Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Division 4 Top 10: Sandwich Back On Top; Stoneham, Watertown On The Rise

Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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Massachusetts Boys D4 Top 10

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Entering the first week of 2022, we’ve already established some stability regarding which teams belong in the inaugural Hockey Night in Boston Massachusetts Division 4 rankings. As for the correct order? That’s another story.

Sandwich has been lurking at or near the top all season, and the Blue Knights are back in the No. 1 spot after icing Middleboro in their lone game last week. The Blue Knights host resurgent Nauset and an intriguing matchup with Central Mass. unbeaten Hopedale.

As expected, No. 2 Stoneham has begun to assert itself after getting outside the tough Middlesex Liberty. The Spartans won all three games last week, including a thrilling last-minute comeback over previously unbeaten Masconomet to win their Stoneham Hockey Classic. But a huge ML Freedom matchup with Burlington looms for the Spartans.

Norwell dropped out of the top spot to No. 3 after losing for the first time last week against neighboring rival Hanover. The Clippers resume defense of their South Shore title this week vs. East/West Bridgewater and Middleboro.

No. 4 Nantucket fell to Nauset last week before bouncing back against St. John Paul II. Keep an eye on the island next Sunday, when Norwell is scheduled to pay a visit.

Winthrop holds steady at No. 5 and the Vikings enter 2022 still in search of their first win after taking a break last week. That quest begins Friday on the road vs. Marblehead.

No. 6 Shawsheen edged past Central Mass. foe Westboro last week, and the Rams get back at it this week a bit closer to home, visiting Lowell Catholic and Methuen.

No. 7 Watertown is in the same boat as ML Freedom rival Stoneham. The Raiders rolled in the Everett Christmas Tournament, and also beat Wakefield in league play, which continues this week vs. Melrose and Burlington.

Fitchburg/Monty Tech gets bumped down to No. 8, despite winning its lone game last week vs. archrival Leominster. The Bulldogs were slated to be busy this week with games vs. Gardner, Littleton/Bromfield and Lunenburg/Ayer Shirley.

No. 9 Ashland sandwiched wins over Oliver Ames and Abington around a tough loss to D3 North Middlesex. The Clockers continue to test themselves against Tri-Valley Large rivals Hopkinton and Medfield this week.

The lone new entry this week is No. 10 Grafton/Blackstone Valley. The Gators fell to Worcester in a shootout of the Grafton Holiday Tournament, but their lone MIAA defeat was in overtime to D2 West Springfield.

** Featured photo courtesy of @BEACHSKATES

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