|1||Avon Old Farms||2||14||1||2|
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.