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Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Division 1 Top 20: Pope Francis Still #1 After Tumultuous Week Yields 17 Changes

Massachusetts Boys D1 Top 20

1Pope Francis1400
2BC High22
3Austin Prep7512
4Belmont 8401
7St. Mary's4321
8Abp. Williams13603
9St. John's (S)5110
11Catholic Memorial15120
13St. John's Prep14001
19Newburyport NR401

Postponements – 24 in Division One this past week – pile up. Schedules continue to evolve on the fly. The lack of high profile non-league games makes it difficult to assess the true strengths of many clubs. And so it goes.

This much seems pretty clear: No. 1 Pope Francis (4-0-0) is the class of the division. The Cardinals handled a pair of Catholic Central Large clubs this week, Bishop Feehan and St. Mary’s, by a cumulative 11-3 margin. PF will see Bishop Feehan again on Tuesday.

No. 2 BC High (2-0-0) of the Catholic Conference is in the midst of one of those black holes in their schedule. By the time the Eagles face off against Catholic Memorial Wednesday, they will have not skated a meaningful minute in 14 days.

No. 3 Austin Prep (5-1-2) took control of the Catholic Central Large race by shutting down St. Mary’s on Saturday, 3-0. The Cougars also silenced Arlington Catholic earlier in the week, 2-0. It’s a busy week for AP, which has a key Saturday tilt against Archbishop Williams.

Unbeaten No. 4 Belmont (4-0-1) of the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division makes a big jump this week, climbing four spots. After tying a surging Winchester squad on MLK Day, 2-2, the Marauders squeezed past Reading, 2-1, to move into first place. They face off with Reading again on Wednesday.

No. 5 Woburn (3-0-1) of the Middlesex Liberty holds a game in hand on Belmont in the league race. The Tanners tied Reading on the holiday, had Wednesday’s game postponed and don’t hit the ice again until Jan. 30.

Undefeated No. 6 Hingham (6-0-0) bumps up one notch after taking down Patriot League foes Whitman-Hanson and Marshfield as well as non-league opponent Bp. Stang. The Harbormen have one of the division’s best goal differentials at plus-21 (26-5).

It was a rugged stretch for No. 7 St. Mary’s (3-2-1), which defeated Arlington Catholic before consecutive losses to Pope Francis and Austin Prep. The Spartans face off against Bp. Feehan twice this week.

Unbeaten No. 8 Archbishop Williams (6-0-3), the division’s busiest team, climbed five more spots this week after knocking off Bp. Feehan, Bp. Stang and Lowell Catholic. The Bishops face Feehan again Wednesday and visit Austin Prep in a key Catholic Central clash Saturday.

No. 9 St. John’s of Shrewsbury (1-1-0) hadn’t played in 10 days when it fell to Catholic Memorial Saturday, 3-0, after defeating CM in its opener, 3-2. The Pioneers are scheduled to play at St. John’s Prep Thursday and to host Malden Catholic next Sunday.

No. 10 Braintree (3-0-1) took three of four points from Milton in Bay State Herget action, a 3-3 tie and 3-0 win. The Wamps have a home-and-home with Needham this week.

No. 11 Catholic Memorial (1-2-0) had a season-sustaining win against SJS, splitting the season series. The Knights take on B.C. High Wednesday in their only game this week.

No. 12 Xaverian (0-1-1) hasn’t played since Jan. 16 and hopes to resume action Wednesday at Malden Catholic, which hasn’t played at all.

No. 13 St. John’s Prep (0-0-1) has also been off the ice since Jan. 16. The Eagles could play twice this week against MC. Or Wednesday’s game against SJS could be the extent of their action.

No. 14 Burlington (2-2-0) took it on the chin twice in Middlesex League Freedom Division action with 3-1 losses to Stoneham and Wakefield. The Red Devils shoot to rebound against Wakefield Wednesday.

After tying Belmont and defeating Arlington in Middlesex Liberty play, No. 15 Winchester (3-1-1) makes its poll debut. The Sachems take on Arlington again Wednesday.

No. 16 Marshfield (2-1-2) of the Patriot League, No. 17 Franklin (4-1-0) of the Hockomock League, No. 18 Arlington (1-3-0) of the Middlesex Liberty, No. 19 Newburyport (4-0-1) of the Cape Ann League, and No. 20 Falmouth (3-0-0) of the Cape & Islands League complete the rankings.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40
Kevin Doyle
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