The Eastern Mass. Division 3 South pairings are out. The South qualified 21 teams. Combined with the North, the Eastern Mass. tourney is a 34-team division, each team vying for a trip to the TD Garden in March.
Here is a look at the field:
#1 Hanover (17-2-2)
The Indians are the top seed once again. North Quincy was the lone Division 3 team to knock off the Indians this season, one of only two regular-season losses in the last two seasons.
Hanover is the defending South champions and has ruled the South for much of the past six seasons. It also won in 2016, lost in the 2015 finals to Norwell and won the 2014 tourney. One state title in that run (2016), the team’s first since 2007 and third overall.
Hanover is led by sophomore Manning Morris (19-18-37), junior Ethan Davis (13-13-26) and Lucas Lanagan (16-8-24). Senior goalie Kevin Chandler has a 1.59 GAA and 0.919 save percentage.
#2 Norwell (15-4-2)
Norwell came on super strong after a quiet start. The South Shore League champs were 1-3-1 in their first five until they turned it on. They went 14-1-1 from there on out.
Seniors Eddie Fettuccia and Oween Ebsary and junior Luke Norton have had solid years up front. Senior Charles Dole is a solid defenseman and sophomore Sean Ennis projects to get the call in the cage.
The Clippers have only allowed 37 goals and scored 94 this season.
#3 North Quincy (16-5-0)
The Red Raiders proved they can be a contender by picking up the lone Division 3 win over Hanover. North Quincy hasn’t made that much noise in recent tournaments. But playing its fair share of Division 2 competition, we suspect they’ll be ready to rock here in the South this winter’s postseason.
Noah Wines, John Early and Ronan Kelly are some of the top scorers on the team. Asher Wines has seen most of the time in net.
#4 Bourne (14-5-1)
The Canalmen have been one of the top South teams the past couple of seasons. It won 15 games last season and lost in the quarters to Ashland.
This year, Bourne had a hot streak when it went 10-0-0.
Max Hess has been solid pumping home 13 goals and a super impressive 30 assists. Twin brother Joe Hess is at 18-16-34, and Chase Lapworth (11-20-31), Christian Mulkern (14-15-29) and Kyle Casano (14-10-24) can also score.
#5 Greater New Bedford (14-5-1)
Greater New Bedford gets to prove its worth in the shark tank that is the South tourney. The team is coming off a season-ending loss to Southeastern/West Bridgewater, 5-1, in the state vocational championship.
Jacob “Spicy” Lopes has had the hot hand. He has scored 45 goals and added 22 assists. Matt Medeiros had a 16-14-30 season, and Matt LeBoeuf (5-15-20) and Spencer Raposo (10-9-19) have also contributed to the Bears’ offense.
#6 Bishop Stang (14-5-1)
Stang is hoping the tourney is a fresh slate. The team lost three out of four down the stretch after being one of the South’s top teams most of the season. But the losses were to South iron Coyle & Cassidy, Hanover and Norwell.
Caleb Ikkela (11-16-27), Ben Saunders (3-23-26) and Bobby Jedrey (10-12-22) lead a balanced attack.
#7 Upper Cape Tech (15-6-0)
Upper Cape Tech is another team that has to prove its worth after picking up a lot of wins against not-so-great competition. They have players like Joey McArdle, Kevin Flynn and Josh Winiarski who can score.
#8 Martha’s Vineyard (12-5-3)
The Vineyarders only lost one game in their final six. They’ll be depending on senior leadership from Ian Trance and Hunter Ponte in the postseason.
#9 Ashland (12-5-3)
Ashland was a semifinalist last year, where it lost to Hanover, 6-1. The Clockers were a .500 team entering the tourney last year but did much better this regular season. They’ll be ready after playing in the tough Tri-Valley League Large that includes Westwood, Medfield and Norwood.
Brian Gazzard (19-16-35), Jackson Hornung (17-8-25) and Jack Merrill 5-11-16) have led the way in scoring.
#10 Coyle & Cassidy (12-6-2)
Coyle & Cassidy should be considered a serious threat to take the South. This is a team that beat Shrewsbury, the team that won the last two Division 3 championships, doubled-up Medfield and swept Bishop Stang. The Warriors did lose to Hanover, 4-0.
Senior veterans Drew Arpin and Ben Tufts will be leaders for the Warriors, while senior Brett Borges should get the call in goal.
#11 Hopkinton (12-6-2)
Hopkinton closed out the season with the Fairleigh Dickinson championship after wins over Plymouth North and Martha’s Vineyard. The team won 12 games this season and split the season series with Ashland while impressing by battling Westwood before a 4-3 loss.
Captain Steve Simoes drives the offense for the Hillers.
Dartmouth had a strong middle of the season but struggled a bit down the stretch, playing .500 hockey in its final eight games. Dartmouth was swept by Bishop Stang and lost to Coyle & Cassidy and Bourne.
Angelo Nicolosi (10-15-25), Murphy LePage (11-10-21), Will Cote (7-14-21), Payton Allen (10-10-20) and Bryce Souza (12-8-20) are players to watch in the postseason.
#13 Foxboro (11-6-3)
Foxboro had a four-goals-per-game offense this season. The Warriors were unbeaten in their final six games. Kirk Leach (15-20-35), Ronnie MacLellan (14-20-34) and Brendan Tully (18-15-33) led the way for Foxboro.
#14 Rockland (11-8-1)
Rockland, which with Hanover has been one of the dominant teams in the South, had a quiet campaign this winter. It hopes to make some noise in the tourney.
Evan Gormley (24-15-39), Nick Blonde (17-19-36) and Logan Murphy (6-10-16) are the top scorers for the Dogs.
#15 Diman (12-9-0)
The Bengals picked up 12 wins and finished third in the Mayflower League. Gage Minior (25-21-46), Jordan Crowley (14-16-30) and Devon Ferreira (10-14-24) power Diman’s offense.
It scored 80 goals but allowed the same number.
#16 Nantucket (9-7-2)
Nantucket missed the 2018 tourney after a stellar, 19-win 2017 in which it made the South semis and lost to Rockland. The team only lost one game in its final eight this winter.
Seniors Austin Starr and Robby Hickman will be major factors.
#17 Attleboro (10-9-2)
Attleboro is certainly an up-and-down team. The team beat Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk, 10-3, to close the season. It lost two of three before that. The Bombardiers looked strong early at 4-0-0, but played less-than-.500 hockey from there.
#18 St. John Paul II (10-9-1)
The John Paul II Lions out of Hyannis come into the postseason winning two of their last four. It closed things, though, with a 5-1 loss to Bishop Stang and a 1-0 loss to St. Joseph Prep.
Ben Baxter put up 28 points with 11 goals, and teammate Joey Manning scored 10 goals and added 14 assists.
#19 Middleboro/Hull (9-8-3)
Middleboro/Hull is playing some good hockey. It lost only once in its final seven games. Ethan Matos and Jake Dagesse are some of the goal-scorers for the Sachems.
#20 Mashpee/Monomoy (9-9-2)
Noah Tambolleo, Cam Coomber and Kyle Gabri are hoping to spark the Monarchs in the postseason. The team finished up with a 4-1 win over East Bridgewater.
#21 Silver Lake (8-10-4)
The Lakers didn’t lose in their final five. David Marani (15-11-26), Alex Heffernan (13-13-26), Kevin Cardarelli (14-10-24) and Andrew Johnson (7-15-22) are the leading scorers for Silver Lake.