In First USHR Poll, it's Salisbury, Again
Well, here we are. It's the second Sunday in December -- and once again time for the first USHR prep poll of the season.
And Salisbury, winners of three straight New England prep titles -- and four in seven years -- is currently 5-0-0 and a unanimous #1. Once again, the Knights are the team to beat.
To be honest, we tend to think of the season's first poll as somewhat inconsequential, given that the sample size is so small, but....
We looked back at last year's first poll and found that eight of the ten teams in the poll went on to finish in the top 10 in the JSPR Rankings -- and all 10 polled teams wound up finishing in the Top 16. So maybe the first poll is not so weightless after all. Here, then, are the teams we had in the first poll from a year ago, from #1 through #10: 1) Exeter, 2) Loomis, 3) KUA, 4) Cushing, 5) Nobles, 6) Salisbury, 7) Choate, 8) St. Sebastian's, 9) Brunswick, and 10) Berkshire.
Of course, we include only the top 10 in the poll. That means the JSPR Top 16 was filled out by six other teams that made it to the post-season: Gunnery, Dexter, Brooks, Belmont Hill, St. Mark's, and St. Paul's. Some, you will recall, fared quite well. Dexter lost to Salisbury in the Elite 8 championship game, while Brooks won the Large School Championship, and St. Mark's won the Small School Championship Game.
OK, so much for last year. Most of the schools that were in the hunt last year are in the same spot again this time around.
There is one notable exception. That would be Tilton, which missed this week's Top 10 by a very narrow margin.
The Rams, under first-year head coach Brooks McQuade, are 4-1-0, with their first loss coming Saturday to Kimball Union, a 3-2 OT defeat. Tilton came very close to winning this one, as KUA was only able to tie it up on a Jack Doherty goal with the goalie pulled and one second remaining in regulation. And then the Wildcats won it in OT, remaining undefeated.
The key for Tilton has been senior goalie Alexander Gerasimenko, a '97 from Moscow, Russia. Gerasimenko kicked out 37 of 38, and garnered attention, in a 6-1 Tilton win over Proctor on December 4th. On Saturday, Gerasimenko stopped 42 of 45 Wildcat shots. Opposing coaches are speaking his praises. As for us, we haven't seen him yet, but are told that Gerasimenko is not very big -- and is a little orthodox, but also very athletic. We've heard that before. It's what people said about former UVM goalie Tim Thomas. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, here and that is not something we want to do. On Wednesday, you can draw your own conclusions, as Tilton will play at Exeter. Faceoff is at 3:00 pm. Exeter can put the puck in the net, so... a big test.
USHR Prep Poll, Week of Dec. 14, 2015
A New #1 in USHR Prep Poll
Westminster School, #5 in last week's USHR Prep Poll, has, by dint of winning the Flood-Marr Tournament, moved up to the #1 overall spot.
To see the rest of the Top 10, click here:
New England Prep Poll, Week of Dec. 21, 2015
The next prep poll will be posted Monday night Jan. 4th.
ECEL Holiday Classic Schedules & Rosters
There is no shortage of hockey viewing options for next weekend, so here's one more.
Peter Alden's East Coast Elite League will be hosting a U18/U16 tournament Fri. Dec. 18th through Sun. Dec. 20th at the Champions Skating Center (Cromwell, Conn.) and Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.)
In addition, like last year at Harvard, there will be a pair of all-star games held at Yale University's Ingalls Rink on Friday night the 18th. The U16s face off at 6:00 pm and the U18s at 8:00 pm.
The schedules and rosters can be found in the tournament program book.
2015 ECEL Holiday Classic Program Book
McLaughlin "Has Not Decommitted"
Last night, in commenting on Cushing's win at Williston, we wrote that Cushing junior center Marc McLaughlin has "reportedly decommitted from St. Lawrence."
This is something we had heard around the rinks, from sources we trust. Could we be wrong? Though there's no paper trail when it comes to verbal commitments, it appears we are indeed wrong in this case.
Today, we have heard from St. Lawrence head coach Greg Carvel, assistant Jared DeMichiel, and Cushing head coach Rob Gagnon. Both insist our report is incorrect. We have no reason whatsoever not to believe them.
"Marc McLaughlin," says Gagnon, "has not decommitted from St. Lawrence."
McLaughlin, a Billerica, Mass. native and one of the top prospects in prep hockey, committed to St. Lawrence last February.
South Kent Elite Invitational Schedule
The 2015 Legacy-South Kent School Elite Holiday Showcase will run from Thurs. Dec. 17th to Sun. Dec. 20th at the South Kent School.
Here's the schedule:
Thurs. Dec. 17th
7:00 pm -- U18 -- Seacoast College Prep vs. Selects Academy
Fri. Dec 18th
9:00 am -- U16 -- Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. Buffalo Regals
11:00 am -- U18 -- Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. Seacoast College Prep
1:00 pm -- U16 -- Selects Academy American vs. Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
4:00 pm -- U16 -- Selects Academy National vs. Buffalo Regals
6:00 pm -- U18 -- Selects Academy vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
8:00 pm -- U16 -- Carolina Jr. Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Sat. Dec. 19th
9:00 am -- U16 -- Selects Academy American vs. Buffalo Regals
11:00 am -- U18 -- Selects Academy vs. Gilmour Academy
1:00 pm -- U16 -- Selects Academy National vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
4:00 pm -- U16 -- Buffalo Regals vs. Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
6:00 pm -- U18 -- Gilmour Academy vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Sun. Dec. 20th
8:00 am -- U18 -- Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. Gilmour Academy
10:00 am -- U16 -- Selects Academy National vs. Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
12:00 pm -- U16 -- Selects Academy American vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres
2:00 pm -- U18 -- Selects Academy vs. Gilmour Academy