Massachusetts Division 2 Boys Poll
* Updated 1/19/14
Top-ranked Beverly (11-0-1) did nothing other than solidify its #1 spot in the HNIB News Mass. Division II poll this week, rolling to a pair of wins over Wakefield (8-0) and Gloucester (8-1), a game that saw Graham Doherty score four goals.
The Panthers will have to be sharp Monday, when they travel to Skate 3 and take on Division I foe Westford Academy (2:30pm faceoff). Beverly is then off until a Saturday matinee at Salem State against league rival Danvers.
There has been a flip-flop in the next two spots. Lincoln-Sudbury (8-1-2) moves up to the #2 spot thanks to a 3-1 showdown win over now #3 Tewksbury (8-2-1) this past week. Idle on Saturday, the Warriors take to the road this week at Peabody Monday and at Concord-Carlisle on Saturday.
The Redmen did get back to their winning ways on Saturday blanking Methuen, 2-0. Their week ahead includes Billerica on Wednesday and Haverhill on Saturday.
And look what’s looming: Tewksbury vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, round two on January 29th at the New England Sports Center.
#4 Marblehead (8-3-0) blanked Gloucester (4-0) in its only action of the week. The Headers have an interesting week, travelling out to the Olympia in West Springfield on Monday to take on WMass power Agawam (12:30 pm) and then hosting Winthrop on Saturday (2:50pm) with a chance to avenge one of its three losses on the season. Tom Koopman leads the offensive attack.
Martha’s Vineyard (7-1-1) moves up to #5. The Vineyarders have outscored their last three opponents by a 24-4 margin.
“We have seemed to really hit a good stride over the past few days,” said Martha’s Vineyard coach Matt Mincone. “Our good start was based on last year’s finish, we seemed to pick up where we left off with minimal wrinkles. We lost a senior forward (Sam Burke) at the UNH Tourney and needed to find some cohesiveness with our younger players.”
Tyson Araujo (13-17-30) is having a banner campaign for MV. “Tyson is having a great season,” Mincone said. “He has really good vision on the ice and is creating a lot of coverage openings for his linemates. He really developed over the past few years and took the time to work on some fundamentals. It’s showing.”
Senior Brian Fraser (9-7-16) and sophomore Emerson Mahoney (6-6-12) are also off to good starts, while the Vineyarders blue line corps of Alexander Vukota (3-8-11), Matt Davies, Andrew Carroll and Nick Vukota (+11) have been doing the job defensively.
#6 Masconomet (6-2-2) saw its Saturday game with Pentucket postponed, so when it takes the ice against #7 North Reading (7-1-1) in a key Cape Ann League clash this coming Saturday (3:10pm, Valley Forum) it will be 10 days between games. Mike Castro (13 pts) and Joe Griffin (12 pts) continue to lead the attack for the Chieftains.
The Hornets also will be off for 10 days until that contest. Junior Jared Potter (8-8-16) and senior Thomas Day are offensive leaders. Senior veteran Keith Linnane (1.50 gaa) has excelled between the pipes.
Another team that continues to impress is #8 Plymouth South (7-1-1). PS downed Sandwich, 4-2, on Saturday as Joey MacLeod had a pair of goals. The team has been a bit of a suprise.
“We have caught a few teams off-guard,” said Plymouth South coach Mike McCosh. “Our teams in the past have always had those one or two players that would always get a few points every game and we would focus on that. This year we have no superstars and all grinders. There have been 14 different goal scorers for our team. No one player is lighting it up, just a team effort every game.”
Senior goalie Dylan O’Connell has been at the top of his game, while the defensive unit led by Joey Good, Shawn Peckham, Dorian Johnson, George Thurston, Jake Dunn and Nick Costa are doing a tremendous job controlling the blue line. The group is coached by former Boston College standout David Whyte.
“If out team can stay focused and healthy, we should be able to stay on course,” McCosh said. “With no superstars or high goal scorers, they must be focused and ready to play every night. There is no first, second or third line on this team.”
An impressive 4-1 win over Oliver Ames, on the back of an 8-0 win over Milford, seems to have #9 Canton (3-2-4) on the verge of making a nice run. Matt Lazaro and Ben Lodge are offensive stalwarts for the Bulldogs, who have little time to rest on their laurels, traveling to Newburyport (3:00pm) Monday for a key non-league tussle, then battling Medfield on Wednesday.
The loss to Canton drops Oliver Ames (5-2-2) to the #10 spot. But the Tigers still need to be watched. They take on Quincy (Monday), Stoughton (Wednesday) and Brockton (Saturday) this week.
#11 Medfield‘s (7-1-1) lone decision this week was a 3-1 win over Pembroke. The Warriors look to sophomore Matt Treiber (14 pts), senior Pat Lawler (13 pts) and sophomore John MacLean (12 pts) for production. They have a key tilt at Canton Wednesday (6:30 pm) and another on Saturday when they host Westwood (4:30pm).
#12 Amesbury‘s (5-2-2) big game with North Reading was snowed out Saturday, so coach Chris Kuchar’s team will need to be strong Monday in a non-league affair with Danvers (1:05pm, Valley Forum). They host Triton on Saturday.
Rounding out this week’s Top 15 poll will be #13 Concord-Carlisle (4-2-1), #14 Winthrop (7-4-0) and #15 Medway (7-2-1)