Mass. Girls D2 Top 10
Mass. Girls Division 2 hockey was one of the most competitive in the state last season and should be again, with a plethora of strong teams capable of making a strong run.
Sandwich won the Cape & Islands League last winter, and graduates just two players from a club that won 17 games. We will go with Sandwich (17-5-1) as the pre-season #1 team in the HNIB News Massachusetts Division 2 Pre-season Top 10.
The Blue Knights feel that an earlier-than-expected exit from the post-season last year left a bad taste.
#2 Winchester (15-4-4) returns 18 players from a club that lost to eventual state champion Algonquin in overtime in the quarterfinals last year. The Red & Black have a solid core.
#3 Duxbury (19-3-2) sat atop the D2 rankings most the season last year before falling to Canton in the quarterfinal round. The entire blue line corp returns, as does goalie Anna McGinty. The key will be on offense, as the Dragons will be without Ayla Abban (transfer) and Lily Sparrow (injury) this winter.
Another team that reached the quarterfinal round last year was #4 Archbishop Williams (14-6-3). The Bishops return three of their top four scorers, and have added Maggie Lynch, the top goal scorer in the state last season with North Quincy/Quincy.
#5 Canton (18-7-0), which lost in double OT in the state final last winter, has a new head coach in Nikki Petrich. With Carolyn Durand in goal and Maya Battista leading the defense, the Bulldogs will be tough to beat.
Braintree (17-5-1) starts the new season at #6, led by a rock-solid defensive unit. If the Wamps can score on a regular basis, they will be in the mix.
#7 Barnstable (11-9-0) is loaded with quality senior forwards and looks forward to a big year. Keep an eye on the Red Hawks this winter.
Defending state champ Algonquin (19-3-2) is at #8. The Titans also have a new coach in Tina Beauchemin, and must overcome the loss of state tournament hero Mallory Farrell and Lana Pacific. There still is plenty in the cupboard for another strong year.
#9 Malden Catholic (14-8-2) had several big wins a year ago, and also reached the D2 quarterfinal round. A strong class returns for new coach Alexa Hingston.
Rounding out the Top 10 is the Tri-Valley League’s Norwood (17-4-1). The Mustangs possess solid depth.
As was the case last winter, there are many other programs who you could see in these rankings over the course of the season.