely impressive season so far and finished the Buddy Ferreira Classic with wins over #7 Duxbury and #11 Reading (overtime). They unfortunately could not knock off #1 BC High along the way. Austin Prep will be a tough out as they should have a good feeling about their Super 8 chances.
6. Framingham: The Flyers are the only team on this list that has beaten #1 BC High, which created a lot of buzz for themselves. With a record of 16-3-2, the Flyers are on track for a Super 8 appearance as they ended the season strong with a Cahoon Cup Championship.
7. Duxbury: The Dragons entered the Buddy Ferreira Classic red hot and won their first-round matchup with Archbishop Williams. They unfortunately lost both their next games against #5 Austin Prep and #3 Hingham. The Dragons are heavily in the mix for the Super 8 based off of their accomplishments this season and it will be interesting to see where they land this weekend.
8. St. Mary’s Lynn: Coming off of an overtime loss to #2 Pope Francis in the championship of the Cardinal Classic, the Spartans should feel good about their team heading into the Super 8 / State Tournament. They hold a record of 16-5-1 and have big wins against #13 Winchester and Newburyport.
9. Canton: Yes, I believe that the committee should place Canton, a division two team, into the Super 8 play in game. They are currently undefeated and ended up winning their only tied game in overtime over a very good Boston Latin team. Canton has been dominant all season long and deserves to have a shot to compete with the states best. It is nearly a best-case scenario for the committee if the Bulldogs get a play in game. If Canton wins, they prove they can compete, if they lose they get slotted back into division two.
10. Xaverian: The Hawks are my last pick to get into the Super 8 play in game. They have had an up and down season, but finished strong with a solid 4-0 victory over #16 Melrose. They stumbled down the stretch, but having such a hard schedule helps Xaverian’s chances at getting a birth into the Super 8.
11. Reading: I like this Reading Rockets team a lot as they compete in every game they play in. With such a hard schedule, they always have a shot to climb into the top of the rankings. They played extremely well down the stretch of the season earning a victory over #4 Arlington and a tie against #5 Austin Prep. The Rockets have a shot at the Super 8 and will be a tough out in either tournament.
12. Catholic Memorial: The Knights recently split back-to-back games with St. John’s Prep. Catholic Memorial has slipped further out of Super 8 projections than they wanted, but are still qualified for the state tournament. They have potential to be the favorite in the division one south tournament if they are placed there.
13. Winchester: An impressive season for the Sachems as they are 14-6-0. A couple of impressive victories on the year includes a season sweep over #11 Reading. Winchester heads into the tournament with hopes of a trip to the Garden.
14. Burlington: The Red Devils have had a great season so far and head into the tournament after a victory over a good Chelmsford team. With a record of 13-7-0, Burlington is going to be one of the most dangerous teams in the division one north.
15. Marshfield: The Rams had high hopes of Super 8 contention when the season began, but they are on the outside looking in at the end of this year. They definitely still have a shot, as the late season victory over #10 Xaverian boosts their chances. The Rams are 13-5-2 heading into the post season and will be a favorite to return to the Garden in division one south play.
16. Melrose: The Red Raiders were the last division one team to be undefeated this year, a strong accomplishment. Unfortunately, they slowed down towards the end of the season and basically fell out of Super 8 contention. They will still be in the state tournament and have played tough games to nearly all of their opponents, making them a tough out.
17. Braintree: The Wamps hovered in and out of top 20’s all season, but find themselves back in when it really matters. They are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, heading into the postseason red hot. They feature wins over Needham, Wellesley, and Billerica this year.
18. Barnstable: Undefeated in the last year of the Old Colony League is the Red Raiders. They won the Coach Melchiono Challenge over Franklin to end the season and have battled against some of the states best. They are 12-5-3 heading into postseason play.
19. Westford Academy: The Grey Ghosts are in the top 20 for the first time this year. They had very slow start to the season, losing their first three games. They have a loss and a win over #20 Andover this year and have a tie against Billerica.
20. Andover: Andover was looking to return to the Super 8 this season and all looked well for the first half of the year. They have stumbled as of recently, but still hold the ticket to the division one north tournament where they can make some noise.
Best of the rest: Mansfield, Billerica, Needham, St. John’s Prep, Masconomet