EMass Boys Division 3 Top 10
Who would have thunk it? A team not ranked in the final regular season Top 10 rises to the top at the end of the postseason.
#1 Hopkinton more than proved its worth in its incredible run to its first Division 3 Eastern Mass. crown. The Hillers, seeded 11th out of 21 teams in the South sectional, capped off their improbable run with an 8-3 win over North champ Lowell March 13 in the finals.
“We just have a bunch of kids who believe in each other,” Hopkinton coach Chris MacPherson said after the D3 state semifinal at Tsongas Center. “They care about each other. They genuinely care about each other. And they come to the rink every day, just push each other to get better every single day. And it’s really just fun to watch.”
#2 Lowell earned its spot after another North title, its second in two years. The team won 46 games in the last three seasons, earning the No. 1 seed in the North last year. They’ll miss Thomas Hassett and Benjamin Asselin in the scoring department.
“We had a really good season,” Lowell coach Brian Akashian said. “I’m very proud. Our seniors stuck with it. They could have left and played somewhere else but they stuck with it and represented their city and their school and did a really good job for us. We won the league and we won our section and unfortunately we didn’t make it to the Garden.”
#3 Ashland had the win of the season, beating top-seed Hanover in the South quarterfinals. The Clockers advanced to the South finals and ended up unbeaten in 14 out of 15 games heading into that finals bout against Tri-Valley League foe Hopkinton.
#4 Newton South was deservedly our top North team for much of the season. The Lions fell to Lowell in the North finals but still had a solid season, going unbeaten in nine games leading to the North finals.
#5 Hanover is naturally disappointed in its early exit in the postseason. Three of its top four scorers are back next season.
#6 Coyle Cassidy was a contender all season. Big wins included Bishop Stang (twice), Medfield, Shrewsbury and, of course, Norwell in the postseason. The train stopped big-time in a 7-0 loss to a Hopkinton team that averaged six goals a game in the postseason.
#7 Norwell fell to Coyle in the quarters but won 16 games, third behind Hanover and Hopkinton. Norwell was the hottest team in the South, going unbeaten in 17 straight games before falling to Coyle.
#8 Bourne made its presence felt in the South, advancing to the semis and battling Ashland before losing, 4-3. The Canalmen won two tourney games and won 16 games, one of the best finishes in Eastern Mass.
#9 Lynn finished up another solid campaign in the North, winning a postseason game and ending up with 13 victories.
#10 Dracut/Tyngsboro certainly impressed at times this season. The team won two North tourney games and beat Newton South in the regular season.