Massachusetts Boys Division 2 Poll
This year’s field in Massachusetts Division 2 hockey seems to be as wide-open as ever. Looking at all the teams, it appears to us that there are several teams capable of challenging for a state title, both in the North and South sections.
Which makes compiling a pre-season Top 15 all the more difficult, even with input from many of the division’s coaches, let alone a pre-season #1.
With that in mind, we will go with defending Division 2 state champion Medfield (19-1-5) to start the season. The Warriors do have some big shoes to fill up front, but the bet here says they can do it.
Returning 97% of its scoring, #2 Medway (12-8-2) should be able to score goals. But, the Mustangs need to replace Mike Purnell, a four-year starter in goal. If the goaltending is adequate, then the Mustangs will be a tough out.
Always in the mix, #3 Canton (16-3-4) needs to both develop scoring depth and settle on a new starter between the pipes.
#4 Tewksbury (14-6-2) looks like it will have good depth. The question for the Redmen, like Medway and Canton, is who will emerge as the starting goaltender.
With a veteran cast returning, #5 Peabody (12-5-4) is hoping for a further run in the post-season this winter. The Tanners do have the luxury of a returning starting goaltender in senior Aaron McDonnell, They also have some good production back up front.
The lone Division 2 team in the Middlesex League, #6 Stoneham (11-8-2) could be in for a banner year with a solid cast returning, including some scoring prowess. Their tough schedule will have the Spartans ready for the post-season.
#7 Scituate (15-9-1) also caught fire in the post-season and the Sailors are banking on feeding off that momentum this winter. They return a solid core.
#8 Gloucester (14-6-3) was impressive during the post-season last winter, and will have to be watched with the return of top scorers Liam Lyons and Sal Costanzo.
#9 Bishop Feehan (16-4-2) wrested the Eastern Athletic Conference title away from Coyle Cassidy last winter, and the Shamrocks were the only team to defeat state champion Medfield. They have to be considered a threat.
Defending North champion #10 Lincoln-Sudbury (16-7-2) entered last season rather unheralded, but had a great post-season run under coach Hal Gill. A lot of production has moved on, but goalie Cam Kessler returns.
Ranked #1 for most of last season, #11 Marblehead (24-1-1) saw its dream season end in the D2 North final. The Headers do return one of the division’s top forwards in Braden Haley, and starting goaltender Ronan Cunningham.
#12 Winthrop (13-5-2) will again be a serious challenger in the Northeastern Conference North division.
Closing out the Mass. Division 2 preseason poll are #13 North Attleboro (13-5-4), #14 Westwood (12-5-4) and #15 Lowell Catholic (15-3-3).