Central Mass. Top 10 Poll: #1 Shrewsbury clearly a cut above

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.

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Central Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeam[tooltip text="PR*" gravity="ne"]Previous Ranking[/tooltip]WLT
3North Middlesex3924

No. 1 Shrewsbury is the lone unbeaten team in Central Mass. and remains atop the HNIB News weekly Top 10 poll. Shrewsbury stayed perfect at 13-0 following an 8-4 victory over No. 7 Nashoba Regional. Matt Ward and Tyler Borys each had two goals for the Colonials.

Nashoba faces an uphill battle to claim its first D3 tournament berth at 7-8. The Chieftains have moved up a division and have endured an uneven season, but a late season push could enable them to qualify. Bryce Chaput remains a scoring force for Nashoba and he’s hardly alone.  Dean Anastas produced a hat trick against Shrewsbury, which has allowed only 19 goals in 13 games.

Matt DeVito converted a feed from Matt McCarthy late in the game to enable No. 3 North Middlesex to tie Mass. D1 foe Bishop Fenwick, 3-3. McCarthy had two goals in addition to his assist. Matthew McCarthy had a goal and two assists, including the helper on Matthew DeVito’s tying goal late in the third period for the Patriots. North Middlesex netminder Joe Sheridan continued his solid play following a 30-save performance.

No. 4 Algonquin beat No. 5 Groton-Dunstable, 2-1 in what could be a playoff preview.

No. 7 Grafton hit a bump in the road following a 5-1 loss to Oakmont. Jake Hewitt had a hat trick for Oakmont. Tyler Hart scored the lone Grafton goal.

No. 10 Littleton moved into the weekly poll after beating Assabet and tying No. 6 Lunenburg. The Tigers could be the team to beat in Division 3A. Joe Mitchell, who has 16 goals and seven assists, leads the Tigers and is among the scoring leaders in his division. Balance has been the key for the Tigers, who have received scoring from all three lines.

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