Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Poll
|5||St. John's Prep||7||3||1||0|
|10||St. Mary's (L)||16||3||1||3|
|15||St. John's (S)||NR||4||1||1|
As we exit 2017, No. 1 Central Catholic has cemented its status as the division’s top team at the season’s quarter pole. Entering the Peter Frates Winter Classic after a nine-day layoff, the Raiders were rested and ready.
After toppling Pope Francis, 3-1, in the semifinals, Central pulled away from host St. John’s Prep in the third period of the championship game for a 5-1 win. Big, fast, physical and defensively sound, Central is backstopped by junior goalie Matt Pasquale, whose early numbers – 0.40 gaa, .980 save pct., 3 SOs – are off the charts. Junior forward Will Winship (six goals) has been deadly on the power play.
Following Wednesday’s non-league meeting with Austin Prep, Central has a stretch of seven MVC/DCL One games before taking on Catholic Memorial and Malden Catholic to close out January.
No. 2 Pope Francis opened last week with a 6-1 romp past Framingham before getting shut down by Central in the Frates Classic semifinal. They rebounded to tie BC High in the consolation game, 3-3. Senior forward Brendan Nehmer (8-6-14) is off to a sizzling start. The Cardinals face St. Peter-Marian and Austin Prep this week to kick off a stretch of six consecutive home games.
No. 3 Burlington, once again re-tooled, is doing what it does better than most teams. The Red Devils aren’t flashy but they are assuredly efficient, as evidenced by their +15 differential. Wakefield and Wilmington are on the docket this week for the Middlesex League Freedom Division leaders. Senior forward Frankie Bonanno and senior goalie Paul Barbieri, both captains, are driving the bus.
No. 4 Austin Prep lost to St. Mary’s (L) for the first time in six years in the semifinal of The Christie Serino Christmas Classic but stays put after rebounding with a 5-1 decision of No. 11 Malden Catholic in the consolation game. This week’s non-league encounters with Central Catholic and Pope Francis will surely test the Cougars, who are getting steady production from forwards Alex Maffeo, Nick Cafarelli and J.J. Harding.
After opening the week with a double-digit rout of St. Joseph’s (CT), No. 5 St. John’s Prep got two goals from sophomore Brian Carrabes and a 36-save performance by senior goalie Cam Ludwig in its 2-1 Frates Classic semifinal win against BC High. However, SJP couldn’t fend off Central Catholic in the title game. The Eagles visit Framingham Wednesday and Malden Catholic on Saturday.
No. 6 BC High is bound to start scoring in bunches at some point. They launched 37 SOG against St. John’s and scrapped for a 3-3 tie against Pope Francis in the Frates Classic consolation. Defense is not an issue as they are yielding a meager two goals per game. Weymouth and Xaverian await this week.
Unbeaten No. 7 Xaverian won three of four this week, surrendering a single point in a 3-3 tie against resurgent No. 15 St. John’s of Shrewsbury. The Hawks are getting balanced production and have outscored opponents, 29-6. They take on Needham and B.C. High this week.
No. 8 Catholic Memorial bumps up two spots after rolling to the championship in its inaugural Catholic Memorial Christmas Tournament via shutouts of Bergen Catholic (NJ), 5-0, and Bishop Fenwick, 7-0. It’s a busy week for the Knights with games against Needham, Malden Catholic and No. 14 Hingham.
No. 9 Franklin is rolling. The Panthers reached the title game of the Mount St. Charles Holiday Faceoff, falling to Fairfield Prep (CT) in double OT, 3-2, which goes into the books as an MIAA tie. They defeated LaSalle (PA), 4-2, and Bishop Guertin (NH), 2-1. It’s a light week as they are off until Saturday’s date with Stoughton.
No. 10 St. Mary’s (L) climbs six spots after its championship performance in the Serino Classic. Senior goalie Kevin McMullen snagged tournament MVP honors as the Spartans edged Austin Prep and then knocked off Hingham in a shootout. They return to league play against Bishop Fenwick and Arlington Catholic this week.