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Central Mass. Top 10: Auburn makes poll appearance

Central Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Shrewsbury1911
2Algonquin2831
3Grafton/BVT41201
4North Middlesex6551
5Lunenburg51021
6Groton-DunstableNR690
7Westborough7652
8Hudson8534
9Worcester9831
10AuburnNR831

This has been a special year for No. 10 Auburn, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its State Championship. Now the Rockets have another reason to celebrate as  they have made their first appearance in the weekly Top 10 poll.

Following a 2-1 win over Marlborough on Saturday, Auburn is on the cusp of qualifying for the tournament. Anthony List scored the game-winning goal at 14:02 of the final period. Jordan Bartlett also scored as the Rockets improved to 8-3-1.

Despite a recent skid, No. 6 Groton-Dunstable has also entered the weekly poll. It will need a strong finish to qualify for the tournament, but Groton-Dunstable already owns wins over several tourney-bound teams.

No. 1 Shrewsbury continues to roll. The Colonials posted a win and a tie against division rivals Wachusett and No. 4 North Middlesex. Anthony Quinlivan scored two goals and added three assists as Shrewsbury beat Wachusett, 8-1. Earlier in the week, he had a hat trick in a 5-5 tie with North Middlesex. Ethan Freeman, Matthew DeVito and Nick White produced third period goals to help the Patriots earn the tie.

No. 8 Hudson blanked Leominster, 2-0. Kyle Lally and Bryce Miranda scored third-period goals for the Hawks. It was the second shutout of the week for Ryan Gonzalez.

No. 2 Algonquin shut out Wachusett, 2-0 behind Matthew Bogdanski’s 21 saves. Jack Thibodeau and Sean Prendergast scored one goal each.

Connor Viviano scored two goals and set up another as No. 5 Lunenburg/Ayer defeated Nashoba, 3-1.

Ryan Vigeant snapped a tie at 11:31 of the third period as No. 9 Worcester beat Oakmont 5-2. P.J. Sharry added two goals and an assist.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Ben Tolman scored a pair of goals to lead Fitchburg past Assabet Valley, 5-2. Ethan Hoecker, Devin LeBlanc and Nathan Jorge added one goal apiece.

*Ryan Hunt scored the game-winning goal as Littleton edged Northbridge, 5-3. Danny Angell added one goal and set up two others for the Tigers.

*Charlie Farrah scored two goals to lead Grafton to a 3-1 decision over Oakmont. Greg Morin scored for Oakmont.

Fran Sypek

Fran Sypek

Fran has covered hockey at all levels, NHL, AHL, junior, college and high school for the Springfield Republican from 1978-2013. His column "Hockey Talk'' appeared in the Sunday Republican. The hockey beat took him from Maine to Arizona in the United States and from Newfoundland to Alberta in Canada. Fran was the recipient of the Matthew Ryan Award for Outstanding Coverage of High School Hockey and the Janet McCormick Award from the Springfield Olympics. He then shifted from pros to college when the University of Massachusetts restored its program and joined Hockey East. Later, he continued covering the Boston Bruins and the Springfield Falcons. Fran's covered future NHL players from Western Massachusetts in Paul Fenton, Bob Kudelski, Rick Bennett and Bill Guerin. He is a member of the Bessone Award committee, which helps select the top high school hockey player in Western Mass. Fran was a goalie for Holyoke Community College in 1973-74 and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1977. Fran is currently a free lance writer living in Bondsville, Mass and grew up in Chicopee, Mass, has visited all 50 states, and is an avid photographer.