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Final EMass D3 Top 10: Hanover, Rockland, Hopkinton lead the way

EMass Division 3 Top 10 Poll

9Coyle & Cassidy6976
10St. Joseph PrepNR1471

And that’s a wrap.

The Eastern Mass. Division 3 boys hockey season has come and gone. The East Coasters couldn’t bring home the big prize as Shrewsbury defeated Hanover, 2-1, in an epic final game at the TD Garden.

The easties have been denied the state title now in eight of the last 11 years. The last three Eastern Mass. champs in this division were Hanover (2016), Watertown (2015) and Marblehead (2011).

Hanover is an obvious choice for our final No. 1 for the 2017-2018. It’s a spot they never lost after we opened the year with Rockland as the preseason No. 1 but bumped Hanover to the top spot in the Dec. 26 poll.

The Indians went undefeated until the showdown at the Garden. Hanover loses some quality seniors but naturally will be back. The Indians are 20-4 in the postseason since 2014. They know how to replace. The question is will they continue this dominant pace in Eastern Mass.? They outscored their foes, 28-1, in the postseason before appearing at the Garden.

Rockland should have no shame in another successful season, which ended in a 6-0 loss to Hanover in the South championship. They’ve battled Hanover for South supremacy. There has been no South final without at least one of them since 2014. Twenty wins is 20 wins. Well done, Bulldogs.

Hopkinton finished third in Eastern Mass. with wins at 19. The Hillers beat Dartmouth, 7-2, and battled Rockland in the semis before falling, 4-3. Absolutely no shame in a Tri-Valley League championship/19-win season.

Swampscott took the No. 7 spot in our preseason poll but faded away with a .500 performance the first half of the season. But the Big Blue surged down the stretch, going 8-1-1 in their final 10 games and winning four straight to capture their second North title since 2013. The Big Blue will have challenges replacing their senior losses being one of the smallest schools in the division.

Wayland, like Swampscott, was super hot down the stretch, too. It squeezed into the tournament then just kept winning all the way to the North final. Having Wayland be competitive in the North makes all the stars in Eastern Mass. align again. The Warriors have won three North titles since 2011 and were denied a fourth this winter by Swampscott.

Lowell was last year’s Swampscott thanks to this year’s Swampscott. Confused? Probably. Lowell last year knocked off No. 1 Swampscott in the quarterfinals. This year, Swampscott knocked off No. 1 Lowell. The Red Raiders certainly had to be disappointed but can’t be too dissatisfied with a 15-win season.

Bourne stood tall most of the season in the grueling South. The Canalmen made a decent showing in the postseason, beating Silver Lake and getting nipped by tourney upstart and second-to-last-seed Ashland, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.

Lynn was one of the best teams in the North, falling in the semis to neighbor Swampscott. The Jets finished with 13 wins, among the highest in the division.

Coyle & Cassidy moved down to Division 3 this season and held its own, for the most part. It has some work to do to cut through the upper-echelon of the South, though. The Warriors were 1-3-1 against Bishop Stang, Rockland and Hanover.

St. Joseph Prep had a solid 14 wins this season. The team knocked off Newton South with an impressive postseason win before falling to Wayland in the semis.

Dom Nicastro

Dom Nicastro

Dom Nicastro is a veteran sportswriter and journalist whose credits include the Gloucester Daily Times, Salem News, Lawrence Eagle-Tribune and Boston Magazine. This is his seventh season working for Hockey Night in Boston Magazine. He covers boys Eastern Mass. Division 3 and Rhode Island. He can be reached via email at [email protected]
Dom Nicastro
- 1 year ago