Central Mass. Top 10 Poll
For most of the regular season, No. 1 North Middlesex was Avis to Shrewsbury’s Hertz. The Patriots may have been No. 2 most of the way, but they tried harder.
After falling in a late-season game with Shrewsbury, the Patriots were able to wrestle the top spot in the poll away from the Colonials. But the real test would come during the tournament. That’s when defense, which was North MIddlesex’ calling card, came up big.
North Middlesex advanced to the final after beating Wachusett, 2-1 before defeating Shrewsbury by the same score in the championship game. The season came to an end after a 5-2 loss to eventual state Division runner-up Agawam in the Central-West crossover.
“I’m proud of these kids,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “They had a great season.”
Led by the stellar goaltending of Marc Frederick, the Patriots were a tough team to play against during the post-season. Josh Miller, Ryan McCarthy and Justin Estrella gave the offense a boost.
No. 2 Shrewsbury dominated for most of the regular season before running into a hot North Middlesex team. The Colonials were not able to defend their state Division III title.
No. 3 Algonquin lost, 7-3 to Shrewsbury in the semifinals. No. 4 Wachusett saw its season end following a tough, one-goal loss to North Middlesex.
No. 5. Leominster suffered a 4-1 loss to Wachusett in the quarterfinals.
No. 6 Nashoba won the state Division 3A championship following a 4-2 win over Chicopee Comp. It was the program’s first state title and the Chieftains allowed only two postseason goals.
No. 7 Worcester beat Grafton, 5-1 and Fitchburg, 3-2 in a shootout to advance to the final. But it lost, 3-0, to Nashoba in the sectional final.
No. 8. LIttleton fell to Fitchburg, 4-0 in the quarterfinals and No. 9 Oakmont was edged, 3-2, by No. 10 Northbridge in the quarterfinals.