Massachusetts Division 2 Boys Poll
The top two teams in the HNIB News Massachusetts Division II poll have remained the same this week, but there certainly was a lot of upheaval in the rest of the poll.
#1 Beverly (9-0-1) was idle on Saturday and remain in the top spot thanks to a win this week over league rival Winthrop. The Panthers have a non-league game Monday at Gloucester against Wakefield, then host Gloucester this Saturday.
#2 Tewksbury (7-1-1) and new #3 Lincoln–Sudbury (7-1-2) will collide this Wednesday, January 15th at 7:30pm at Tewksbury’s Breakaway Center.
The Redmen graduated a lot from last winter’s team, so the 7-1-1 start has been a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff.
“We did not know what to expect this season,” said Tewksbury coach Derek Doherty. “We are young but have good leadership from the three seniors (Ross Budryk, Jack Cash, Jeff Giasullo) we have. We know with hard work we can do well.
“The key to success this season is playing with confidence. And trying to eliminate mental mistakes.
Conversely, L-S returned the majority of its team this season, but under the direction of a new head coach in Tom Pare.
“Being in the program as an assistant last seven years has really helped in my transition as the head coach this season,” Pare said. “I have placed my own wrinkle in terms of our play, but the kids deserve the credit, accepting their individual roles and our overall team philosophy right from the first week of tryouts.”
Both teams will be ready for Wednesday’s showdown.
“Tewksbury is always the team to beat in our league; year in and year out they produce great players, they’re very well coached. It will be a huge measuring stick for us. Our mindset is simple: play our game and at maximum effort and we’ll give ourselves a chance to win,” said Pare.
“Play hard and things will happen,” Tewksbury’s Doherty said. “Lincoln-Sudbury is a good team so we can’t take a shift off.”
The Redmen have been led up front by juniors Ryan Petti (10-10-20) and Ryan Meade (4-8-12), as well as the stellar goaltending of junior Kyle Paquette (1.15 gaa).
The Warriors have been led by senior captain Ryan Jones, a defenseman, and assistant captains Ryan Dale (defense) and Mike Walsh (forward). The first line of Jacob Sacher (6-12-18), Matt Jacobs (13-8-21) and Eric Holden (6-4-10) has been a force.
#4 Oliver Ames (4-1-1) dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten with a loss to D-1 Mansfield, but they then rebounded with a win Saturday over North Attleboro. The Tigers have a busy week, at Wellesley Monday, at Foxboro Wednesday and hosting Canton on Saturday.
Marblehead (7-3-0) moves up to #5. The Headers dispatched Peabody and Swampsott last week. Their only game this week will be a trip to Gloucester on Wednesday.
Weather postponed Martha’s Vineyard (5-1-1) trip to Coyle-Cassidy on Saturday. This week the Vineyarders, who downed Bourne, 11-2, last Wednesday, get to stay at home, hosting Bishop Stang (Wednesday) and Bishop Feehan (Saturday). Tyson Araujo (9-14-23) continues his solid season.
With a big win over Amesbury, Masconomet (5-2-2) moves up to #7. The Chieftains, led offensively by Michael Castro and Joe Griffin, both with 10 points, have two league games this week, with Saugus on Wednesday and Pentucket on Saturday.
Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Pentucket, dropped #8 North Reading (6-1-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten and a few spots in the poll. The Hornets are at Lynnfield on Wednesday and then at #9 Amesbury (5-1-2) on Saturday. Amesbury lost for the first time this week, in that Masconomet loss.
The top ten is rounded out by #10 Plymouth South (6-0-1), still unbeaten after a 3-0 win over D-1 foe Falmouth. PS, which has allowed only eight goals this year, has a tough week, at Marshfield on Wednesday and hosting Sandwich on Saturday.
Newcomers to the Top 15 poll this week include Concord–Carlisle (4-2-1) at #13 and Medway (5-2-1) at #15 in its first year in Division II.