The Race for 8
Deerfield is now in. Lawrence is now on the outside looking in. Andover is eliminated. Williston plunges to #7. The good news is that this will all be settled on Saturday.
1. Loomis – The Pelicans can secure the #1 seed with a win over Deerfield.
2. Nobles -- Can still get the #1 seed if Loomis stumbles. Nobles is starting to get healthy again, a scary proposition for their first round opponent.
3. Kent – Are pretty much locked in at either #3 or #4 and will host a first-round game. Hard to believe that Kent is 17-1-2 and a #3 seed!
4. New Hampton -- The Huskies are rolling now and look to be in good position for home ice. Cayla Barnes has started dominating again -- and she can take over a game all by herself.
5. St. Paul’s -- Hosts Lawrence on Saturday in a must-win game. SPS still has a chance at the #4 seed and has both Tabor and Williston right on their heels for the #5 seed.
6. Tabor -- The Seawolves are also rolling again and are hoping for SPS to slip up on Saturday so they can grab the #5 seed. Tabor is another team that no one wants to host in round 1.
7. Williston -- We were really surprised to see Williston drop to #7 after being #1 just a few weeks ago, but we are certain no one wants to play Williston in round 1. They are loaded.
8. Deerfield -- It’s been an incredible run for the Big Green, but it’s also no time for celebration as they face their toughest challenge of the year traveling to Loomis Saturday. If they win, they are in.
9. Lawrence -- The Spartans have won 8 in a row and yet drop out of the top 8. That shows how incredibly close this race is. They have to beat SPS on Saturday and hope Deerfield slips.
-- If both DA and LA lose on Saturday, we believe Lawrence will move to #8 because Deerfield has played fewer games.
-- If DA ties, and LA wins or ties, we believe LA gets the 8th seed for the above-mentioned reason: Deerfield has played fewer games.
-- Another important factor to consider is BB&N. The Knights are currently 9-9-1 vs. D-I teams. If BB&N loses to Williston, they will obviously drop below .500, which will hurt a few teams, notably Lawrence, which has both beaten and tied BB&N.
Please remember to stay tuned to the USHR Girls Section for the latest updates.
Wed. Feb. 22 Notes
Deerfield Stuns Williston, 3-0
Deerfield, Mass. -- Freshman goalie Liv Mikesell’s shutout led #9-ranked Deerfield past Williston, 3-0, today, keeping the Big Green’s playoff hopes alive.
The win gives Deerfield a 9-1-1 record over its last 11 games. They are now 10-6-3 overall and have a big regular season finale at Loomis on Saturday.
Today, it was all Williston early, but Mikesell made some key saves and kept Williston off the board. Toward the end of the first, Deerfield sophomore Margaret Williams found a loose puck at the top of the circle and ripped a shot that Williston goalie Dani Marquez never saw. The Big Green added two more in the second period. First, freshman Aurora Devereaux -- with help from Williams commit Meghan Halloran, who picked the Williston defenseman’s pocket -- put Deerfield up, 2-0. Then BC commit Deirdre Mullowney scored a PP goal on a blast from the point that made it 3-0 and sealed the win for the Big Green.
Williston (17-4-2) was shutout for the second straight game, having also been blanked 3-0 by Loomis on Saturday. They finish with Winchendon Friday and then go on the road to BB&N Saturday. But right now, Williston has 3 losses in its last 5 games and will have to go on the road for the quarterfinals next Wednesday. A talented team, Williston rolls out a ton of firepower up front with Gaby Jones, Marielle McHale, Bryn Saarela and Kate Holmes all capable of scoring every time they are on the ice. But for some reason they are just out of sync right now. They are also solid on the back end with Julia MacLean having a standout game. Freshman goalie Dani Marquez didn’t play her best today, but is very capable. Look for coach Christa Talbot to right the ship by the playoffs. No one is going to want to play a wounded Williston team in the first round.
As for Deerfield, they continue to be the hottest team in D-I and seem to get better every time we watch them play. They have two very good lines and four excellent young defensemen led by Mullowney, Erin DeMarco, Ali Fujiyoshi and Alex Dougal -- all were tremendous today in slowing down Williston and keeping them away from the net. The DA power play is also very impressive and seems to score at least one power play goal every time we’ve seen them. Deerfield can beat anybody right now.
Note: This was the final game played in the famous old Deerfield barn. The school will start construction on a new rink next week.
Loomis 3, Andover 2 -- Loomis was in total control, going up 3-0 before Andover came storming back in the third period behind goals from Brooke Keogh and Lily Feeney to make it close. Unfortunately, the rally came up short and Andover is now eliminated from the postseason.
NMH 6, Southfield 3 -- Nicole Unsworth scored four goals in the Hoggers’ 6-3 blowout of Southfield.
Sun. 2/19/17-- Most recent update: Thurs. 2/23
Girls’ Prep Composite, Week of Feb. 20, 2017
Mon. Feb. 20
Berkshire @ Canterbury, 5:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Cushing, 5:00 pm
Tilton @ Vermont Academy, 5:00 pm
New Hampton @ Brewster, 4:30 pm – makeup of Feb. 10
Tues. Feb. 21
St. Paul's @ Governor's, 4:00 pm
Wed. Feb. 22
Kent @ Gunnery, 2:30 pm
Taft @ Berkshire, 2:30 pm
Groton @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Deerfield, 3:00 pm
Exeter @ Winchendon, 3:00 pm
Cushing @ Tabor, 3:30 pm
Vermont Academy @ Brewster Academy, 3:30 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ Southfield, 3:45 pm
St. Paul's vs. St. George's, 4:00 pm – at the Groton School
Hebron @ Tilton, 4:00 pm
Holderness @ Kents Hill, 4:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Rivers, 4:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Andover, 4:00 pm
Pomfret @ Milton, 4:00 pm
BB&N @ Middlesex, 4:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Choate, 5:00 pm
Governor's @ Noble & Greenough, 5:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Westminster, 5:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Brooks, 5:00 pm
Dana Hall @ Beaver Country Day , 5:15 pm
Kimball Union @ New Hampton, 5:30 pm
Fri. Feb. 24
Kents Hill @ Hebron, 3:00 pm
Rivers @ Southfield, 4:15 pm
Thayer @ BB&N, 5:00 pm
Canterbury @ Gunnery, 5:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ Greenwich, 5:00 pm
Winchendon @ Williston-Northampton, 5:30 pm
Lakes Region Tournament
#3 Proctor @ #2 KUA, 4:00 pm
#4 Vermont Academy @ #1 New Hampton, 4:00 pm
Sat. Feb. 25
St. George's @ Middlesex, 1:30 pm
Milton @ Noble & Greenough, 2:00 pm
Andover @ Exeter, 2:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Groton, 2:00 pm
Governor's @ Brooks, 2:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ BB&N, 2:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Taft, 2:30 pm
Worcester Academy @ Canterbury, 2:30 pm
Winchendon @ Pomfret, 2:30 pm
Lawrence Academy @ St. Paul's, 3:30 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
Berkshire @ Tabor, 5:00 pm
Deerfield @ Loomis-Chaffee, 5:00 pm
Kent @ Westminster, 6:00 pm
Cushing @ Choate, 7:00 pm
Lakes Region Tournament
END OF REGULAR SEASON
Sat. Feb 18th D-I Notes
St. Paul’s 3, Nobles 1 -- Tiffany Hill and Olivia Lin each scored third period goals to give St. Paul’s a huge win over Nobles. Even though SPS went down 1-0 early they were the better team for most of the game. Senior Peri Donaldson looked very solid in net. Becca Gilmore played for Nobles but is clearly not 100%.
Loomis 3, Williston 0 -- Yale commit Linda Essery had 2 goals for the Pelicans, who are making a late-season charge for a top seed. Junior Taylor Stadeli had the shutout.
Deerfield 4, Hotchkiss 0 -- Mae Emerson had 2 goals as the surging Deerfield Big Green go on the road and take care of business vs. Hotchkiss.
BB&N 5, St. Mark’s 1 -- In a bit of a surprise, BB&N rebounds off a tough loss at home last night to Lawrence to eliminate St. Mark’s from the tournament. Shannon Griffin and Kate Piacenza each scored for the Knights.
Current D-I Standings
There’s a New #1 in Town
1. Loomis – A big-time win at Williston yesterday. The Pelicans finish at Andover (Wed.) and home vs. Deerfield (Sat.). If they win those two games, they deserve the #1 seed.
2. Nobles – Final two games are against Governor’s and Milton, neither of which can help them much as Governor’s is a D-II team and Milton is a sub-.500 D-I team.
3. Kent -- Kent is ranked #1 in two of the three categories that are used in the standings. The only category in which they are not #1 is their record vs D-I teams that are over .500 so they really can’t help themselves much this week. Finish at Gunnery and at Westminster.
4T. Williston -- Williston is desperately trying to hold off New Hampton for that all-important #4 seed. Have three tough games this week: at Deerfield, home vs. Winchendon, and at BB&N.
4T. New Hampton -- New Hampton is another team that can’t improve its position much with such a weak schedule to finish the season. They have to hope for a Williston hiccup.
6. Tabor – The Seawolves finish up at home with Cushing and Berkshire. Will need to win both to hold off St. Paul’s for the #6 seed.
7. St. Paul’s -- Huge statement win yesterday, beating Nobles 3-1. Given how well they are playing it is hard to believe St. Paul’s is a #7 seed. They may be the best team in girls’ hockey right now. Finish with St. George’s and Lawrence.
8. Lawrence Academy – The Spartans have a slim lead over Deerfield for the eighth and final spot. Finish with three road games: at Cushing (makeup of Jan. 7 snow-out), at Rivers and at St. Paul’s. LA has to win at SPS on Saturday to have a chance.
9. Deerfield -- Deerfield might be the hottest team in the league right now going 8-1-1 over their last 10. If the Big Green can win both its games this week – vs. Williston and at Loomis -- we believe they will be the #8 seed -- even if Lawrence wins out.
10. Andover -- Andover is right behind Deerfield. They have to beat Loomis on Wednesday or they are done. They then finish at Exeter. The Big Blue is still very much a factor here. Do not count them out yet!
The Race for 8 Update
We have been saying for weeks that Andover was going to have its hands full trying to hold on to the precious 8th playoff spot and, after yesterday’s 5-1 loss at home to Nobles, Andover has, in fact, dropped all the way down to 10th place.
So here is how we see the standings as of today
1. Noble & Greenough -- Amazing what Nobles is doing despite missing two of their top players in seniors Becca Gilmore and Danielle Brown. The game at St. Paul’s on Saturday is another huge game: Nobles does not want to lose that #1 seed.
2. Williston-Northampton -- Solid win vs. NMH yesterday. Hosting Loomis on Saturday in another huge game. Still very much in the hunt for #1 seed if Nobles stumbles.
3. Loomis -- Also very much in the hunt for the #1 seed – if they beat Williston on Saturday and Nobles stumbles, that is. A loss could also end up costing the Pelicans home ice, which just shows how tight this race is.
4. Kent -- In a battle with New Hampton for that all-important #4 seed. Two easy games to finish the season. Could still be passed in the standings by a few teams.
5. New Hampton – The Huskies are hoping to move up and take the #4 seed and gain home ice, but with three weak games remaining we’re not sure that is possible.
6. Tabor -- The Seawolves are tied with St. Paul’s for 6th place. Not sure they will be able to improve their position much with their three remaining games. The way they have been playing lately, no one wants to play this team in the first round.
7. St. Paul’s -- SPS is in a position to make a big leap up in the standings -- if they can beat Nobles on Saturday. Not sure if they could still get a top 4 seed but it’s certainly a possibility. Still has to play Lawrence next week.
8. Lawrence Academy -- The Spartans are in the driver’s seat right now, but they have to travel to BB&N tomorrow night in a must-win game. And BB&N will be looking to play the spoiler=. Lawrence also has to travel to SPS next Saturday – another huge game.
9. Deerfield -- The Big Green has a brutal final three games, facing Hotchkiss, Williston and Loomis. But they looked strong yesterday and may be the only team currently in the hunt that controls their own destiny -- if Deerfield wins out they are in the playoffs.
10. Andover -- Have been through a brutal stretch. Big Blue has to beat Milton on the road tomorrow – not an easy task -- to stay in the race. They cannot underestimate Worcester on Saturday either.
11. St. Mark’s – The Lions are still alive but have to beat BB&N on Saturday to have any chance. Finishing vs. two D-II opponents hurts their hope of closing the gap in the standings.
12. Choate -- The Wild Boars are still alive, but it’s a long shot. They finish with three D-I games – Taft, Hotchkiss and Cushing. However, they will need some help to close the gap.
Girls’ D-II Playoff Update
With a little over a week to go, the D-II playoff picture is becoming clearer.
We believe that four teams are locks for a playoff position, with two more close to shoring up spots. As for the #7-8 slots, it looks like a race to the end, with five teams in contention.
The four locks to make the playoffs are Worcester Academy, Rivers, Gunnery and Kimball Union.
1. Gunnery – While their overall record is deceiving at 10-8-1, their schedule is D-I heavy and they are 6-1-1 against D-II opponents. The Highlanders will certainly be prepared for a deep tourney run.
2. Worcester Academy – The Hilltoppers are locked in and, barring a collapse, will be looking at a first-round home game. The race with Gunnery for the top overall seed will likely come down to the final weekend.
3. Rivers – A bounce back win against Governor’s after two straight losses keep the Red Wings in solid position for home ice. A strong finish could bump them up a slot or two.
4. Kimball Union – KUA has put up impressive numbers with a D-II-best record of 12-1-2. It will be interesting to see if yesterday’s postponed game with current #8 Tilton is made up. It could have strong playoff implications.
* The next two schools in strong position to make the Top 8 are Thayer and Canterbury, although challenging D-I opponents down the stretch will impact their overall records.
5. Thayer -- The Tigers have dropped 3 of 4 against D-I opponents and face Nobles on Friday before ending the season with BB&N. The Tigers can’t afford any major missteps down the stretch.
6. Canterbury – An impressive 9-1-4 D-II record and an overall record of 13-6-4 keeps the Saints in solid playoff position. But with Winchendon, Berkshire, Gunnery and Worcester their final four opponents, they will be challenged to maintain their top six standing.
* The remaining two slots are still in play. As of now, we feel that St. George’s and Tilton have the inside track.
7. St. George’s – The Dragons followed up their big win over BB&N with a tie against Brooks. They finish with Groton, St. Paul’s and Middlesex. Saturday’s match with Groton will have playoff implications.
8. Tilton – The Rams currently hold down the last spot. They have Vermont Academy and Hebron left on their schedule, as well as a possible makeup with KUA. Barring any upsets they should be able to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
* The remaining contenders -- Southfield, Groton and Brooks -- have their work cut out for them.
Southfield -- With Tabor, Northfield-Mount Hermon and Rivers their final three opponents, Southfield will be hard pressed to make up ground.
Groton – Will likely have to win out to have any chance. Final three games are against St. George’s, Thayer, and St. Mark’s.
Brooks -- Ties against both St. George’s and Groton did not help their playoff push. They finish with Middlesex, Tabor, St. Mark’s and Governor’s. There is no margin of error for last year’s finalists.
Wed. Feb. 15th D-I Game Notes
Nobles 5, Andover 1 -- A shorthanded Nobles squad made a big statement today with a 5-1 thumping of Andover in a huge matchup between a pair of playoff contenders. Katie Tresca (Harvard) and the dynamic Casey O’Brien (Wisconsin) each scored two goals in the first period to put the game out of reach early. And Nobles is still without leading scorer Becca Gilmore.
This was by far the worst we have seen Andover look all season. They have now lost four in a row and will most likely drop out of the Top 8 for the first time all season. PA has given up 19 goals in this four-game losing streak so it will be very interesting to see if Coach Martha Fenton can get the Big Blue back on track with only a few games to go.
Williston 2, NMH 0 -- Williston got a goal each from the red-hot Marielle McHale and Northeastern commit Kate Holmes to blank NMH, 2-0. Dani Marquez had the shutout. Williston has an enormous game on Saturday vs. Loomis, a tilt loaded with playoff implications. Amanda Aalto was very impressive in net and had close to 40 saves for the Hoggers to keep them in the game. NMH has now been eliminated from the postseason.
Deerfield 6, Cushing 0 -- Three goals from dynamic forward Mary Edmonds and three assists from standout defenseman Deidre Mullowney (BC) led the way for the Deerfield Big Green as they kept their playoff dreams alive with a 6-0 win on the road vs. a very physical Cushing team. Deerfield has a top line that can play with anyone with Edmonds, Meghan Halloran (Williams) and Jenna Greenbaum (Colby) controlling the play. Freshman Olivia Mikesell was solid in the net. Deerfield looks like a hungry hockey team right now.
St. Mark’s 1, Thayer 0 -- Providence commit Caroline Peterson’s goal was all that was needed as St. Mark’s held off a scrappy Thayer team to keep their playoff dreams alive
Choate 3, Berkshire 2 -- The Choate Wild Boars win in overtime to remain very much a factor in the race for the 8th spot
Lawrence 5, Middlesex 0 -- With this win, LA is most likely going to move up into 8th place. The Spartans will be tested on Friday when they travel to Cambridge to take on a very scrappy BB&N team.
Mon. 2/13/17-- Wed. 2/15 Update: the weather forecast for northern New England, primarily New Hampshire and Maine, doesn't look good for Wednesday. If there are cancellations/postponements, changes to starting times, etc. please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls’ Prep Composite, Week of Feb. 13, 2017
Mon. Feb. 13
Berwick @ Pingree, 5:30 pm
Tues. Feb. 14
Groton @ Noble & Greenough, 5:15 pm
Wed. Feb. 15
Hotchkiss @ Kent, 2:30 pm
Exeter @ Tabor, 2:30 pm
Tilton @ Kimball Union, 2:30 pm
Canterbury @ Millbrook, 2:30 pm
Westminster @ Taft, 2:30 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 2:45 pm 2:30 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Middlesex, 3:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Pomfret @ Loomis-Chaffee, 3:00 pm
Brooks @ Groton, 3:00 pm
Darien HS @ Greenwich, 3:00 pm (S)
Beaver Country Day @ Newton CD, 3:30 pm
Winchendon @ Worcester Academy, 3:30 pm -- (This is now corrected. We originally had the game @ Winchendon.)
Holderness vs. Hoosac School, 4:00 pm – at Middlebury College
Governor's @ Rivers, 4:00 pm
Berwick @ Winsor, 4:15 pm
Gunnery @ Vermont Academy, 4:30 pm
Milton @ St. George's, 4:30 pm
LaSalle Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Andover, 4:45 pm
Pingree @ North Yarmouth Academy, 4:45 pm
Southfield @ New Hampton, 5:00 pm
Berkshire @ Choate, 5:00 pm
Hebron @ Proctor, 5:15 pm
BB&N @ St. Paul's, 5:30 pm
Deerfield @ Cushing, 5:30 pm
Fri. Feb. 17
Holderness @ Worcester Academy, 3:00 pm 4:00 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Hebron, 4:00 pm
Thayer @ Noble & Greenough, 4:15 pm
New Hampton @ Berwick, 4:30 pm
Kimball Union @ Vermont Academy, 4:30 pm
Newton CD @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:45 pm
Middlesex @ Brooks, 5:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Pingree, 5:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ BB&N, 5:15 pm
Andover @ Milton, 5:15 pm
Tabor @ Southfield, 6:15 pm
Sat. Feb. 18
Hebron @ Kimball Union, 12:30 pm
Governor's @ Lawrence Academy, 12:30 pm
Milton @ Brewster Academy, 1:00 pm
St. Mark's @ BB&N, 1:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ Andover, 1:30 pm
Exeter @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 1:30 pm
Winsor @ Portsmouth Abbey, 1:30 pm
Tabor @ Brooks, 2:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Williston-Northampton, 2:00 pm
Choate @ Taft, 2:00 pm
Deerfield @ Hotchkiss, 2:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ St. Paul's, 2:30 pm
Pomfret @ Cushing, 2:30 pm
Proctor @ Rivers, 3:00 pm
St. George's @ Groton, 3:00 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Tilton, 3:00 pm
Middlesex @ Holderness, 4:00 pm
Winchendon @ Canterbury, 4:00 pm
New Hampton @ Kents Hill, 4:30 pm
Westminster @ Berkshire, 4:30 pm
Lawrenceville @ Millbrook, 4:45 pm
Mon. Feb. 20
Berkshire @ Canterbury, 5:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Cushing, 5:00 pm
Tilton @ Vermont Academy, 5:00 pm
The Race for the Final 8
1. Nobles. The Bulldogs -- with 4 games this week including both Andover and St Paul’s -- have their work cut out for them if they want to secure the #1 seed. They are hoping leading scorer Becca Gilmore returns from her injury this week.
2. Williston. Coming off a huge win at Andover, Williston will be tested again this week with games vs both NMH and Loomis. The top seed is still very much in play.
3. Loomis. The Williston game on Saturday is huge as the Pelicans are still very much in the hunt for the top seed -- if Nobles stumbles, that is.
4. Kent. The only team left in D-I with only 1 loss still has a chance of grabbing a higher seed, but must win out and look for help from the 3 teams above them. A less-than-challenging schedule to finish the season hurts them.
5. New Hampton. The Huskies are in cruise control right now as they only have 3 games left and they are all against D-II teams. New Hampton is still hoping it can move up, pass Kent, and gain home ice for the quarterfinals. They will need some help, though.
6. St. Paul’s. A big week ahead for SPS as they have to play both BB&N and Nobles. St. Paul’s is still in a position to secure home ice for the quarterfinals. But they have to win out.
7. Tabor. It’s all about seeding now for the Seawolves as they have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way.
8. Andover. Big Blue is hanging on to the final spot by a thread right now. They face Nobles, Milton and Worcester this week.
9. Lawrence. The Spartans are locked in at the #9 seed right now, but don’t have a very challenging schedule down the stretch. That could hurt them.
10. Deerfield. The Big Green has control of their destiny as it appears they are the only team remaining that can grab that final spot simply by winning out. But their final four games are against Cushing, Hotchkiss, Williston, and Loomis. Not an easy task.
11. Choate. Four winnable D-I games remain so let’s not count the Wild Boars out quite yet.
On the Outside Looking In:
-- NMH. With 4 games left and 2 of those games vs D-II teams, yesterday’s tie at Cushing pretty much eliminated the Hoggers from the postseason.
Sat. Feb. 11 D-I Notes
Nobles 3, Westminster 2 -- Third period goals from Maddie Bayard and Katie Tresca allowed Nobles to come back and beat a very tough Westminster team.
Williston 4, Andover 2 -- In the big matchup of the day, Williston goes on the road and scores 3 third period goals to come back and stun Andover, putting Big Blue’s playoff dreams on hold for now. Marielle McHale had 2 goals for the Bobcats.
Loomis 5, Choate 1 -- The Pelicans made a big-time statement – this after a 1-0 upset at the hands of Hotchkiss last week -- by going on the road and beating up on Choate, thus handing the Wild Boars’ playoff hopes a big setback.
Deerfield 4, Berkshire 1 -- Jenna Greenbaum had a goal and 2 assists as the Big Green kept their playoff hopes alive by bouncing back to take care of a pesky Bears team.
Notes from Friday's Games
Nobles 4, BB&N 1 -- Nobles went down 1-0 early but game surging back with 4 unanswered goals to take a big step towards the #1 seed and pretty much eliminate the Knights from the post-season.
Tabor 2, St. Paul’s 1 -- The dynamic Kelly Browne scored two third period goals, stunning St. Paul’s at home – and all but wrapping up a playoff berth for the Seawolves.
Lawrence 2, Berkshire 1 -- Corrinne McCool had a goal and an assist to keep LA’s post-season hopes alive.
Saturday’s Big Games:
Williston @ Andover, 2:00 pm
Loomis @ Choate, 7:00 pm
Berkshire @ Deerfield, 5:00 pm
Friday Playoff Movement:
-- With both BB&N and Berkshire losing yesterday we are now down to 5 teams with a chance to overtake Andover for the 8th and final spot.
-- Lawrence (9th) is hosting Div. II Thayer today.
-- St. Mark’s took a nice jump forward yesterday with a 7-0 thumping of Rivers and is now tied with Choate for 10th.
-- Choate is hosting Loomis tonight in a must-win game for the Wild Boars.
-- Deerfield (12th) is still alive but has to win today vs. Berkshire to have any chance.
-- NMH (13th) is also still alive if they can take care of business vs. Cushing today and then beat Williston on Wednesday.
Upsets Galore in Wednesday Action
Yesterday was marked by an unusually large number of major upsets in the Div. I ranks, further proof of the parity to be found in girls’ prep hockey this season. Let’s take a look at some of the games and see how they might impact the race for the Final 8.
Choate 1, Williston 0. Just when we thought the Wild Boars might be out of it they go on the road and stun Williston, putting an end to their 11-game unbeaten streak.
Hotchkiss 1, Loomis 0. Hotchkiss star goalie Lindsey Reed shuts out the high-powered Pelican offense.
Tabor 6, Andover 3. The score was not a huge surprise to us but Tabor is now in great shape for a playoff berth. Could seal the deal tomorrow with a win at SPS.
Westminster 4, Deerfield 0. A huge setback for the Big Green after a long layoff as they try to reach the post-season for the first time in years.
St. George’s 4, BB&N 2. This one might be the biggest shocker of them all. BB&N was really playing well; now they have their work cut out for them.
New Hampton 2, NMH 1 (OT). The Hoggers suffer a heartbreaker at home in a valiant effort against the powerful Husky offense.
Berkshire 3, Pomfret 1. The Bears are still alive for a playoff berth. A monster matchup looms this Saturday at Deerfield.
Here are the standings as we see them today. If Tabor wins at St. Paul’s tomorrow, the top 7 teams are set. If St. Paul’s wins and hands Tabor its fifth loss, Tabor will still be in decent shape, though certainly not a lock.
1. Nobles (17-2-1) Back to the #1 seed, where Nobles usually ends up at playoff time.
2. Williston (15-2-2) Travels to Andover on Saturday, a huge game for both teams.
3. Loomis (16-3-1) All of a sudden their game at Choate on Saturday has big playoff implications.
4. Kent (13-1-2) The Lions have been very quiet lately. Not a very challenging schedule to finish the season.
5. New Hampton (17-3-1) The Huskies are done with the meat of their schedule. It’s all about getting ready for the playoffs now.
6. St. Paul’s (16-3-1) Can put itself in great position for a high seed with a win at home tomorrow vs. Tabor.
7. Tabor (13-4-1) It seems like Tabor plays in a big game every week, which should help them down the stretch. A must-win tomorrow at SPS.
8. Andover (12-6-0) Big Blue is hanging on by a thread for the 8th and final spot. Game on Saturday at home vs. Williston is as big as it gets.
9. Lawrence (12-7-1) Lawrence is in great shape to grab the 8th spot if Andover falters. Not a very hard schedule to finish the season.
10. Choate (8-6-1) The Wild Boars have to win on Saturday vs. Loomis. Plain and simple.
11. BB&N (11-8-1) It will be interesting to see how BB&N bounces back tomorrow vs. Nobles after a terrible loss yesterday to St. George’s.
12. Deerfield (5-5-2). A shocking loss at home yesterday to Westminster. Must win vs Berkshire on Saturday or its pretty much over for the Big Green.
13. St. Mark’s (10-8-3) St. Mark’s has 5 games left and 4 are against D-II teams which will probably hurt the Winged Lions’ chances of making the Top 8.
14. NMH (10-8-2). Plays at Cushing on Saturday and then hosts Williston on Wednesday in a must-win game.
15. Berkshire (7-8-0). Still a long shot for the Bears, but if they beat Deerfield on Saturday a playoff berth is still possible.
Div. II Playoff Picture Taking Shape
With 18 days left in the regular season, the Div. II playoff picture is becoming increasingly revelatory. Right now, we believe that three teams are locks for a playoff position, while another three are pretty close to shoring up spots. We also feel that there are as many as seven teams still battling for the last two spots.
Let’s break it down.
Our locks for the playoffs are Rivers, Worcester Academy and Gunnery.
1. Rivers – They have proven themselves to be the class of D-II, where they are undefeated. In addition, their overall record is strong.
2. Worcester Academy– With a D-II record of 8-2-1 and four D-I wins the Hilltoppers are in a strong position to garner a home game in the quarterfinals.
3. Gunnery – Their overall record is 7-7-1, but that’s deceiving, as their schedule is D-I heavy. Against D-II opponents they are 4-0-1. They will certainly be prepared for a deep tourney run.
The next three teams we feel are well-positioned are Kimball Union, Canterbury and Thayer.
4. Kimball Union – KUA has put up impressive numbers with a D-II best overall record of 12-3-2. Unlike the top three though, the Wildcats have not faced many D-I teams. However, they face Exeter on Wednesday and finish the season with New Hampton.
5. Thayer -- The Tigers have put up impressive numbers so far this season against D-II foes, but will be tested down the stretch with D-I opponents Lawrence, St. Mark’s, Nobles and BB&N.
6. Canterbury – The Saints, with a strong 6-1-4 D-II record and an overall record of 10-5-4, are in solid playoff position.
While the six teams above appear to be in good shape, the remaining two slots are still up for grabs. While there is a good number of games remaining, as of now we feel that Tilton, St. George’s and Southfield are the strongest contenders to round out the eight-team field.
7. Tilton – The Rams currently sit at 10-4-3 in D-II and, with only four games left to play, have what appears on paper to be the lightest remaining schedule. KUA on February 15th will be a challenge, though.
8. St. George’s – Clearly on the playoff bubble, the Dragons finish with six ISL games including BB&N, Brooks, Milton, Groton and St. Paul’s.
9. Southfield -- Right now we have them outside the final eight and while they have had some success against the top D-II teams, a murderous schedule to end the season has them facing four D-I foes, and then ending the season with Rivers. They will be hard pressed to make up ground.
The remaining contenders are Groton, Greenwich, Proctor and Brooks.
Groton -- They have five ISL games: Nobles, Brooks, St. George’s, Thayer and St. Mark’s. The Brooks/St. George’s/Thayer three-game stretch is likely to present a must-win scenario.
Greenwich -- Their final three games – vs. Taft, Gunnery, and Worcester -- will make moving up very difficult.
Proctor – The Hornets have been up and down, going 4-4-1 and alternating wins and losses before Saturday’s tie with KUA. They need to string together a few wins in a row in order to have a chance of scraping their way into the Top 8.
Brooks -- Of all the D-II teams, Brooks plays one of the heaviest D-I schedules. This has certainly tested them and -- if they do get in -- a long run in the post-season would not be surprising. While they can play with almost anyone, their overall 5-12-2 record makes cracking the Top 8 very difficult. Saturday’s game against St. George’s is a must-win.
Girls’ Prep Composite, Week of Feb. 6, 2017
Mon. Feb. 6
Greenwich @ Rye Country Day, 3:30 pm
Hoosac School @ Newton CD, 4:30 pm
Groton @ BB&N, 5:30 pm
Wed. Feb. 8
Gunnery @ Millbrook, 2:30 pm
Proctor @ Brewster Academy, 2:30 pm
Canterbury @ Kent, 2:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Hotchkiss, 3:00 pm
Middlesex @ St. Paul's, 3:00 pm
Governor's @ Thayer, 3:15 pm
Andover @ Tabor, 3:30 pm
Rivers @ Worcester Academy, 3:30 pm
Princeton Day School @ Rye Country Day, 3:30 pm
Kimball Union @ Exeter, 3:30 pm
Groton @ Noble & Greenough, 3:45 pm
Brooks @ Holderness, 3:45 pm
BB&N @ St. George's, 4:00 pm
Tilton @ Vermont Academy, 4:00 pm
Milton @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Pomfret @ Berkshire, 4:15 pm
New Hampton @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 4:30 pm
Hebron @ Berwick, 4:30 pm
Southfield @ Winchendon, 4:30 pm
Westminster @ Deerfield, 4:30 pm
Greenwich @ Taft, 4:30 pm
Wyoming Seminary @ Lawrenceville, 4:30 pm
Choate @ Williston-Northampton, 4:45 pm
Cushing @ Lawrence Academy, 6:00 pm
Beaver Country Day @ Pingree, 6:00 pm
Fri. Feb. 10
Dana Hall @ Nobles JV, 2:45 pm
Berwick @ Beaver Country Day , 4:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
Proctor @ Southfield, 4:45 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Kents Hill, 4:45 pm
Rivers @ St. Mark's, 5:00 pm
New Hampton @ Brewster Academy, 5:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ BB&N, 6:00 pm
Tabor @ St. Paul's, 6:45 pm
Sheehan Tournament at Albany Academy:
Albany Academy vs. Hoosac, 6:00 pm
Hill vs. Gilmour, 8:00 pm
Sat. Feb. 11
Thayer @ Lawrence Academy, 12:30 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Andover, 2:00 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ Cushing, 2:00 pm
Winchendon @ Kents Hill, 2:00 pm
Taft @ Hotchkiss, 2:30 pm
Berwick @ Kimball Union, 2:30 pm
St. Paul's @ Governor's, 3:00 pm
Kent @ Millbrook, 3:00 pm
Pomfret @ Tabor, 3:15 pm
Milton @ Middlesex, 3:15 pm
Westminster @ Noble & Greenough, 3:30 pm
Greenwich @ Gunnery, 3:30 pm
Proctor @ Holderness, 3:30 pm
Exeter @ New Hampton, 4:00 pm
Canterbury vs. Hebron, 4:30 pm – at Exeter
St. George's @ Brooks, 5:00 pm
Berkshire @ Deerfield, 5:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ Vermont Academy, 5:00 pm
Rye Country Day @ Portsmouth Abbey, 5:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Choate, 7:00 pm
Sheehan Tournament at Albany Academy:
Gilmour vs. Hoosac, 9:00 am
Albany Academy vs. Hill, 11:00 am
Albany Academy vs. Gilmour, 2:30 pm
Hoosac vs. Hill, 4:30 pm
Sun. Feb. 12
Winchendon @ Hebron, 12:00 pm
Canterbury vs. Kents Hill, 12:30 pm – at Exeter
Lawrenceville @ Hotchkiss, 1:00 pm
Mon. Feb. 13
Taft @ Kent, 5:00 pm -- rescheduled from 1/28
Berwick @ Pingree, 5:30 pm
The Race to the Final 8
There were certainly some interesting developments this week in the D-I playoff race. We still think six or seven teams have pretty much locked up a playoff berth. Last week, we felt there were nine teams battling for that eighth and final spot. Now, we feel we can reduce that number to seven, as both Berkshire and Milton now appear to be on the outside looking in. Obviously, there is still a lot of hockey left and much can change with a few upsets, but here is how we see the D-I playoff picture as of today.
We now have six “locks” to make the playoffs with St. Paul’s being added to the list after their strong week, which included wins over both St. Mark’s and New Hampton.
5. New Hampton
6. St. Paul’s
As far as the next group of teams we think are likely to make it, it’s a small group – just one. We felt the Seawolves were in great shape after an impressive win at Lawrence on Friday night, but then they were then stunned at home yesterday by St. Mark’s which gives Tabor its fourth loss of the season. The game with Andover is lurking on Wednesday so Tabor has some serious work to do.
As far as the battle for the #8 spot is concerned, with Berkshire and Milton both dropping to longshot status let’s take a deeper dive into what’s currently happening in D-I.
-- Andover. Their next three games (Tabor, Williston, and Nobles) will tell us a lot about this team.
-- Lawrence Academy. Now has seven losses. Still in good shape to get a spot but will have to finish strongly. Not a hard schedule over the stretch run.
-- Deerfield. They will have gone 10 days without playing a game after going unbeaten in six games. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum. Deerfield has a strange schedule, playing fewer games than anyone else in D-I. We’re not sure if that helps or hurts them in the final calculations. They finish the season with Williston and Loomis.
-- BB&N. The Knights have won four in a row and coach Ed Bourget has once again got his team into the playoff hunt. BB&N has a very tough schedule to finish the season. Nobles on Friday is a must-win for them.
-- NMH. The Hoggers are definitely still in the mix but losing to Choate last Wednesday hurt. NMH will host New Hampton this Wednesday. This is a must-win which will tell us a lot.
-- Choate. A huge week of hockey looms for the Wild Boars as they play Williston and Loomis in what we consider must-win games. Choate beat Nobles a few weeks ago so we are not ready to count them out.
-- St. Mark’s. Just when we were going to write St. Mark’s off after losses to New Hampton and St. Paul’s they go down to Tabor and score four unanswered third period goals to stun the Seawolves and keep their playoff dreams alive.
Stay tuned to the USHR girls section this week as the action really heats up!
Browne OT Goal Lifts Tabor over LA, 3-2
Groton, Mass. – A Kelly Browne goal 45 seconds into overtime lifted Tabor to a 3-2 win over host Lawrence Academy Friday night.
On the winning goal, after Lawrence had carried the puck into the offensive zone, Tabor was able to clear it to the neutral zone where the dynamic Browne, a BC recruit, collected it and started a two-on-one for Tabor. Breaking down the right wing, Browne saucered a pass to Cindy Giandomenico at the far post. As the LA defenseman and goalie moved to block her path, Giandomenico, who had displayed a great compete level all game, slid a soft return pass to Browne, who banged home the game-winner.
Tabor brought a 10-game undefeated streak into the game and for the first 15 minutes was sharp. Six minutes in, Browne took a pass off the wall from UNH recruit Annie Berry, cut to the middle of the slot, and fired a snapshot top shelf to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead. Tabor continued to pressure LA for the remainder of the period but junior goalie Maddox Angerhoffer kept it a 1-0 game after one.
Tabor ran into some penalty trouble early in the second and after two penalties in a four-minute span, Lawrence tied the game up at 1-1 with a powerplay strike. Showing some good puck movement, sophomore Jamie Comeau hit senior D Rachel Walsh for a one-timer from the blue line. Walsh’s shot was tipped in by junior Corinne McCool. At the two-minute mark, Lawrence captain Laura Lundblad retrieved the puck in the right corner and fed it into the slot where sophomore forward Grace Bellefeuille rocketed a one-timer for a 2-1 Lawrence lead. LA was skating hard, but Tabor took advantage of a late turnover and tied the game with 20 seconds left in the period as senior Martha Peppes, a UNH recruit, broke down the right wing and slid the puck to sophomore Olivia O'Brien, who got off a quick shot. BC recruit Olivia Finocchiaro jumped on the loose rebound in front, poking the puck into the net with a great diving effort.
The third period was an exciting one, with both teams having numerous chances to take the lead. In particular, Lawrence senior forward Kelsey Ryan was a key part of several good chances. The period ended at 2-2 and for the second time this year (LA won the first one, 4-3, on Dec. 9th), the two teams would head to overtime. This time, though, the extra period would last only 45 seconds before Browne’s game-winning goal sent everyone home.
Right now Tabor (12-3-1) is as good as any team in Div. I. They haven’t lost since the Odden Tournament and are in the midst of a 10-game unbeaten streak. This win clearly keeps them in great shape for a playoff spot. While they have some tough games coming up, it is pretty obvious to us that Kelly Browne is as good as any player we have seen all season and gives the Seawolves a chance to win every time out.
For Lawrence (11-7-1), the loss hurts because they played so well. They have a dynamic first line, plus having another scorer like Bellefeuille back really helps them up front. LA has a tough road ahead of them if they hope to qualify for the playoffs.
St. Paul’s Blanks New Hampton, 3-0
Concord, NH -- What we were hoping would be a tremendous matchup between two of the top Div. I girls’ teams never really materialized as junior Olivia Lins’s first period goal held up and St. Paul’s cruised to an easy 3-0 win over an unpredictable New Hampton team on Friday.
St. Paul’s looks like a team that, under coach Heather Farrell, continues to get better every time we see them play. We know they have some high-end players but we were most impressed with the development of some of their young, upcoming talent, including Lin, freshmen forwards Natalie Tulchinsky and Tiffany Hill, and sophomore forward Clare O’Leary, a Harvard recruit. If St. Paul’s can keep getting consistent goaltending from senior Peri Donaldson -- she had a 16-save shutout in this one -- we see no reason why they can’t contend for another prep championship.
For New Hampton, we really don’t know what to say other than this team is as talented as they are unpredictable. They look nowhere close to the team we saw beat Nobles on the road in early December. For whatever reason, every time we decide to go watch them, they don’t play well. On Friday, they just looked like a mediocre hockey team, surprising to us because they were riding a six-game winning streak. The one thing we do know is that New Hampton has pretty much locked up a playoff spot and no team is going to want to have to face them in the first round of the playoffs.
Worcester Buzzer-Beater Ties Up Southfield
Brookline, Mass. -- A controversial, last-second goal by Worcester Academy star center Micaela Sindoris (Northeastern) enabled the Worcester Academy Hilltoppers to escape with a 2-2 tie with Southfield in a very competitive game yesterday between two of the top teams in Division II.
It was Worcester striking first, when Sindoris, a Northeastern recruit, scored early in the opening period. Worcester was also in control of both the first and second periods but Southfield, under new coach Charles Capone, kept chipping away and scored two third period goals to take a 2-1 lead. Southfield looked like they were going to get the win until Sindoris broke their hearts with a beautiful shot at the buzzer that just snuck past Southfield goalie Kelly Lavelle.
After watching Worcester play for the first time in weeks it is really no surprise why they are having such a good season. They have two very good lines and Sindoris was all over the ice the entire game. Emma Crocker and Carly Daly played with Sindoris and both had strong games. Worcester also has an impressive core of defensemen led by junior Tia Martignetti. The Worcester goalie, Julia Pelletier, didn’t see many shots but was solid.
Southfield has also really improved as a team since we last saw them and looks like a team ready to make a playoff run. Coach Capone has a very talented first line of Carly Capone, Carly Aguirre and 8th grader Elia Chiang. Southfield is led on defense by junior defenseman Claudia Capone who did a nice job trying to keep Sindoris in check. Kelly Lavelle is strong in net for Southfield.
Stay tuned to USHR this week as we start working on our predictions for the final 8 teams to make the Div. II playoffs. It should be really exciting down the stretch, so make sure you give us a follow at @USHRGIRLS on Twitter.