Established 1996


Deerfield's Mikesell Blanks Westminster
Simsbury, Conn. -- Deerfield junior Mary Edmonds scored a highlight reel goal early in the first period and sophomore goalie Liv Mikesell stopped every shot she faced as the Big Green posted an impressive 3-0 win over a much-improved Westminster team here Thursday night.

For the Big Green, now 8-9-2, it has been a disappointing season so far, with some key injuries and some head-scratching losses, so it was good to see them looking more like the team we had ranked #8 in the preseason. The Edmonds line seems to do the majority of Deerfield scoring but we were also impressed with speedy freshman Elia Chiang, sophomore Christina Halloran, senior Brenna Hoar and Alexandra Dougal, who scored a goal. The Deerfield strength is clearly their defense as BC commit Deirdre Mullowney, Ali Fujiyoshi and Erin DeMarco -- all juniors -- logged major minutes and had standout games. In net, Mikesell, who struggled when we watched her early in the season, was great tonight, playing the best we have seen her play all year.

For Westminster, the game was definitely a disappointment for the Martlets. Coming off some recent wins (including a 2-1 shocker over Williston), they clearly struggled to generate offense vs. the strong Deerfield defense. Up front, they have some talent, as Vermont commit Lily Holmes, and juniors Taylor Adams and Jill Parsons all had strong games. Westminster struggled a bit on the back end, but Holy Cross commit Emma Lange was all over the ice and was very impressive. We don’t see Westminster, now 6-11-2, down in the standings very often, but with some key players returning next year we expect head coach David Pope to get the Martlets right back into contention again.



Wednesday's Quarterfinals Scoreboard

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

#1 Nobles 2, #8 BB&N 1   
#7 Williston 2, #2 Kent 1 
#3 Tabor 6, #6 Taft 1 
#4 Loomis 4, #5 St. Paul's 0    

Div. II
#1 Rivers 3, #8 Canterbury 2  
#2 Vermont 5, #7 KUA 2   
#6 St. George's 2, #3 Brooks 1   
#4 Worcester 2, #5 Gunnery 0    

Sat. March 3, 2018 -- Semifinals

Div. I
1/8 vs. 4/5 -- Loomis @ Nobles, 2:00 pm
2/7 vs. 3/6 -- Williston @ Tabor, 1:30 pm

Div. II
1/8 vs. 4/5 -- Worcester @ Rivers, 2:00 pm
2/7 vs. 3/6 -- St. George's @ Vermont, 12:30 pm -- at Winchendon

Sun. March 4, 2018
At the Worcester Ice Center
Worcester, Mass.
Div. II Championship Game, 1:00 pm
Div. I Championship Game, 4:00 pm


Div. I Playoff Preview
It's been a great season. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have -- and we hope you are looking forward to the playoffs as much as we are. With that in mind, here is a preview of tomorrow's quarterfinal matchups. Six of the eight teams that made it to the quarterfinals last season are back this time around. The two that didn't make it were Lawrence, replaced in the #8 spot by BB&N, and last year's #4, New Hampton, which went on to top Kent 3-1 in the Championship Game. What will this year bring? Stay tuned.  

#1 Nobles (23-3-3) vs. #8 BB&N (16-8-3)

Head-to-Head: Dec. 17 Nobles 5-1, Feb. 9 1-1 tie.

This looks like it should be a close game considering that the two teams tied, 1-1, on Feb. 9 in a game played at Nobles. Unfortunately, we don’t see this game being that close, as Nobles is just too much for an overachieving BB&N team. It will be interesting to see if Nobles keeps its top defenseman, Lily Farden, at forward. She's looked very good there, playing alongside top scorer Katie Tresca. Nobles has only lost one game since January 6th and, after losing the ISL title for the first time in 17 years, the Bulldogs look ready to make a serious run for a NEPSAC title.

Prediction: Nobles 3, BB&N 0


#2 Kent (18-1-0) vs. #7 Williston (14-6-4)

Head-to-Head: Did not play each other.

On paper, this game probably looks like it won’t be close, as Kent has only lost one game all season and Williston does not look as strong as in years past. But we believe this game is going to be a very close one. Kent really hasn’t seen much competition lately -- and Williston has been fighting for a playoff spot for weeks. If the Williston defense can find a way to handle the strong Kent offensive attack, this game will come right down to the wire, possibly even OT.

Prediction: Kent 2, Williston 1


#3 Tabor (21-4-0) vs. #6 Taft (17-6-0)

Head-to-Head: Did not play each other. 

The Seawolves are the hottest team in girls' hockey right now, having won 11 in a row, and the Taft Rhinos have struggled a bit down the stretch. We picked Tabor as our preseason # 1 for a reason: they are the most talented team in the league. Combine that with an improved defense -- and a little more consistent goaltending -- and it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat Tabor. Taft has overachieved all year and making the playoffs is a tremendous accomplishment for head coach Gretchen Silverman and her players, especially considering that Taft only won six games two years ago. However, we really don’t see this game as being very close.

Prediction: Tabor 4, Taft 1


#4 Loomis (17-4-2) vs. #5 St. Paul’s (17-4-3)

Head-to-Head: Did not play each other. 

Loomis was #1 last week, and then hit the skids with a shocking loss at home to Andover Wednesday followed by a tie with Deerfield on the final Saturday. Loomis will have its hands full as St. Paul’s is the team no one wanted to play in the first round. They have a ton of offensive firepower up front, and sophomore goaltender Maddie Beck looked very solid down the stretch.

Prediction: St. Paul’s 3, Loomis 1


Div. II Playoff Preview

The more things change, the more they remain the same: this year’s playoff group contains 7 of the 8 schools that were in last year’s quarterfinals with the black and orange of Vermont Academy replacing the black and orange of Thayer. While some teams built their playoff resumes on early-season wins, other teams have used a late-season push to get into the playoffs. With the one-and-done format, it only matters who is playing well now and who gets some puck luck, as most of these games should be tight affairs. Here's how we see things shaping up on Wednesday:

#1 Rivers (20-3-0) vs. #8 Canterbury (14-13-1)

Head-to-Head: Did not meet.

Rivers, winners of 15 in a row, comes into the tournament as hot as any team right now. Over the last two months, they have demonstrated the depth and goaltending to take on any teams, D-I or D-II. Rivers' top line of Jenna Letterie (Middlebury), Kate Shaugnessy and Riley Glennon paces their offense and senior goaltender Meghan Gazard (Connecticut College field hockey) anchors the back end.

Canterbury started the New Year undefeated at 9-0, but the wheels have fallen off the bus with the Saints going 6-13-1 in the second half of the season.

Two teams going in opposite directions. And we don’t see much changing in this game.

Prediction: Rivers 4, Canterbury 1


#2 Vermont Academy (27-2-1) vs. #7 Kimball Union (15-6-5)

Head-to-Head: Jan. 17 1-1 tie, Feb. 16 VA 2-1, Feb 24 VA 2-1.

Vermont Academy has been the talk of the D-II prep world this season, as they have burst into the limelight by posting a remarkable 27-win season so far with an influx of players from abroad. They are paced on offense by post-grad Chloé Aurard (Northeastern), who has posted a ridiculous 97 points in NEPSAC games; and sophomore Kristyna Kaltounkova (Colgate), who despite missing 5 games while playing with the Czech Republic U-18 National Team, put up 72 points. On defense, Vermont Academy is led by senior Lotti Odnoga (Dartmouth), who put up 59 points and post-grad goaltender Blanka Skodova.

Kimball Union, paced by the upfront leadership of Mia Brown (Northeastern) and senior goaltender Maddie Long, is making another trip to the playoffs.

With this being the fourth matchup of the season between these teams, we are sure that KUA will not be fazed by Vermont’s aggressive and physical style of play. If KUA can capitalize on the power play, which we feel they will have a few of, this could be the opportunity for KUA to pull off the upset. If not, then Vermont will probably pull out another squeaker.

Prediction: Vermont Academy 2, Kimball Union 1 (OT)


#3 Brooks (12-6-5) vs. #6 St. George’s (11-10-0)

Head-to-Head: Feb. 10 Brooks 2-1.

This is a rematch of last year’s quarters, in which St. George’s prevailed, 2-1. Brooks has played a tight, disciplined style of hockey which has allowed them to compete in every game. Goaltender Caroline Kukas is one of the best around. If Brooks gets a lead they are very hard to score against as they know how to protect it.

St. George’s has come from off the pack with a strong finish down the stretch to make a return trip to the playoffs. The 2016 D-II champions play with a lot of pride and can compete with anyone.

While both teams can at times struggle to score, we feel that Brooks has more overall depth and will pull this one out.

Prediction: Brooks 2, St. George’s 0


#4 Worcester Academy (17-6-1) vs. #5 Gunnery (10-9-1)

Head-to-Head: Did not meet.

The defending D-II champions, Worcester is always at or near the top of the standings. Senior Miceala Sindoris (Northeastern) paces the Hilltopper offense. Worcester is not as deep as last year's team but has received solid contributions from Ciara Wall (UNH), Morgan Mordini and Carley Daly up front. Senior Tia Marginetti (Manhattanville) leads the defensive corps.

Gunnery plays a very demanding schedule, filled with Connecticut-based D-I schools. Of the playoff teams, the Higlanders have played the fewest games against D-II opponents. A lineup laden with 10 seniors is paced by Noemi Neubauerova (Colgate).

This game will be a war, and we see Worcester pulling this out late.

Prediction: Worcester 4, Gunnery 3



Official Playoff Schedule

Wed. February 28, 2018 -- Quarterfinals

Div. I
#1 Nobles vs. #8 BB&N, 3:30 pm (@ Nobles)
#2 Kent vs. #7 Williston, 3:30 pm (@ Kent)
#3 Tabor vs. #6 Taft, 4:45 pm (@ Tabor)
#4 Loomis vs. #5 St. Paul's, 3:00 pm (@ Loomis)

Div. II
#1 Rivers vs. #8 Canterbury, 2:30 pm (@ Rivers)
#2 Vermont vs. #7 Kimball Union, 3:30 pm (@ Vermont)
#3 Brooks vs. #6 St. George's, 6:00 pm (@ Brooks)
#4 Worcester vs. #5 Gunnery, 3:30 pm (@ Worcester)

Sat. March 3, 2018 -- Semifinals

Div. I
1/8 vs. 4/5
2/7 vs. 3/6

Div. II
1/8 vs. 4/5
2/7 vs. 3/6

Sun. March 4, 2018
At the Worcester Ice Center
Worcester, Mass.

Div. II Championship Game, 1:00 pm
Div. I Championship Game, 4:00 pm


Div. II Projections

The D-II field has now been narrowed to nine teams. As has been the case for a while, the top four appeared to be locked in and, barring any long travel trips requiring a ride of more that 2:45, appear to be set for an opening home game.

The fourth column of the rankings  -- percentage of DI opponents played -- has a considerable impact, particularly on Vermont Academy and Kimball Union, given they have played very few D-I opponents when compared to others, and their seeding appears to be lower than one might anticipate. The result of the upcoming Lakes Region Tournament may impact their seeding.

We project the current D-II seeds with overall records as follows:

1.   Rivers 19-3-0
2.   Brooks 11-6-5
3.   Worcester 15-6-1
4.   Vermont Academy 26-2-2
5.   Canterbury 15-11-1
6.   Gunnery 9-9-2
7.   St. George's 10-10-0
8.   Kimball Union  14-5-5
9.   Greenwich 11-6-1


Addressing an Oversight

We hesitate to complain, because any positive coverage for women's hockey is welcomed, and today there has obviously been a ton of it, but the Boston Globe article this morning -- "More than half of the US women’s Olympic hockey team has Mass. connections" -- only deals with college and womens' pro league connections. Nothing further back. No mention, for example, of the fact that Cayla Barnes, at this time a year ago, was playing prep school hockey at New Hampton. Indeed, there was no mention of prep schools at all, despite the fact that five of the players went to NEPSAC schools, and five went to non-NEPSAC schools.

We just want to address that oversight and give the women and the schools they played for some love.

Cayla Barnes, New Hampton
Kacey Bellamy, Berkshire
Meghan Duggan, Cushing
Hilary Knight, Choate
Kendall Coyne, Berkshire

And the non-NEPSAC private school players, too:

Kali Flanagan, National Sports Academy
Emily Pfalzer, Nichols School
Amanda Pelkey, NAHA
Monique Lamoureux, Shattuck-St. Mary's
Jocelyne Lamoureux, Shattuck-St. Mary's

Congratulations to all players and staff involved with the U.S. winning gold for the first time since Nagano in 1998.


Div. I Standings, Thurs. Feb. 22

 1. Nobles (22-3-3)
 2. Kent (17-1-0)
 3. Loomis (17-4-1)
 4. Tabor (20-4-0)
 5. St. Paul's (16-4-3)
 6. Taft (16-6-0)
 7. Williston 13-6-3
 8. Andover (13-7-1)
     New Hampton (20-8-1)
     Milton (12-6-1)
11. BB&N  (15-8-2)


Rivers’ Gazard Stymies Worcester
In a battle of two Div. II heavyweights, #1-ranked Rivers defeated #4-ranked Worcester Academy, 4-2, yesterday behind some terrific goaltending from senior goalie Meagan Gazard and two goals from Middlebury commit Jenna Letterie. To be honest, we thought Worcester was the better team most of the night and seemed to control the majority of the play, but Rivers stuck to its game plan and was more opportunistic in taking advantage of their grade A scoring opportunities.

For Rivers, they rely heavily on their first line of Letterie, junior Rylee Glennon and junior Kate Shaughnessy. That trio accounts for the majority of the scoring. The Rivers defense struggled most of the night trying to handle the Worcester offensive attack, but junior Leslie Schwartz had a very solid game. The difference in the game was Gazard, who was locked in. If Rivers is going to have any chance this year they are going to need her to continue to play like that.

For Worcester, it looked like it was going to be an easy win after Ciara Wall scored 30 seconds into the game but they were never really able to get in sync after that. Senior Micaela Sindoris, a Northeastern commit, is a force every time she sets foot on the ice, but every time she seemed to get loose, Gazard was there to shut the door. The Worcester defense is limited but did a decent job defending Rivers’ top line as the game went on. Junior goalie Meagan Miranda has had a good season so far but will need to play better down the stretch if the Hilltoppers are going to have any chance at defending their title.


Div. I Poll, Feb. 19th

It's going to be a crazy week as we are not only watching five teams battle for the last two spots, but there is still a lot to be settled for the top four spots in the all-important battle for home ice. 

1. Loomis -- The Pelicans have won five in a row, but have three tough games this week -- vs. Canterbury, Andover, and Deerfield -- so they will have to earn the #1 seed the hard way.

2. Kent -- Have only played five games this year against D-I teams with a better than .500 winning percentage, which really hurts the Lions in the overall rankings.

3. Nobles -- The Bulldogs lost their first ISL title in a long time Saturday. They will need to turn it around quickly as they battle to secure home ice. Their game on Saturday vs. Milton is big.

4. Tabor -- The Seawolves might be the hottest team in the league right now. Can secure its first ISL title this week. Still fighting for home ice.

5. St. Paul’s -- The Pelicans are the team that no one wants to play in the first round. Still in the battle for home ice as well -- and they can help their chances with two very winnable D-I games this week

6. Taft -- The Rhinos were stunned at home on Saturday by Choate after being shocked by Westminster on Wednesday. Still in very good shape for a playoff berth, but will need to finish strong.

7. Williston -- Suffered a heartbreaking loss to Loomis on Saturday. The Wildcats have a tough week ahead with games vs. Deerfield, Winchendon and, on Saturday, BB&N. The latter could almost be considered a playoff game.

8. New Hampton -- The Huskies are barely holding onto the last playoff spot and, with such a weak schedule down the stretch, it's unclear how much they can help themselves. New Hampton has two wins vs. Deerfield this year so they need the Big Green to win this week to get over .500 .vs D-I teams. If not, we think New Hampton could very easily miss the playoffs. And that would be a shocker.

Bubbling Under:

9. BB&N -- The Knights are just one point out of a playoff spot and, with two D-II games this week, won’t be able to help themselves too much. The game vs. Williston on Saturday is shaping up to be a playoff game for both teams.

10. Andover -- The Big Blue is in a free fall, having gone 1-4-1 over their last six including a head scratching 4-0 beatdown by Worcester on Saturday. Andover will have to win at Loomis on Wednesday to have any chance at all. It will be interesting to see who coach Fenton starts in net as it appears they are still rotating three goalies.

11. Milton -- Not sure we have ever seen a team emerge so quietly as a playoff contender. What a great job coach Ryan Stone has done with the Mustangs this year. If Milton can beat winless Pomfret on Wednesday, they will then take on Nobles on Saturday with a legitimate shot at a playoff berth.



Girls' Prep Composite Schedule, Week of Feb. 19, 2018
Mon. Feb. 19, 2018
Worcester Academy @ Rivers, 3:15 pm -- makeup of 2/7 snowout
Berwick @ New Hampton, 4:00 pm
Brewster Academy @ Holderness, 4:30 pm
Tabor @ Middlesex, 4:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Berkshire, 4:45 pm
Millbrook @ Gunnery, 5:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Canterbury, 5:30 pm

Wed. Feb 21, 2018
Deerfield @ Williston-Northampton, 2:45 pm
Middlesex @ BB&N, 3:00 pm
New Hampton @ Kimball Union, 3:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Cushing, 3:15 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Newton CD, 3:15 pm
Vermont Academy @ Brewster Academy, 3:30 pm
Tilton @ Hebron, 3:30 pm
Gunnery @ Kent, 4:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Holderness, 4:00 pm
Thayer @ Groton, 4:00 pm
Brooks @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Milton @ Pomfret, 4:00 pm
Winchendon @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
Andover @ Loomis-Chaffee, 4:15 pm
Choate @ Hotchkiss, 4:30 pm
Hoosac School @ Millbrook, 4:30 pm
Berkshire @ Taft, 4:45 pm
Rivers @ Lawrence Academy, 5:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Westminster, 5:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Governor's, 5:15 pm
Southfield @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 5:15 pm -- cancelled; no makeup
St. George's @ Tabor, 5:30 pm
U.S. vs. Canada, 11:10 pm (NBCSN)

EIL Tournament

Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018
Hebron @ Berwick, 4:30 pm

Fri. Feb. 23, 2018
Kents Hill @ Hebron, 3:00 pm
BB&N @ Thayer, 4:15 pm
Southfield @ Rivers, 4:15 pm
Gunnery @ Canterbury, 5:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Winchendon, 5:30 pm
Greenwich @ Worcester Academy, 6:00 pm
Governor's @ North Yarmouth Academy, 7:00 pm

Lakes Region Tournament (Day 1 of 2)
#4 Proctor @ #1 KUA, 6:00 pm
#3 Vermont Academy @ #2 New Hampton, 4:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 24, 2018
Tabor @ Berkshire, 2:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Milton, 2:00 pm
Brooks @ Governor's, 2:00 pm
Middlesex @ St. George's, 2:00 pm
Exeter @ Andover, 2:00 pm
BB&N @ Williston-Northampton, 2:30 pm
Taft @ Hotchkiss, 2:30 pm
Westminster @ Kent, 2:30 pm
Pomfret @ Winchendon, 2:30 pm
St. Paul's @ Lawrence Academy, 3:00 pm
Gunnery @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 3:00 pm
Choate @ Cushing, 4:00 pm
Groton @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Albany Academy @ Greenwich, 4:00 pm
Canterbury @ Worcester Academy, 4:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Deerfield, 6:00 pm

Lakes Region Tournament (Day 2 of 2)




With 8 Seconds Left, Tabor Edges Nobles, 2-1

Dedham, Mass. -- In one of the most exciting games we have seen this season, UNH commit Annie Berry scored a power play goal with 8 seconds left off a beautiful pass from Kelly Browne to give red-hot Tabor a 2-1 win that puts them in a strong position to secure home ice in the upcoming NEPCAC playoffs.

The penalty that led to the goal was controversial and there was a lot of anger from the Nobles' side after the game. Anyone who watches hockey these days knows that as soon as the puck is either shot or passed the defender can no longer get in the way like they did in the old days. They have to let them by or it's an easy interference call. Was it a penalty? Absolutely. Should that penalty have been called at that moment after the refs had pretty much allowed everything like that to go all game? Absolutely not. The Nobles fans had a right to be angry.

But we certainly don't want to take anything away from Tabor.

Most of the way, the game was pretty even, but Tabor seemed to be in control until Nobles junior Maddie Bayard scored late in the third off a beautiful feed from impressive Nobles junior Maeve Connolly to tie it at 1-1. The game appeared headed to overtime until the contoversial call, when Nobles freshman defenseman Kaley McDonald was whistled for what we think was an interference call with about a minute left in the game, thus setting up the Berry heroics.

Tabor has now reeled off eight wins in a row and clearly look like the team that we had ranked as the pre-season #1. We knew the Seawolves had a strong first line but have recently been impressed with the play of some other Tabor forwards including freshmen Ashley Clark and Skylar Irving, a Northeastern commit. In the first period, it was Irving who scored the first Tabor goal when she came down the left wingand, as a right shot, went outside-in on the Nobles' defender and roofed a shot under the crossbar. The Tabor defense -- led by Jill Fey, Sam Quackenbush and Julia Shaughnessy -- played probably the best game we have seen from them all year. If junior goaltender Christine Steege continues to play like she has been recently, there is no doubt in our minds that Tabor is a team capable of winning it all.

For Nobles, it was a tough loss as they are now in a position to lose its first ISL crown in years. Nobles played hard but couldn’t generate much offense all game. The normally reliable Nobles defense had a couple of hiccups on both Tabor goals, especially on the Berry power play game-winner as they didn’t pressure Browne on the half wall and then had poor coverage in the slot as well, allowing Berry to get wide open and tap in her own rebound for the game winner. We would never bet against Nobles come tournament time, but this is not your typical Nobles team.



Bayard's 2 Third-Period Goals Lift Nobles

Dedham, Mass. -- Nobles star freshman Ellie Bayard scored two third-period goals to break open a 1-1 tie and allow the #1-ranked Bulldogs to cruise to a relatively easy 4-1 win over #7-ranked Andover in a game with big playoff implications. After the first two periods, which were very close, it was all Nobles in the third period as Andover struggled without success to break through the strong Nobles defense and get quality shots on net.

Nobles got a huge boost when top scorer Katie Tresca returned to the lineup after being out for a few weeks. Although they are still missing Katie Pyne, the Nobles forwards looked much better today as Maeve Connolly, Cassidy Piersiak, Abby Volo, Kate Ham and Court Hyland all had solid games. The Nobles defense continues to stand out, as Harvard commits Lily Farden and Nicki Lutschaunig, and senior Steph Nomicos were dominant. Senior goaltender Kelly Pickreign only had to make a few saves, but is always there when needed.

As for the Big Blue, they have their backs against the wall again this year as they try to secure a playoff berth. Up front, we were surprised at how little offense they were able to generate, especially their top line of Charlotte Welch, Lily Feeney and Anna Bargman, who have been standouts all season. Andover came out with some good energy early but appeared to lose interest as the game went on. Andover's only goal was scored by sophomore Maddy Silveira, who made a great effort on a loose puck in front when the Nobles defense made a rare mistake and missed their checks. The Big Blue defense is limited, but did a really solid job for two periods. Senior Liz Holubiak and Sarah Rigazio, junior Brooke Keough and sophomore Olivia Nolan had solid games. In net, senior Ashley Tucker has had a strong season, but probably wishes she could have a few of the Nobles goals back.


Div. II Projected Playoff Seedings, Feb. 13th

With less than two weeks to go in the season, the DII playoff field is starting to take shape. As it stands right now, barring any major upsets, it seems that the four home ice slots for the first round will likely be Rivers, Vermont Academy, Brooks and Worcester Academy. The ranking and the opponents are still very much up in the air. At this point, there looks to be six teams in contention for the final four slots. Based on our calculations, as of this morning USHR projects the following (overall records are in parentheses):

1. Rivers (15-3-0) – Unfortunately, the showdown with Worcester Academy was a victim of the weather last Wednesday. Rivers has upped its winning streak to 10 games in a row, which impressively includes five wins over DI opponents. Remaining games: @ Governor’s, @ Proctor, @ Lawrence, (h) Southfield.

2. Vermont Academy
(22-2-2) -- The Wildcats pulled out a big overtime win over Worcester Academy and remain undefeated against DII opponents (16-0-2). The 1-2 punch of Chloe Aurard and Kristyna Kaltounkova upfront is unmatched at the DII level. Remaining games: @ Gunnery, @ Kimball Union, (h) Tilton, @ Brewster, Lakes Region Championship.

3. Brooks
(9-5-5) -- The Bishops remain undefeated at DII (7-0-3) and have played the highest percentage of DI opponents among DII teams. With a relatively easy schedule down the stretch, they should be in solid position to maintain home ice. Remaining games: (h) Groton, @ Middlesex, @ St. Mark’s, @ Governor’s.

4. Worcester Academy
(13-4-1) -- The defending champs will be busy down the stretch with five games over the last nine days of the season. Their top line of Micaela Sindoris, Ciara Wall and Carley Daly can match up with anyone else, but their depth and goaltending will be deciding factors. Final weekend matchups with Greenwich and Canterbury will have a huge impact on the playoff field. Remaining games: (h) Winchendon, @ Holderness, (h) Andover, (h) Greenwich, (h) Canterbury.

5. Gunnery
(8-7-2) – Gunnery will also be busy down the stretch with a rematch versus #2 Vermont Academy whom they tied 3-3 early on. Remaining schedule: (h) Vermont Academy, (h) Millbrook, @ Kent, @ Canterbury, @ Northfield Mount Hermon.

6. Canterbury
(14-9-1) – After starting the season 8-0, the Saints have been up and down since the New Year and come into a difficult final stretch. Remaining games: @ Millbrook, (h) Loomis, (h) Gunnery, @ Worcester.

7. Kimball Union
(12-4-4) -- The Wildcats have one of the top DII records (12-1-4). However, they are lower in the rankings due to their relatively low number of DI opponents -- only three games so far. Remaining games: @ Tilton, (h) Vermont Academy, (h) Hebron, (h) New Hampton, Lakes Region Championships.

8. Greenwich
(11-6-1) – Greenwich had a hard-fought 1-1 tie with Gunnery last Saturday. They have a light schedule in front of them. This week, they face Darien HS in a non-NEPSAC match, then are off until a week from Friday when they finish up at Worcester Academy and host Albany Academy.

9. Groton
(9-9-2) -- The Zebras currently sit just outside the Top 8, but have the ability to impact their playoff position down the stretch with road games at Brooks and St. George’s this week. Remaining games next week: (h) Thayer, @ St. Mark’s.

10. St. George’s
(9-8-0) – The Dragons continue to gather steam as they make a late-season push to return to the playoffs. A big 4-1 win on Monday over DI Lawrence Academy bolsters their standing. With two more DI games, the Dragons will get a bump in ranking in the DI percentage regardless of the outcome. Remaining games: @ Milton Academy, (h) Groton, @ Tabor, (h) Middlesex.


As we wrote last week, one of the four criteria used in the DII formula is their record vs. DII teams that are at a .500 or better winning percentage. Here are the DII teams lurking around .500 that will have a significant impact on the rankings coming down the stretch. (D-II records only)

Middlesex (8-7-1)
Albany Academy (5-6-1)
Portsmouth Academy (6-7-0)
Holderness (8-10-1)



Kent #1 in USHR Div. I Poll

In this week's poll, we have posted D-I, not overall, records.

1. Kent (10-1-0) -- The Lions don’t have a particularly challenging schedule down the stretch, so at this point it's all about securing the #1 seed and getting ready for the playoffs.

2. Nobles (13-2-3) -- Another big week ahead for the Bulldogs. Both Andover and Tabor are on the schedule and Nobles is trying to hang on, and host a home ice playoff game.

3. Loomis (11-3-1) -- A huge game vs Williston this week. Loomis still has some work to do to secure home ice.

4. Tabor (11-4-0). -- The Seawolves have won six in a row and look like they are back on track. Big week ahead with both BB&N and Nobles.

5. Taft (10-3-0). -- The OT win vs Hotchkiss on Saturday puts Taft in the hunt for a top 4 seed.

6. St. Paul’s (9-4-3) -- Basically, tied with Taft for 5th. SPS lost a heartbreaker to Tabor on Saturday. Still very much in the hunt for a top 4 seed, though.

7. Andover (9-4-1) -- Monster week ahead for the Big Blue as they play Nobles, Milton, and Worcester. With its difficult schedule, Andover will be attempting to go out and earn a playoff bid the hard way.

8. Williston (10-5-3) -- Williston is hanging on for dear life to that last playoff spot. NMH on Wednesday will be a test and Loomis on Saturday is huge

9. BB&N (8-6-1) -- The Knights are still very much in the hunt. It looks to us like they can possibly control their own destiny this week as they have Tabor, Lawrence and St. Mark's. After watching them play vs. Nobles, we're not counting them out yet.

10. New Hampton (8-6-0) -- It's hard to imagine the defending champion Huskies missing the playoffs but losing to Exeter on Saturday -- its third loss in four games -- hurts. With a weak schedule down the stretch they are going to need some outside help.

As we wrote last week, one of the three criteria used in this formula is the D-I record vs. D-I teams that are at a .500 or better winning percentage. Here are four teams lurking around .500 that will have a significant impact on the rankings coming down the stretch. (D-I records only)

Milton (4-4-1)
BB&N (8-6-1)
Lawrence (9-10)
Deerfield (6-8-2)
St. Mark's (7-8-1)



Girls' Prep Composite Schedule, Week of Feb. 12, 2018

Mon. Feb. 12
Tabor @ Middlesex, 4:30 pm
St. George's @ Lawrence Academy, 5:15 pm
Berwick @ Southfield, 5:15 pm
Brewster Academy @ Proctor, 6:00 pm

Tues. Feb. 13
Kents Hill @ Pingree, 5:30 pm
St. Mark's @ Milton, 5:30 pm -- makeup of Wed. Feb. 7

Wed. Feb. 14
Holderness @ Proctor, 2:00 pm
Kent @ Hotchkiss, 2:30 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ Williston-Northampton, 2:30 pm
Kimball Union @ Tilton, 2:30 pm
Canterbury @ Millbrook, 2:30 pm
Tabor @ BB&N, 3:00 pm
Exeter @ St. Paul's, 3:00 pm
Winchendon @ Worcester Academy, 3:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Pomfret, 3:00 pm
Andover @ Noble & Greenough, 3:15 pm
Beaver Country Day @ Newton CD, 3:30 pm
St. George's @ Milton, 3:30 pm
Choate @ Berkshire, 4:00 pm
Brewster Academy @ Kents Hill, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Westminster, 4:00 pm
Middlesex @ Lawrence Academy, 4:15 pm
Berwick @ Winsor, 4:15 pm
Vermont Academy @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
New Hampton @ Southfield, 4:45 pm
Groton @ Brooks, 4:45 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Pingree, 5:00 pm
Thayer @ St. Mark's, 5:00 pm
Cushing @ Deerfield, 5:00 pm
Rivers @ Governor's, 5:30 pm
Albany Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 5:30 pm
Greenwich @ Darien HS, 6:00 pm

Fri. Feb. 16
Berwick vs. New Hampton, 3:30 pm -- at UNH
North Yarmouth Academy @ Hebron, 4:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Thayer, 4:15 pm
Brewster Academy @ Pingree, 5:00 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Newton CD, 5:00 pm
Brooks @ Middlesex, 5:30 pm
BB&N @ Lawrence Academy, 6:00 pm
Milton @ Andover, 6:15 pm
Exeter @ Southfield, 6:15 pm
Vermont Academy @ Kimball Union, 6:30 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ New Hampton, 6:45 pm
Worcester Academy @ Holderness, 6:45 pm

Sat. Feb. 17
Lawrence Academy @ Governor's, 12:15 pm
St. Mark's @ BB&N, 1:00 pm
Thayer @ North Yarmouth Academy, 1:00 pm
Beaver Country Day @ Milton JV, 1:00 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ Exeter, 1:30 pm
Winsor @ Portsmouth Abbey, 1:30 pm
Kents Hill @ New Hampton, 2:00 pm
Choate @ Taft, 2:00 pm
Cushing @ Pomfret, 2:30 pm
Winchendon @ St. Paul's, 3:00 pm
Holderness @ Middlesex, 3:00 pm
Groton @ St. George's, 3:00 pm
Tilton @ Vermont Academy, 3:00 pm
Andover @ Worcester Academy, 3:00 pm
Tabor @ Noble & Greenough, 3:30 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Loomis-Chaffee, 4:00 pm
Hebron @ Kimball Union, 4:30 pm
Rivers @ Proctor, 4:30 pm
Millbrook @ Lawrenceville, 4:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Deerfield, 6:00 pm
Berkshire @ Westminster, 6:30 pm

Mon. Feb. 19
Brewster Academy @ Holderness, 4:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Berkshire, 4:45 pm
Millbrook @ Gunnery, 5:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Canterbury, 5:30 pm



VA's Kaltounkova Comes Through in OT

Worcester, Mass. -- Vermont Academy sophomore Kristyna Kaltounkova scored a spectacular overtime goal -- a toe-drag, bar-down snipe -- off a pass from PG Chloe Aurard, who had a hat trick, to stun host Worcester Academy, 4-3, here Saturday. The win keeps Vermont Academy on track for the #1 seed in its quest to win a D-II championship.

For VA, we have watched them quite a bit lately and, frankly, we are surprised that they are able to keep beating strong opponents with continued undisciplined play. This is the third time in a row that we have seen them take at least 10 penalties in the game. Not only that, but most of them continue to be called on their best players, Northeastern commit Aurard and Colgate commit Kaltounkova. Talent-wise there is no question that the Wildcats are as talented as any team in girls' hockey. Senior defenseman Lotti Ognoga, a Dartmouth recruit, had a standout game and PG goalie Blanka Skodova must have made close to 40 saves. If Vermont can stay out of the penalty box, we aren’t sure anyone will be able to stop them.

For Worcester, they looked good but are not nearly as deep as the team we watched win the D-II championship last year. After finding themselves down, 3-0, Worcester showed a lot of heart climbing all the way back to tie the game up late in the third period. Up front, Worcester gets all of its offense from the dynamic first line of NU commit Micaela Sindoris, Ciara Wall and Carly Daly. That trio scored all three goals and peppered Vermont's Skodova throughout the third period. The Worcester powerplay had plenty of chances with VA taking so many unnecessary penalties -- and they had some good looks, too -- but were not able to convert on some grade A opportunities. For Worcester is to have any chance at repeating they will need to get their PP in sync and will need to find a second line that can generate offense. Other than that, the Hilltoppers look very much like a team ready to defend its title.



Nobles' O'Connor Ties Up BB&N Late

Dedham, Mass. -- BB&N, just 60 seconds away from pulling off a huge upset and a must-needed win in the hunt for a D-I playoff spot, were stunned by Nobles' junior defenseman Rose O’Connor's rocket from the point to tie the game at 1-1 and extend the Bulldogs win streak to eight games (6-0-2) here Friday.

We were impressed with what we saw from BB&N. They were fast, physical and well coached. The Knights' top line  -- Northeastern commit Molly Griffin, Brown commit Maya Mangiafico and Jenna Hallice -- were all over the ice. It was Griffin who broke the ice and scored first when she picked the pocket of a Nobles' defenseman trying to make an unnecessary move at the blue line, and went in and ripped one by Nobles' goalie Kelly Pickreign. The BB&N forwards were extremely hard-working all night with Alex Schmalz, Dehlia Fallon and Maddie Burns all having strong games. On the back end, BB&N senior Kayla Duran and freshman Mia Biotti had strong games. In net, BB&N looks like it has finally found its #1 goalie with junior Rei Halloran playing the entire game. And she was terrific. After watching BB&N here tonight, we would not be surprised to see them in the playoffs, contending for a D-I title.

For Nobles, we sound like a broken record, but we continue to be impressed with what they are able to do with such a depleted lineup. Their defense was excellent tonight with O’Connor, junior Nicki Lutschaunig, 9th grader Kaley MacDonald and junior Lily Farden all having strong games and with Pickreign in net they have a chance to win every night. The Nobles offense is limited, but they work hard and have some young players who are gaining valuable experience, including 9th graders Ellie Bayard and Madison Michals and 8th grader Kate Ham. If Nobles is going to contend for a title this year we think they will need to get some of their top players back in the lineup, but, then again, they have surprised us all year.


Tabor Stuns SPS in OT

Marion, Mass. -- Tabor’s duo of junior Anne Berry and senior captain Kelly Browne converted on a 2-on-1 with two minutes remaining in overtime to stun red-hot St. Paul’s, 3-2, here last night. 

St. Paul’s struggled for the first bit of the game, searching for their legs after the long bus ride from Concord, NH. Tabor took the lead halfway through the first period when senior Marissa Fitzgerald took a shot from the circle which took a brutal deflection off of a St. Paul’s defender and continued into the back of the net. St. Paul’s woke up quickly after that. The Pelicans had many opportunities in the first frame, particularly from their first line of Tiffany Hill, Gaby Roy, and Gillis Frechette, but could not find the back of the net.

In the second period, St. Paul’s came out strongly, but it was the Seawolves who struck again on an Anne Berry--Kelly Browne combination to pull ahead, 2-0, halfway through the contest. However, just minutes later, it would be St. Paul’s that came soaring back when sophomore Tiffany Hill found herself on a breakaway. Hill’s shot rang off the crossbar, then deflected off the Seawolves' goalie’s back and into the net. Three minutes later, it would be the Pelicans again when junior Claire O’Leary threw a shot at the net that was tipped in by senior Bella Kang to tie the game at two.

In the final frame of regulation, both teams found themselves playing their special team units multiple times. There were seven penalties in the third period and no shortage of back-and-forth hockey, but no team could pull ahead.

It seemed like it was St. Paul’s game to lose in the extra frame. The Big Red started its second line, which set up what appeared to be a mismatch, with the Pelicans' first line against the Seawolves' third; a power play of sorts for St. Paul’s given the talent on their first line. The 'mismatch' led to an icing from the Seawolves and a subsequent timeout call with 1:30 left in the game. It was just 20 seconds after this timeout that Tabor’s standout duo of the game, Anne Berry and Kelly Browne, came down the ice and got the win for Tabor.

There were conflicting reports on who actually scored the goal. Fans behind the net said it was Anne Berry, but Tabor’s managers and the referee gave credit to Kelly Browne. Nonetheless, the Seawolves scored a good goal to win the game. 

This was a really entertaining game, except for the first half of the first period. Given the parity this year, no team can afford a slow start. Both of these teams deserve a spot in the playoffs this March, and if they continue playing as well as what we saw last night we might just see them in a rematch in Worcester.


Worcester Ice Center to Host the Prep Finals

The finals of the NEPSAC Girls' Hockey Championships will have a new home this year, at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. There, on Sunday March 4th, the D-II championship will face off at 1:00 pm, and the D-I title game will follow at 4:00 pm.

Prior to all that, the quarterfinals will be held at the campuses of the higher seeds on Wed. Feb. 28th, and the semifinals will be held on Sat. March 3rd.

The exception is if the driving time between schools facing each other exceeds 2 hours, 45 minutes. Those games will be played at a neutral site.

The link to the Worcester Ice Center, the home rink of Worcester Academy, can be found here:

Worcester Ice Center


Game On? Off? Let Us Know

For the safety of all who are heading out on the highways this afternoon, please let us know if any of the following games have been cancelled or postponed. Info can be sent to the email address above. Please let us know whether it's a girls' game or boys' game being reported on. Thank you in advance.

Wed. Feb. 7, 2018
Kent @ Canterbury, 2:00 pm -- ppd. to tomorrow at 4:15 pm
Kimball Union @ Exeter, 2:30 pm -- cancelled
Loomis-Chaffee @ Hotchkiss, 3:00 pm -- cancelled
Vermont Academy @ Tilton, 3:00 pm -- cancelled
Thayer @ Governor's, 3:15 pm -- ppd. to tomorrow; 3:45 pm @ Thayer
Tabor @ Middlesex, 3:15 pm -- ppd. to Mon. 2/12 at 4:30 pm
Dana Hall @ Nobles JV, 3:15 pm -- cancelled
NMH @ New Hampton, 3:30 pm -- postponed; makeup date TBA
Williston-Northampton @ Choate, 3:30 pm -- ppd. to tomorrow @ 5:30 pm
Winchendon @ Southfield, 3:30 pm -- postponed to Fri. 2/9 at 6:15 pm
Taft @ Greenwich, 3:30 pm -- cancelled
Brewster Academy @ Proctor, 3:45 pm -- cancelled
Holderness @ Brooks, 3:45 pm -- postponed; makeup date TBA
St. George's @ BB&N, 4:00 pm
Lawrence @ Cushing, 4:00 pm -- postponed to tomorrow at 5:15 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Groton, 4:15 pm -- moved up to Tues. 2/6 at 5:15 pm
Beaver Country Day @ Pingree, 4:30 pm -- cancelled
Worcester Academy @ Rivers, 4:30 pm -- cancelled
Hebron @ Berwick, 4:30 pm -- cancelled
La Salle Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:30 pm -- game on
Berkshire @ Pomfret, 5:00 pm -- cancelled
Millbrook @ Gunnery, 5:00 pm -- postponed to Mon. 2/19 @ 5:00 pm
Deerfield @ Westminster, 5:00 pm -- ppd. to tomorrow at 6:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Milton, 5:15 pm -- cancelled
Lawrenceville @ Hill School, 6:15 pm -- game on


Understanding the NEPSAC Girls Playoff Qualification System
As we approach the final weeks of the season, we routinely receive questions as to whether a certain team will qualify for the D-I (Class A) or D-II (Class B) girls NEPSAC playoffs. To many, the basis for qualification remains a mystery. Throughout the season, USHR has posted its weekly rankings based upon our observations as to which are the top teams at each level after seeing them play.

The NEPSAC playoff qualification system is a multi-factored analytical approach that ranks teams on the basis of three (D-I) or four (D-II) rankings. The NEPSAC playoff rankings are based upon results -- win, loss or tie -- and strength of schedule. Margin of victory has no influence on the rankings system, so an 8-1 win counts the same as a 1-0 OT win when factored into the NEPSAC rankings.

The D-I and D-II rating systems follow:

For D-I, the three rating categories are (a) overall record; (b) D-I record; and (c) D-I winning percentage vs. D-I teams with a .500 or greater record multiplied by the number of D-I games played.

For D-II, the four rating categories are (a) overall record; (b) D-II record; (c) D-II winning percentage vs. D-II teams with a .500 or greater record; and (d) percentage of overall games played against D-I teams.

For each one of these categories teams are ranked 1, 2, 3 etc. and then the sum of their ranking categories are combined for an overall rating total -- and that is how the playoff teams and seedings are arrived at. So, for example, in D-I Kent currently has the best overall record in all games played (1), best record in D-I games (1) and second-best winning percentage vs. D-I teams with a greater than .500 record based on number of games played (2) so Kent's overall rating score would be 4 points. As a result, while not the official NEPSAC standings, we would project them to be the #1 D-I seed if the season were to end today.

For D-II, the four-part category, in particular the percentage of games against D-I opponents, can result in rankings which differ from subjective polls. Indeed, based upon our calculations and interpretations of the NEPSAC formula, while Vermont Academy currently claims the top spot in three categories, a lower ranking in the 4th column (i.e., percentage of games played vs. D-I teams) currently places them below Rivers for the top overall spot. In addition, the strength of schedule component can have an impact too. For example, if a team has a victory or two against a team that is hovering at or around a .500 record, and that opponent then drops below .500, those games fall out of their ranking and can sway the seedings.

As we get down to the final weeks, keep tuned to USHR as we will keep you updated as to where we calculate teams are at in the playoff race, as well as important games to keep an eye on.


USHR Div. I Poll, Feb. 5th

1. Kent (13-1-0) -- Kent has an easy schedule for its final five regular season games. It’s now all about getting ready for the playoffs.

2. Nobles (16-2-2) -- The Bulldogs just continue to find a way to get it done. Friday’s game vs. BB&N will be big.

3. Loomis (13-3-1) -- Loomis still has some work to do with a challenging schedule ahead. The Pelicans will be facing Hotchkiss and Choate this week.

4. St. Paul’s (12-3-3) -- SPS is rolling right now, beating St. Mark’s, 10-0, and then blowing away New Hampton, 8-1. Friday’s game at Tabor is a big one, and will tell us a lot.

5. Taft (14-4) -- The Rhinos have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way. A home playoff game would be huge.

6. Tabor (14-4) -- The Seawolves are finding a way to win, but we are still surprised at how hard it’s been for them to score goals. Friday night vs SPS is a must-win.

7. Andover (12-4-0) -- PA is playing some great hockey right now. They travel to Williston on Saturday in another game with huge playoff implications.

8. Williston (10-5-2) -- The Wildcats move up to #8 after an off weekend. They will host Andover on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if they were able to recharge their batteries after a few days off.

9. BB&N (11-7-1) -- Hard to believe that BB&N is still hanging around, and in the hunt for a playoff spot. Friday’s game at Nobles is crucial to their hopes.

10. New Hampton (16-6) – The past weekend was a tough one for the Huskies, getting trounced at home by St. Paul’s and then losing on Saturday to Andover. New Hampton has an easy schedule the rest of the way -- five D-II opponents -- so we expect them to be very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.


Girls' Prep Composite Schedule, Week of Feb. 5, 2018

Mon. Feb. 5, 2018
Newton CD @ Thayer, 4:30 pm
Greenwich @ Rye Country Day, 4:45 pm

Tues. Feb. 6, 2018
Nobles @ Groton, 5:15 pm

Wed. Feb. 7, 2018
Kent @ Canterbury, 2:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Exeter, 2:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Hotchkiss, 3:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Tilton, 3:00 pm
Thayer @ Governor's, 3:15 pm
Tabor @ Middlesex, 3:15 pm
Dana Hall @ Nobles JV, 3:15 pm
Northfield - Mt. Hermon @ New Hampton, 3:30 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Choate, 3:30 pm
Winchendon @ Southfield, 3:30 pm
Taft @ Greenwich, 3:30 pm
Brewster Academy @ Proctor, 3:45 pm
Holderness @ Brooks, 3:45 pm
St. George's @ BB&N, 4:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Cushing, 4:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Groton, 4:15 pm -- moved up to Tues. 2/6 at 5:15 pm
Beaver Country Day @ Pingree, 4:30 pm
Worcester Academy @ Rivers, 4:30 pm
Hebron @ Berwick, 4:30 pm
La Salle Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:30 pm
Berkshire @ Pomfret, 5:00 pm
Millbrook @ Gunnery, 5:00 pm
Deerfield @ Westminster, 5:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Milton, 5:15 pm
Lawrenceville @ Hill School, 6:15 pm

Thurs. Feb. 8, 2018
Stanstead College @ Rice, 1:15 pm

Fri. Feb. 9, 2018
Dana Hall @ Winsor, 4:15 pm
Brewster Academy @ New Hampton, 4:30 pm
Rivers @ Milton, 5:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Exeter, 5:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Berwick, 5:30 pm
Hill School @ Rye Country Day, 5:30 pm
Pingree @ Hebron, 5:30 pm
BB&N @ Noble & Greenough, 6:00 pm
Pomfret @ St. Mark's, 6:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 6:00 pm
Hoosac vs. Albany Academy, 6:00 pm -- Sheehan Tournament @ Albany Academy
St. Paul's @ Tabor, 6:30 pm
Portledge vs. NYA, 8:00 pm -- Sheehan Tournament @ Albany Academy

Sat. Feb. 10, 2018
NYA vs, Albany Academy, 11:00 am -- Sheehan Tournament @ Albany Academy
Cushing @ Northfield - Mt. Hermon, 1:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Winchendon, 1:00 pm
Winsor @ St. Paul's JV, 1:30 pm
Southfield @ Proctor, 2:00 pm
Hotchkiss @ Taft, 2:30 pm
NYA vs. Hoosac, 2:30 pm -- Sheehan Tournament @ Albany Academy
Portsmouth Abbey @ Rye Country Day, 2:45 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Westminster, 3:00 pm
Pomfret @ St. Paul's, 3:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Milton @ Middlesex, 3:30 pm
Governor's @ Tabor, 4:00 pm
Gunnery @ Greenwich, 4:00 pm
Brooks @ St. George's, 4:00 pm
New Hampton @ Exeter, 4:15 pm
St. Mark's @ Rivers, 4:30 pm
Vermont Academy @ Worcester Academy, 4:30 pm
Millbrook @ Kent, 4:30 pm
Hebron vs. Canterbury, 4:30 pm -- at Phillips Exeter
Portledge vs. Albany Academy, 4:30 pm -- Sheehan Tournament @ Albany Academy
Deerfield @ Berkshire, 4:45 pm
Andover @ Williston-Northampton, 6:00 pm
Hill School @ Northwood School, 6:00 pm
Choate @ Loomis-Chaffee, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 11, 2018
Hill School @ Northwood School, 11:00 am
Hebron @ Winchendon, 12:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Hotchkiss, 1:00 pm

Mon. Feb. 12, 2018
St. George's @ Lawrence Academy, 5:15 pm
Berwick @ Southfield 5:15 pm


A New #1 in USHR Div. II Rankings

As we get closer to the finish line, there is a little adjustment at the top as we have a new #1: Rivers. After starting the New Year off with losses to Brooks and Nobles, the Red Wings have been on fire, winning 8 in a row while outscoring opponents 31-7 over that span. Vermont Academy slips to #2.  Based upon our calculations, USHR projects the current Top 8 playoff seeds as follows:

1. Rivers (13-3-0) -- A Wednesday showdown with Worcester Academy will impact the rankings.

2. Vermont Academy (20-2-2) -- The Wildcats, with two solid wins, bounced back from dropping two straight last week. They will face Tilton and Exeter before upcoming showdowns with Worcester and Gunnery.

3. Brooks (8-5-5) -- The Bishops have played the second-most D-I opponents, trailing only Gunnery. Their defense and goaltending keeps them in every game, but they can also struggle to finish, thus allowing their opponents to stay within striking distance in any given game.

4. Worcester Academy (13-3-1) -- The defending champs will have a chance to make a statement with back-to-back games against #1 Rivers and #2 Vermont Academy this week.

5. Canterbury (13-8-1) -- The Saints come in at #5 but face a challenge maintaining their position as they face Kent, Loomis, Gunnery and Worcester down the stretch.

6. Gunnery (7-7-1) -- Gunnery traditionally plays the highest percentage of D-I games and that always helps their rankings. Their tough schedule continues with Greenwich, Vermont, Kent and Canterbury coming up.

7. Greenwich (10-6-1) -- Greenwich comes in at #7. After a Monday matchup with Rye, they have Taft and Gunnery this week. It will be a challenge to maintain their playoff position.

8. Kimball Union (11-4-4) -- The Wildcats have two road games this week, against Exeter and a surging Berwick. Not a lot of room for error down the stretch if they wish to make a return trip to the playoffs.

On the outside looking in:

St. George's  (8-6-0), Groton (9-8-2) and Berwick (10-5-1). All three teams are within striking distance of the top 8, but have ground to gain before they can make the jump.



Andover Win Streak Halted

Andover, Mass. -- Junior Olivia O’Brien and senior Olivia Finocchiaro each scored a goal within the first 20 seconds of the second period to lead the Tabor Seawolves to a 2-1 road win, though they had to hold on for dear life in the third period as the Big Blue of Philips Andover gave it all they had in an effort to extend their six-game win streak. They fell short, so this might not offer the Andover girls much consolation, but they got to play in one of the most exciting, fast-paced, well-coached girls prep school hockey games we have seen all season.

For Tabor, it was almost a must-win situation for the team we had ranked pre-season #1. They came out flying and looked like they were going to run away with it early, but they had difficulty converting some great scoring opportunities. Kelly Browne was all over the ice but Andover did a good job making it hard for her, especially around the net. Tabor ran three lines most of the game and had strong performances from junior Annie Berry, freshman Ashley Clarke and freshman Skylar Irving. The Tabor D was tested quite a bit in the third period, but did a good job allowing sophomore goaltender Christine Steege to see everything. If Tabor can continue to get strong play on the backend and a little more consistent goaltending they will be in a great position to make a serious run at the D-I title.

As for Andover, it was by far the best we have seen them play this season. They have a dynamic first line with senior Charlotte Welch, freshman Anna Bargman, and sophomore Lily Feeney that can play with anyone. In the third period that line had its way with all of Tabor's lines, including the Browne line. Andover's second and third lines are solid, but don’t generate nearly as much offense as the top line. Juniors Megan Ward and Emily Batchelor, and sophomore Maddy Silveira had strong games. On D, Andover got nice contributions from seniors Liz Holubiak and Sarah Rigazio as well as junior Brooke Keough -- all logged big minutes. In goal, senior Alexa Matses was solid, but it still looks like coach Martha Fenton is rotating three goalies while waiting for one of the three to step up and win the #1 job as the Big Blue head into the teeth of their schedule.


Rhinos Rolling

Easthampton, Mass. -- First period goals by sophomore Kristina Cornelio and junior defenseeman Claudia Vira were all that was needed as # 5 Taft kept rolling with an impressive 4-1 win over the suddenly struggling #8 Williston Wildcats in a battle of two playoff contenders Wednesday.

Taft has won 11 of 12, with its only loss to #1 Kent. Williston, on the other hand, hasn't won it its last five games (0-3-2).

For Taft, it was a nice bounceback win against a quality opponent after the Kent loss at home last weekend. We have noticed that Taft is very deep up front with some great two-way players including Cornelio, Vira, Mya Berretta, Lexi Cafiero, McKinley Karpa and Caeley Smith -- all had strong games. The Taft defense was solid all game doing a great job of keeping the speedy Williston forwards on the perimeter. Senior goalie Sidney Molnar has been tremendous all year. This Taft team has quickly become one of the top teams in girls prep hockey and is very much in the mix for a NEPSAC Championship

For Williston, it is time to get back to the drawing board and get back on track. Williston came out flying in the first period with their top line of Kate Holmes, Maura Holden and Gaby Jones controlling most of the play, but producing few quality scoring chances. Williston seems to spend too much time flying around the perimeter in the offensive zone, but doesn’t generate the “Grade A” scoring chances needed to win at this level. The Williston defense really struggled with Taft's speed as they continue to use a converted forward on D as well as two younger players who are clearly struggling with the pace of play and were out there for most of the Taft goals. However, senior Victoria Palumbo and junior Claudia Capone had solid games. Williston will need to get stronger play in net if they are going to make a run for a playoff spot. Williston definitely has the firepower to make a playoff run and we would be surprised if head coach Christa Talbot is unable to get the Wildcats back on track quickly.


Around the Rinks

Andover sophomore Lilly Feeney scored the GWG with 5:47 left in the 3rd period as #4 Andover edged #6 New Hampton in Sat. Feb 3 action.
Andover sophomore Lilly Feeney scored the GWG with 5:47 left in the 3rd period as #4 Andover edged #6 New Hampton in Sat. Feb 3 action. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
New Hampton senior F Savannah Norcross, a BC recruit, in a photo from her sophomore year.
New Hampton senior F Savannah Norcross, a BC recruit, in a photo from her sophomore year. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
Middlesex's Kylie Quinlan had two goals in a 2-2 tie vs. Governor's on Jan. 13th.
Middlesex's Kylie Quinlan had two goals in a 2-2 tie vs. Governor's on Jan. 13th. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
BB&N junior Lauren Jackson tees one up.
BB&N junior Lauren Jackson tees one up. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)