MSHCA

Bracketology: Super 8

With the season approaching the halfway point, it is time to start looking at possible tournament teams. This new “Bracketology” segment will include the Super 8 and Divisions 1-3. First up is the Super 8! Let me know who will be the 10 teams featured at the end of the season Twitter!

Probable:

Xaverian: The Hawks are always in the talk when it comes to Super 8 teams because of their Catholic Conference schedule, but this season might be different for them. They have one of the most talented teams in the state and have only one loss heading into their 11th game. They have wins over BC High, Duxbury, Malden Catholic, as well as others. They are definitely a favorite for the Super 8 heading into the halfway point of the season.

Catholic Memorial: The Knights have bounced back in a strong way since their early season struggles. They are 6-0-3 in their past 9 games, with their most recent game being a tie to Xaverian. They also posted back to back wins over BC High and St. John’s Prep in early January. They will be a good candidate to get back into the Super 8.

St Mary’s Lynn: The Spartans just received their first loss of the season coming against Austin Prep. Their 8-1-1 record is one of the strongest in the state and they have only allowed 9 goals on the season. They have one of the strongest cases for the Super 8 at the halfway point.

BC High: It is hard to imagine that BC High is not a lock for the Super 8 after posting back to back Super 8 championships. They were off to their usual dominance this season before suffering two losses in a row at the hands of Catholic Memorial and Xaverian. The Eagles still have one of the best cases for the Super 8 with their extremely hard strength of schedule.

Hopefuls:

Burlington: Burlington has 9 wins in a row and are the hottest team in division 1 hockey. Their strength of schedule is good, but not as good as some of the other Super 8 hopefuls. They shouldn’t have a problem getting in if they keep up this dominant pace. Their schedule for the rest of the season is highlighted by Arlington, Barnstable, and Malden Catholic.

Arlington: The Spyponders only have one loss on the year and it is to Pope Francis. They are definitely not a lock for the Super 8, yet. They have not hit the hardest part of their schedule that includes BC High, Hingham, and Pope Francis again. They will need to have a few more signature wins to be a lock again for the Super 8.

Canton: Here we are again with the Bulldogs. They have not lost a game yet this season after going undefeated all of last year and winning the division two title in convincing fashion. Are they better this year? I am not sure of that, but I am sure that they have a more convincing schedule. They have multiple division 1 teams on their schedule this year including last year’s division 1 champion Duxbury. They also have Barnstable and Braintree left in the second half of their season. If the Bulldogs do not lose a game again this year, I have a hard time believing they are not a Super 8 team.

Framingham: The Flyers started the year going 6 games undefeated before losing to BC High in a one-goal game. They have an impressive resume so far, highlighted by a My Hockey Live Cup championship. Some of their big wins so far include Pope Francis, Braintree, and Natick. Their senior goalie Jake Handy keeps them in nearly every game they play in. The Flyers have a solid case for the Super 8, but will need to avoid losing games down the stretch.

St. John’s Prep: The Eagles have been very hard to judge so far this season as they have a 4-3-2 record so far this season. Even with a mediocre record, they boast wins over Xaverian, Pope Francis, Framingham, and Danvers. Their list of wins is one of the most impressive in the state, but in order to sneak into the Super 8 they will need to limit the losses in the second half of their season.

Pope Francis: The Cardinals are not what they were the past two seasons, sitting at 4-3-1 so far. They are headed in the right direction, as they are 2-0-1 in their past three games with a win over Austin Prep. They have a big test in their next game as they have BC High and then Arlington after that.

Austin Prep: Austin Prep is coming off of an impressive 2-1 win over St. Mary’s Lynn. At the halfway point, Austin Prep is 5-3-2. They are another team with impressive wins, but will need to limit the losses moving forward to get into the Super 8.

Central Catholic: Central was off to a great start this year after a down year last year. They came out of the gate 4-0-1 with wins over Catholic Memorial and Pope Francis. Since then they have slowed down and are 7-4-1 at the moment. Even if they do not get into the Super 8, Central proved last year was just a down year.

Duxbury: Duxbury won the division 1 title last year and brought back a very similar roster this year. They have not played as dominant as expected, but still sit with only two losses and a healthy chance at the Super 8. They will need to capitalize on some big games in their second half such as Hingham, Plymouth North, and the Buddy Ferreira Classic.

Hingham: It is a down year for Hingham, but they still have a shot at the Super 8. They are 6-4-0 and a few good wins in St. John’s Prep, Marshfield, and Braintree. The Harbormen will need to get hot in the second half to get into the Super 8.

Archbishop Williams: Archies has a 5-3-2 record so far and have bounced in and out of rankings all year. They have wins over Austin Prep and Lowell Catholic, but have a few bad losses in the mix. They will need to capitalize on their Catholic Central schedule in order to sneak into the Super 8.

Reading: The Rockets are not exactly where they want to be, but a winning record with their tough schedule is definitely good enough to make the list. They fail to have any real good signature wins, but have opportunity for that in the second half and a run in the Buddy Ferreira Classic could steal them a spot in the Super 8.

MY SUPER 8 PREDICTION:
1- Xaverian
2- Catholic Memorial
3- BC High
4- St. Mary’s Lynn
5- Arlington
6- Burlington
7- Pope Francis (Play-in)
8- Framingham (Play-in)
9- Canton (Play-in)
10- St. John’s Prep (Play-in)

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