December 20, 2013

HS Journal: Crossing state lines

By Matt Williams

There aren't any national championships in high school sports, with everything that matters in terms of hardware happening within state lines.

One of the interesting, and unique, things about hockey is that you see more matchups between state powers than in other sports.

Malden Catholic of Massachusetts took care of Rhode Island powerhouse Mount Saint Charles, 8-2, on Wednesday night in one of the first marquee interstate games of the 2013-14 season.

The Mounties were done no favors by holiday and snow traffic, as well as the long trek. Still, any time a team with that pedigree takes a loss with that score, you have to take notice (the game was 1-1 going into the second period before MC pulled away).

Does it mean that Massachusetts may be ahead of Rhode Island for this year? Maybe.

MC has two Hockey East recruits (Ara Nazarian to UNH and Tyler Sifferlen to UMass Lowell), so it stand to reason they'd be a handful for just about any team in the region. The Lancers will get a chance to test that theory later in the year, when they face Delbarton of New Jersey and New Hampshire's Bishop Guertin.

Out-of-state games are a bit of a theme in the Catholic Conference. BC High beat Don Bosco of New Jersey in their season opener over the weekend. They'll get a chance to put Massachusetts bragging rights on the line in a few weeks against new R.I. No. 1 Bishop Hendricken on Jan. 11, and this time the Bay State team will be the one doing the traveling.

Contests between states are fairly common in border states as well. Games between teams in Vermont and Maine happen on occasion, and Essex Vermont made the long trek to Gloucester for a game against Beverly last weekend.

Looking ahead to the holiday tournament slate, there are some intriguing interstate games on tap.

Marthat's Vineyard (Mass.) and Newington (Conn.) will be heading up to the Whittemore Center to the Heuchling & Swift Memorial Classic. Falmouth (Maine) will be taking part in the Nate Nickerson Invitational in Hyannis, and Bishop Feehan is heading down the Smithfield Holiday Tournament in Rhode Island. Tewksbury is also going to Southern Maine for the Yankee Ford Holiday Hockey Classic.

One other tournament we'll have our eyes on: The second annual Christie Serino Christmas Classic. Played in honor of the late former MC and Merrimack College coach, the tourney brings MC, Austin Prep, St. Mary's and Hingham together. That makes for a potential matchup between our No. 1 and No. 2 teams, and Hingham is a top-10 contender. The Lancers won it in a shootout last year over AP.

STATE RANKINGS

MASSACHUSETTS

1. Malden Catholic (1-0-0)

2. Austin Prep (1-0-0)

3. BC High (2-0-0)

4. Central Catholic (0-0-1)

5. Catholic Memorial (2-0-0)

6.  Springfield Cathedral (1-0-1)

7. Reading (2-0-0)

8. Archbishop Williams (1-0-0)

9. Hingham (1-0-0)

10. Marshfield (1-0-0)

CONNECTICUT

1. Fairfield Prep

2. Notre Dame West Haven

3. New Canaan

4. Ridgefield

5 Darien

6. Xavier

7. East Haven

8. Amity

9. Northwest Catholic

10. Notre Dame Fairfield

NEW HAMPSHIRE

1. Manchester Memorial (0-0-1)

2. Pinkerton (0-0-1)

3. Merrimack (0-0-0)

4. Spaulding (0-0-0)

5. Londonderry (0-0-0)

6. Manchester Central (0-0-0)

7. Trinity (0-0-0)

8. Bishop Guertin (0-0-0)

9. Bedford (0-0-0)

10. Salem (1-0-0)

RHODE ISLAND

1. Bishop Hendricken (3-0-0)

2. Mount St. Charles (2-2-0)

3. La Salle (2-1-0)

4. Lincoln (2-0-0)

5. Cumberland (2-0-0)

6. West Warwick/Exeter/Grenwich (3-0-0)

7. Smithfield (1-0-0)

8. Cumberland (2-0-0)

9. Middletown (2-0-0)

10. Cranston (2-1-0)

MAINE

1. St. Dom's (2-1-0)

2. Scarborough (3-1-0)

3. Lewiston (2-1-0)

4. Messalonskee (3-0-0)

5. Bangor (2-1-0)

6. Brewer (2-1-0)

7. Gorham (4-0-0)

8. Falmouth (2-2-0)

9. Brunswick (2-2-0)

10. Kennebunk (3-0-0)

VERMONT

1. Champlain Valley (4-0-0)

2. South Burlington (2-1-0)

3. Essex (2-1-0)

4. Spauling (2-0-1)

5. Colchester (3-1-0)

6. Northfield (2-1-0)

7. North Country (3-1-0)

8. Brattleboro (0-0-0)

9. U-32 (0-0-0)


10. Rutland (2-1-1)

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