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Boys Prep Poll: Avon Old Farms takes over #1 spot

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Avon Old Farms21412
2Salisbury41430
3Kimball Union52031
4Phillips Exeter11731
5Gunnery31651
6Milton Academy61322
7Loomis Chaffee101143
8Brunswick71433
9Proctor111562
10Tabor151280
11Belmont HillNR1146
12Brooks121152
13RiversNR1354
14Cushing81272
15NoblesNR1162

Some key wins in games involving top 10 contenders has shuffled the top end of this week’s HNIB News Boys Prep Top 15 poll, while a handful of losses by a few ranked teams also gives the bottom half of the poll a decidedly new look, including the reappearance of two teams.

This past week’s results also see a new #1 team, as Avon Old Farms (14-1-2) takes that mantle as the calendar moves to February. The Winged Beavers won all three of their games this week, beating Westminster (5-1) and then prevailing in a pair of taut one-goal contests over Loomis Chaffee (4-3) and Choate (2-1).  AOF plays just once this week, a return engagement Wednesday with Westminster.

And look who is now #2! Yes, it is three-time defending New England Elite Tournament champion Salisbury (14-3-0). The Crimson Knights also won three more games this week, making it seven in a row. They beat Kent (4-2), Gunnery (5-3) and Berkshire (3-0). A key game looms Monday with Brunswick, followed by a date with Trinity-Pawling (Wednesday).

Also moving up is Kimball Union (20-3-1) to #3. The Wildcats, the first prep team to win 20 games this winter, blasted then #1 Phillips Exeter 8-3, and followed that with a 9-0 drubbing of Tilton. KUA takes on Northfield Wednesday, and will see Kents Hill (Friday) and Holderness (Saturday) this weekend.

Despite the loss to KUA, #4 Phillips Exeter (17-3-1) rebounded to post wins over Cushing (2-1) and St. Sebastian’s (4-1). The Big Red gets Holderness (Wednesday) and Tilton (Saturday).

#5 Gunnery (16-5-1) saw its long winning streak snapped in the loss to Salisbury, but have since posted wins over Vermont Academy (4-0) and Hill School (8-1). The Highlanders will face Millbrook on Wednesday before having the weekend off.

#6 Milton Academy (13-2-2) was idle and returns to action against St. Sebastian’s on Wednesday. The Mustangs get Roxbury Latin on Saturday.

Losses by a handful of ranked clubs, coupled with a solid 2-0 win over Brunswick propels Loomis Chaffee (11-4-3) up to #7. The Pelicans rallied from a three-goal deficit, only to lose in the final seconds to Avon Old Farms. Loomis also beat Phillips Andover (4-1). They play Williston on Wednesday.

That loss to Loomis was sandwiched by wins over Hill (2-1) and Williston (5-3) for #8 Brunswick (14-3-3), who looks to knock off Salisbury. The Bruins also get Albany Academy (Friday) and New Hampton (Sunday) this coming week.

#9 Proctor (15-6-2) split this week, beating Berwick Academy (7-2) and then falling to Tabor (4-1). The Hornets face Brewster Academy (Wednesday) and then head over the border for games Friday with Bishop’s College and Saturday with Ulysses Prep.

#10 Tabor (12-8-0) continues to play solid hockey. After the win over Proctor, the Seawolves blitzed Berwick (9-0). Tabor will see Moses Brown (Wednesday) and then have the annual Travis Roy Cup game Saturday against St. Sebastian’s.

After falling out the poll last week, #11 Belmont Hill (11-4-6) surged back in with wins over Brooks (1-0) and Cushing (5-3). The Hillies have a busy week with Lawrence Academy (Wednesday), Andover (Friday) and Rivers (Saturday).

#12 Brooks (11-5-2) followed that loss to Belmont Hill with a win over Governors Academy. The Bishops will play Dexter (Monday) and then Middlesex (Saturday).

#13 Rivers (13-5-4) had a solid week with wins over Roxbury Latin (4-1) and Middlesex (7-2) and a tie with Nobles (4-4). The Red Wings get Groton Wednesday before the Belmont Hill game Saturday.

It was a tough week for #14 Cushing (12-7-2). The Penguins dropped games to Northfield (2-1), Phillips Exeter (2-1) and Belmont Hill (5-3). They look to get back on the winning track this week with Tilton (Wednesday) and Vermont Academy (Friday).

Back in this week’s poll at #15 is Nobles (11-6-2). The Bulldogs beat St. Sebastian’s and tied Rivers and are 4-0-1 in their last five tilts. Thayer (Wednesday) and St. Paul’s (Saturday) are on this week’s docket.

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Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 25 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 3 weeks ago