Girls D1 Prep Tourney Preview: Playoffs teams know each other well

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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The 2015 New England Girls Prep Division I playoffs get underway on Wednesday with four quarterfinal games. There should not be much unfamiliarity heading into the games, as the eight playoff teams know each other well, playing several games during the season against each other.

Here is Wednesday’s schedule with game times:

#8 Loomis Chaffee (17-5-3) at #1 Kent (19-0-1), 5pm

#7 Choate (15-6-3) at #2 Williston-Northampton (19-0-4), 4:15pm

#6 St. Paul’s (19-4-2) at #3 Nobles (24-2-2), 4:45pm

#5 Pomfret (16-5-2) at #4 Tabor (18-4-1), 4:15pm

Morgan Fisher Williston
Morgan Fisher

#1 Kent had a memorable season, going undefeated in the regular season, with only a 1-1 tie against Westminster in early December the only blemish to date. The Lions draw Founders League rival #8 Loomis Chaffee in the quarterfinal round. In two regular season games, Kent defeated Loomis 1-0 and 4-1. The Lions played two other playoff teams during the season, posting wins over Pomfret (2-0) and Choate (2-1). Loomis Chaffee had five other games vs. playoff clubs: beating Choate (5-2), tying Nobles (3-3) and losing to Choate (2-1), Pomfret (3-0) and Williston (2-1).

Ally Slowe Nobles
Ally Slowe

#2 Williston also finished the regular season unbeaten. The Wildcats draw #7 Choate in the first round, a Wild Boars team playing well down the stretch, going 5-0-2 in their last seven. The two teams played to a 3-3 tie during the regular season. In games against other playoff clubs, Williston had wins over Nobles (1-0), Tabor (3-0) and Loomis Chaffee (2-1), while tying Pomfret twice (1-1 and 3-3). Choate also had several games with playoff clubs, beating Nobles (2-1), Tabor (5-2) and Loomis Chaffee (2-1), and losing to Pomfret (3-0), Loomis Chaffee (5-2) and Kent (2-1).

McKenna Newkirk - Pomfret
McKenna Newkirk – Pomfret

#3 Nobles (14-2-2) is 18-0-1 in its last 19, since a 1-0 loss to Williston. They draw ISL rival #6 St. Paul’s (19-4-2) in the quarterfinals. The two teams met during the regular season with Nobles prevailing, 1-0. The ‘Dawgs have beaten Pomfret (2-0) and Tabor (1-0), tied Loomis Chaffee (3-3) and, in addition to Williston, lost to Choate (2-1). Other than the Nobles game, St. Paul’s only played one other playoff team, skating to a 4-4 draw with Tabor.

#4 Tabor and #5 Pomfret just played this past Friday, with the Seawolves prevailing by a 2-1 score. They are also red-hot, going 13-0-1 in their final 14 games. During the regular season, Tabor tied St. Paul’s (4-4) and lost to Nobles (1-0), Choate (5-2) and Williston (3-0). Pomfret, which enters the playoffs having lost its last two regular season games, posted regular season wins over Choate (3-0) and Loomis Chaffee (3-0), had the pair of ties with Williston (3-3, 1-1), and lost to Nobles (2-0) and Kent (2-0) in addition to Tabor.

In short, it looks like a highly-competitive playoff season, with any one of the eight teams capable of winning the title.

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