Massachusetts Division 1 Boys Poll
|8||St. John's (S)||10||4||6|
|15||St. John's Prep||7||9||2|
As the regular season winds down – can there really be only a week to go? – No. 1 Malden Catholic (14-3-0) has regained its position on top of Hockey Night In Boston’s Massachusetts Division I boys poll.
The No. 1 Lancers put together as dominant a week as they’ve had this season, following last Saturday’s win against B.C. High with a decisive decision of Wilmington on Monday (6-0) and a complete dismantling of Catholic Memorial on Friday (11-0). Northeastern-bound sophomore Matt Filipe popped a hat trick in that one while UNH commit Ara Nazarian added a pair.
Just as they did a year ago, when they closed the regular-season on a prolonged winning streak, the three-time defending 1A champions are now on a six-game roll heading into the season’s final week, which includes their annual trek to the Springfield Cathedral Tournament.
It seems a bit unfair to drop No. 2 B.C. High (12-1-4) down in the same week they won the Catholic Conference championship. The Eagles, who ruled the roost for five straight weeks, didn’t have a bad week in response to their loss to MC – it just wasn’t anywhere near as dominant. The Eagles also shut out CM (5-0) but had to rally for a 4-4 tie against St. John’s of Shrewsbury on Friday before quieting Falmouth Sunday, 6-0, in their Buddy Ferreira Classic opener.
No. 3 Springfield Cathedral (13-2-4) reminded everyone just how potent it can be when it steamrolled St. John’s Prep Saturday, 10-2. The Panthers are 5-0-3 since a mid-season loss to Central Catholic as they head into a final week that will determine where they land in the D-1A field. Aside from goaltender John Liquori, there is not a senior on the roster.
Resilient No. 4 Austin Prep (12-3-4) has kept finding ways to win despite trailing many of its games in the past month in the third period. The Cougars walloped Bishop Fenwick to wrap up the Catholic Central Large crown and opened with a solid 5-1 decision of Waltham Sunday at the Buddy Ferreira Classic.
No. 5 Central Catholic (12-3-3) won both of its league games this week and is poised to wrap up yet another MVC/DCL One championship. The Raiders kick off the week Monday against slumping Catholic Memorial, complete their league schedule against Andover and Acton-Boxboro and also have a make-up with Hingham.
No changes for No. 6 St. Mary’s (13-5-2), which lost for just the second time in 16 games when it dropped its lone game of the week to Archbishop Williams, 4-2. This week’s trip to the Springfield Cathedral Tournament will tell a lot about the Spartans, who face Malden Catholic in Wednesday’s semifinals.
One would have to dig deep into the archives to determine the last time No. 7 Catholic Memorial (9-5-3) endured a more difficult week. The Knights were outscored by B.C. High and MC by a cumulative, 16-0, and are 0-4-1 in their last five.
No. 8 St. John’s of Shrewsbury (9-4-6) raised its D-1A profile with a pair of 4-4 ties against St. John’s Prep and B.C. High. The Pioneers leaned heavily on goalie Mario Pizzeri, who had 74 saves in those two games and then posted a 4-0 shutout of Coyle-Cassidy on Sunday.
No. 9 Xaverian (8-3-6) knocked off Westford Academy in its only action of the week. The Hawks close with St. Peter-Marian Monday and St. John’s (S) Wednesday in a game that could go a long way toward determining D-1A consideration for both.
No. 10 Duxbury (13-2-3) returns to the Top 10 as the lone public school after scoring a solid 5-3 win against Arlington Catholic at the Ferreira Classic on Saturday.