Central Mass Top 10: Undefeated #1 Shrewsbury has all the pieces in place

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
1Shrewsbury11500
2Wachusett21333
3North Middlesex31031
4Algonquin4961
5AuburnNR861
6Groton-Dunstable5871
7Nashoba7981
8MarlboroNR880
9Littleton101222
10OakmontNR943
Warrior-Polls

No. 1 Shrewsbury is atop the the HNIB News Central Mass.  Top 10 poll thanks in part for its ability to play shutdown defense. Add great goaltending and a balanced scoring attack to the mix and it’s easy to see why the Colonials are undefeated.

Defense and goaltending took center stage in a recent 4-0 win over No. 8 Marlboro, which entered the weekly poll this week. The defense was so stingy that goalie Pat Shaughnessey needed to make only 14 saves to earn the shutout. Most of Marlboro’s shots came from the outside and strong forechecking aided the effort.

Shane Sullivan
Wachusett

Matt Ward (16-15-31)  led the attack with one goal and two assists. Anthony Quinlivan and Jack Tepper also scored. Marlboro is 8-8 and needs a strong finish to qualify for postseason after losing three of four games.

No. 2 Wachusett earned a 5-2 victory over Marlboro, a 3-1 decision over Acton-Boxboro and dropped a 2-1 decision to Hudson. Shane Sullivan (14-21-35) scored two goals and set up another against Marlboro.

Against Acton-Boxboro, Liam Comeau had a goal and one assist. He set up Kevin Skagerlind’s game-winner at 1:20 in the third period. However, Drew Jackson and Tom Sansone scored during the final 120 seconds of the game to help Hudson spring an upset.

Bryce Chaput
Nashoba Regional

Second-period goals by Andrew Berube, Joe Zinkann, Blake Lacombe and Keegan Penney  lifted No. 5 Groton-Dunstable to a 5-2 triumph over Westboro.

No. 7 Nashoba continued its late push to secure a tournament berth with a 6-2 win over Hudson. Bryce Chaput (21-14-35) had a hat trick.

No. 9 Littleton got shutout goaltending from Ben Litchman in its 4-0 verdict over St. Bernard’s. Justin Montepeluso, Joseph Mitchell and Simon Rosenbaum scored.

No. 10 Oakmont tied Lunenburg, 4-4.

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