Massachusetts Boys D4 Top 10
Entering the 2021-22 season, expanding the Hockey Night in Boston rankings to the new Division 4 figured to be a challenge. Not only were there going to be comparisons of programs that never before had skated at the same level, but some of those teams were going to be facing widely different competition.
Two weeks into the season, nothing has changed that assessment, but a lot has changed in the rankings.
Norwell is no stranger to HNIB rankings, and the Clippers move up to No. 1 after sweeping past Hopkinton, Abington and North Quincy by a combined 21-1 score.
It was tough moving Sandwich down a spot to No. 2 – after all, the Blue Knights tied Marlboro and lost to Hanover, a pair of D3 powers.
And what to do with Nantucket? The Whalers beat Dennis-Yarmouth and Martha’s Vineyard, but lost twice to Sandwich. And few teams made a big argument to move up, so the Whalers actually climb to No. 3.
That’s because a pair of teams HNIB expected – or expects – to be serious D4 contenders, have stumbled out of the gate. No. 4 Stoneham is 0-3, but all three losses were to D1 powers in the Middlesex League (Belmont, Woburn, Winchester). The guess here is the Spartans are in for a market correction, and soon.
The same is true for No. 5 Winthrop, which has losses to Danvers and Lynnfield, both in the D3 rankings.
No. 6 Shawsheen is up a couple of spots after a 3-0 start, wins over Methuen, Minuteman and Rockport.
No. 7 Fitchburg/Monty Tech took care of St. Bernard’s and Oakmont so far in its 2-0 start.
The same principles for Stoneham and Winthrop also applies to No. 8 Watertown. The Raiders also have struggled against Middlesex Liberty competition, but had little trouble with Everett/Revere in its most recent game.
No. 9 Ashland nearly cracked the preseason list, and while the Clockers are 2-2, both losses are to D2 teams, including a 4-2 effort against unbeaten Norwood.Latin Academy holds on to the No. 10 spot, and the Dragons could be there for a bit – they are off the ice until at least Jan. 12.