Rhode Island Top 10 Poll: Hendricken, MSC on a collision course

Bryan Ethier
Bryan Ethier
Bryan Ethier is a veteran HNIB writer and the author of “A History of Mount St. Charles Hockey.” Contact him at [email protected]

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Rhode Island Top 10

RankTeamWLT
1Hendricken1131
2Mount St. Charles1250
3La Salle Academy862
4Cumberland1400
5Smithfield950
6Lincoln1210
7Cranston Co-Op871
8North Kingstown1131
9Prout1050
10West Warwick-Exeter/West Greenwich1310

*Updated 2/10/14

 

As the Rhode Island high school hockey season heads into its regular-season homestretch, Cimini Conference mainstays Bishop Hendricken (11-3-1) and Mount St. Charles eye key conference matchups that will help determine playoff seedings. The first pivotal game features Mount St. Charles skating in to Thayer Arena for a 5:30 p.m. makeup game. The two titans meet for the third and final time on March 1, in a game that could decide the Cimini Conference regular season title. LaSalle, meanwhile, looks to square its record with Mount when the two meet on Feb. 14. LaSalle, heads toward the playoffs with two games against MSC and one versus Hendricken.

 

Meanwhile, this past weekend, the state’s top three teams faced off against a pair of traditionally strong Connecticut mainstays, Hamden High and Xavier HS.

 

Hendricken, still Rhode Island’s top-ranked team at 11-3-1 (8-2-1), including a win over MSC, rallied with a pair of offensive outbursts to beat Hamden, 6-3. The Green Dragons had taken a 3-1 second period lead over the hometown Hawks, before Hendricken’s depth took over. Steve Dumond converted a power play goal at 12:49 of the middle period to make it 3-2, Hamden. Brandon Mitchell tied the game at three at 14:17. The Hawks put the game in the win column with three goals in the final six minutes of play. Liam Watkinson scored the game-winner at 9:40; Jonathan Finelli added an insurance goal four minutes later, and Andrew Fera added an empty-netter in the closing seconds. Matt Kenneally made 22 saves for the Hawks; Chris Shalvey added a goal and an assist, as 10 Hawks players recorded at least one point. Hendricken’s young players have really begun to contribute offensively, a key come playoff time.

 

Tom Crudele Mt. St. Charles
Tom Crudele
Mt. St. Charles

Mount St. Charles (12-5, 11-2) hadn’t played a league game in nearly two weeks when it faced off against Hamden High, Feb 9. The Mounties slid past stubborn Hamden, 4-2, behind a three-goal second period. Mark Squizzero, Pat Holmes, and Tom Crudele each registered two points. Cameron Tedford scored his first goal of the season. Perhaps overlooked in the Mounties’ success is the fine play of senior goalie Brian Larence (22 goals allowed, 343 saves, .940 save percentage in league play).

 

La Salle (9-6-2, 7-4-1) battled tough Xavier HS of CT. to a 1-1 draw, and then edged Smithfield, 2-1, in a late Sunday matchup. Brendon Cordeiro leads the team in scoring with 5 goals and 8 assists; Ryan Tracy has 5 goals and six assists, and Evan McGreen has a team-high 8 goals. Tyler Walsh sports a .939 save percentage.

 

Cumberland (14-0, 13-0) ranks fourth in this week’s poll; the Clippers beat Rogers, 3-1, and Pilgrim 10-2, behind five points from Jake Salisbury and four from Greg Wellington.

Greg Wellington Cumberland
Greg Wellington
Cumberland

Bryan Colburn had three assists and five other players recorded at least two points apiece.

 

Number 5 Smithfield, after Sunday’s loss to La Salle, is  7-6 in league play and 9-6, overall. The Sentinels come off a 6-3 win over Cranston Co-Op as well.

 

Number 6 Lincoln (12-1) faces Cumberland on the final day of the season, March 1, in a game with conference and league championship implications. Seven players have recorded at least 10 points, with Aaron Fiske and Mike Enos each leading the club with 24 points.

 

Number 7 Cranston Co-Op heads toward the playoffs battling with Smithfield for the Eccleston regular season title. Cranston is 8-7-1 overall and 7-6-1 in league play after slipping past Barrington, 4-3. Travis Collins scored at 4:08 of overtime to lead Cranston to victory. Anthony Simeone had two first period goals, and Rudy Branca also scored. Anthony Lancellotti had 37 saves. Barrington received goals from Mike and Joe Lombardi, and Ben Russell.

 

Number 8 North Kingstown (11-3) bounced past PCD/Wheeler/St. Ray, 11-4, behind Riley Damm’s first period hat trick and three more goals from Steve Murphy.

 

Number 9 Prout School is 9-4 and 10-5 after beating East Greenwich, 1-0. The Division II Central leaders are paced by James Neri with 11 goals, while Nyle Sockbeson and Charles Baetjer each have 8 points. Austin Gemma has seen the lion’s share of the goaltending work, and he sports a .938 save percentage.

 

Number 10 West Warwick-Exeter/West Greenwich improved to 13-1 with a big 2-1 win over second place Narragansett. Anthony Ventura and Patrick Fields scored for WW, and Ivan Forcier had 14 saves. Robert Pratt had a goal and Joseph Iannelli 18 saves for Narragansett.

 

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