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NEHJ Prep Hockey Top 10 Rankings – February 14, 2018
1. Salisbury (20-1-1)
A loss might not have been the worst thing that could have happened to Andrew Will’s team. Better in a somewhat meaningless regular season game than in the playoffs. This week is a light schedule for Salisbury with just one game against an underachieving Avon Old Farms squad.
2. Rivers (22-1-2)
Sophomore defenseman Pat Lawn, whose game has really developed the past year under Shawn McEachern, committed to Bentley on Tuesday. The Red Wings face just one last real tough test before the post-season, a Friday road game at Exeter.
3. Kimball Union (21-5-1)
The defense, led by Jordan Harris, Bryce Dolan and Christian Felton, will be the strength of this squad as it enters the post-season, but the Wildcats still need to find a scoring touch before a one-and-done setting.
4. Milton (16-2-1)
The Mustangs haven’t lost since the Flood-Marr Tournament, and continue to make easy work of much of their opposition. Paul Cannata’s team outscored its opposition 19-1 last week. ’02 freshman Matt Beniers has three goals and five assists over the last four games.
5. Dexter (15-4-2)
Dan Donato’s team hasn’t played a game since Feb. 3, but will play three in a four day span this week. It should a relatively easy slate except for the Friday home game against Winchendon.
6. Northfield Mount Hermon (19-3-3)
The Hoggers face two tough opponents in Exeter and Loomis-Chaffee this week. Kevin Czepiel’s team doesn’t have much breathing room when it comes to staying in the top eight of the all-important rankings to make the Elite 8 Tournament.
7. Exeter (22-3-1)
The Big Red face two stiff tests this week, an away game at NMH and a home date with Rivers. Dana Barbin’s team has the depth and experience to knock off just about any team in prep hockey so it should be an interesting week ahead.
8. Cushing (18-7-1)
The Penguins have certainly hit a bump in the road as of late. A lack of depth and relying on two to three players to provide most of the attack has caught up to Steve Jacobs’ team. Saturday’s home tilt against KUA provides an opportunity to prove they belong in the mix.
9. Thayer (12-9-1)
The Tigers are riding a six-game winning streak that includes victories over St. Seb’s, Nobles, Belmont Hill and Lawrence. It’s hard to believe this team started off so poorly, but Gavin Fitzpatrick is playing well in net now and Jay O’Brien is still Jay O’Brien. Prep hockey’s top draft prospect had five goals and two assists in two games last week. Tony Amonte’s team could be peaking at the right time.
10. Westminster (13-6-1)
The Martlets hit a huge bump in the road last week, but this is a team that has faced a tough schedule and passes the eye test more than some of the other teams in the running for the 10th spot here. This week could be make or break with two solid opponents on the docket.