Established 1996

Sat. Feb. 6 Highlights
A lot of schools are on long weekend, so today's schedule was an abbreviated one:

Dexter 6 @ Andover 3 - Dexter got goals from six different scorers and Kevin Green stopped 24 of 27 shots to lead Dexter to a big road win over an Andover squad that less than 24 hours earlier had topped #4 Belmont Hill. Dexter, which only trailed for 17 seconds of today's game, remains undefeated at 18-0-1.

@ Kimball Union 5, Holderness 0 - Martin Ouellette stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout. Peter LaFosse (2g,1a) and Josh Dollinger (1g,2a) each figured in three of the Wildcats' five goals.

Governor's 6 @ Thayer 1 - Brian Ward (2g,1a) had three points, and Rory Burke stopped 17 of 18 shots to pick up the win.

Vermont Academy 6 @ Berwick 5 (OT) - J.D. Vermette scored at 4:25 of overtime to lift Vermont Academy to victory. Vermette also had three assists in the win.

NMH 10 @ NYA 2 - Joe Birmingham had a hat trick, Nick Gordon had five assists, and Andrew Bonazza had a pair of goals and an assist.
Middlesex 4 @ Brooks 2 - Middlesex got goals from four different scorers, and Aimahd Sabky stopped 17 of 19 shots.
@ New Hampton 6, Kents Hill 0 - Bryan Rooney, Troy Thibodeau, and John-Patrick Humphrey each scored two goals.

@ Lawrenceville 4, National Sports Academy 3 -- James Lawrence stopped 29 of 32 shots and Lawrenceville got goals from four different scorers.

@ Tabor 5, St. Sebastian's 2 - The Seawolves got goals from five different scorers and Robbie Kang stopped 28 of 30 shots for the win.


Sat. 2/27/10--Update: Note changes below, particularly the fact that, due to a power outage at St. Paul's, their game vs. LA will now be played at Lawrence.

Saturday's Revised Schedule

Sat. Feb. 27
Empire Cup Tournament (Day 2 of 2; see schedule below)
Lakes Region Championship (Day 2 of 3; see schedule below)
Hebron @ Kents Hill, 12:00 pm
NYA @ Pingree, 1:00 pm
Brooks @ BB&N, 2:00 pm
Cushing @ Rivers, 2:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Milton, 2:00 pm
Lawrence @ St. Paul's, 2:30 pm (game moved to Lawrence; 2:30 pm)
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Tabor, 3:00 pm
Winchendon @ South Kent, 3:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Dexter, 3:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Exeter @ Andover, 4:00 pm
Salisbury @ Canterbury, 4:00 pm
Berkshire @ Gunnery, 4:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Pomfret, 4:00 pm
Thayer vs. St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm (at BU - Walter Brown Arena)
Groton @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Middlesex @ St. George's, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Hotchkiss, 4:15 pm
Choate @ Kent, 4:30 pm (moved back from 2:30 pm)
Westminster @ Deerfield, 6:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Avon Old Farms, 7:00 pm

Lakes Region Tournament
#5 Holderness @ #4 Tilton, time TBA (semifinal)
#3 Brewster @ #2 Proctor, 4:00 pm (semifinal)
#7 Vermont @ #6 New Hampton (consolation game)

(Championship game tomorrow at St. Anselm College, 1:00 pm)

Empire Cup Tournament (revised schedule):
12:00 pm - Albany Academy vs. Portledge (@ Millbrook)
12:00 pm - Trinity-Pawling vs. Lawrenceville (@ T-P)
2:30 pm - Millbrook vs. Hoosac (@ Millbrook)
2:30 pm -- Brunswick vs. loser of T-P/Lawrenceville (@ T-P)
Wyoming Seminary (snow) has bowed out. Brunswick was
out but is now back in, for Saturday only.

Mass. Super 8
-- at Tsongas Arena; Lowell, Mass.
#3 Hingham vs. #6 Springfield Cathedral, 12:00 pm
#1 Catholic Memorial vs. #8 Winchester, 2:15 pm
#7 Xaverian vs. #2 Austin Prep, 4:30 pm
#5 Needham vs. #4 Malden Catholic, 6:45 pm

Gordon Conference Championship Game:
#2 CBA vs. #5 St. Augustine Prep, 8:00 pm (South Mountain Arena)

Final Standings and Playoff Schedule

 Here are the official JSPR standings:

 1. Kent (15)
 2. Gunnery (14)
 3. Nobles (13)
 4. Belmont Hill (10)
 5. Westminster (10)
 6. Milton (9)
 7. Avon (8)
 8. NMH (8)
 9. Cushing (8)
10. Choate (8)
11. Salisbury (6)
12. KUA (4)
13. Exeter (3)
14. Berkshire (2)
15. Tabor (1)
16. Dexter (1)

 Elite 8:
 1. Kent
 2. Gunnery
 3. Nobles
 4. Belmont Hill
 5. Westminster
 6. Milton
 7. Avon
 8. NMH

 Large Schools:
 1. Cushing
 2. Choate
 3. Salisbury
 4. Exeter
 5. Berkshire
 6. Tabor
 7. Andover
 8. Deerfield

 Small Schools:
 1. KUA
 2. Dexter
 3. Brewster
 4. Tilton
 5. Pomfret
 6. Hebron
 7. South Kent
 8. St.George's

Stuart/Corkery Tournament

Wed. March 3
#8 NMH @ #1 Kent, 3:30 pm
#5 Westminster @ #4 Belmont Hill, 3:30 pm
#6 Milton @  #3  Nobles, 5:30 pm
#7 Avon Old Farms @ #2 Gunnery, 3:30pm

Martin/Earl Tournament

Wed. March 3
#8 Deerfield @ #1 Cushing, 3:30 pm
#5 Berkshire @ #4 Exeter (@ Groton), 4:30 pm
#6 Tabor @ #3 Salisbury (@ Loomis), 4:00 pm
#7 Andover @ #2 Choate, 5:30 pm

Piatelli/ Simmons Tournament

Wed. March 3
#8 St. George's @ #1 Kimball Union (@ Winchendon), 3:30 pm
#5 Pomfret @ #4 Tilton, 4:00 pm
#6 Hebron @ #3 Brewster, 4:30 pm
#7 South Kent @ #2 Dexter (@ Pomfret), 3:00 pm

Semifinals and Finals are at the ICenter in Salem NH:

Stuart/ Corkery semi-finals at 5:30 and 8:00 pm on Friday March 5
           Final on Sunday March 7 at 3:30 pm

Martin/Earl semi-finals are Sat. March 6 at 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm 
                    Final on Sunday March 7 at 1:00 pm

Piatelli/Simmons semi-finals at 9:00 am and 11:30 am
                   Final on Sunday March 7 at 10:30am



Official RPI Standings:

These are the official final RPI standings.

1) Nobles, 2) Kent, 3) Gunnery, 4) Cushing, 5) Milton, 6) Choate, 7) Belmont Hill, 8) NMH, 9) KUA, 10) Dexter, 11) Westminster, 12) Salisbury, 13) Avon, 14) Exeter, 15) Berkshire, 16) Tabor, 17) Brewster, 18) Andover, 19) Deerfield, 20) Governor's, 21) Lawrence, 22) St. Paul's, 23) Tilton, 24) Hotchkiss, 25) Pomfret, 26) Hebron, 27) South Kent, 28) Taft, 29) St. George's, 30) Groton, 31) Winchendon, 32) Berwick, 33) St. Seb's, 34) Brunswick, 35) Proctor, 36) Williston, 37) BB&N, 38) New Hampton, 39) Middlesex, 40) Vermont, 41) Trinity-Pawling, 42) Rivers. 43) Canterbury, 44) Holderness, 45) Hoosac, 46) Loomis, 47) Thayer, 48) Millbrook, 49) Kents Hill, 50) Albany, 51) Brooks, 52) NYA, 53) Worcester, 54) St. Mark's, 55) Pingree, 56) Roxbury Latin, 57) Kingswood-Oxford, 58) Portsmouth Abbey. Not eligible due to not playing 15 NEPSIHA games: King-Low, Rye CD, and Harvey.


Sat. 2/27/10

One Day to Go
The NEPSIHA regular season concludes today. However, last night's games had an impact on this morning's standings. Here's how:

Salisbury now loses their JSPR comparison to Westminster. This happened due to the two teams flip-flopping spots in the RPI.  This was caused by Trinity-Pawling's 2-1 win over Albany Academy in the Empire Cup. Westminster now leads Salisbury by .00012 In the RPI. Almost all of today's results will play a key factor in the outcome of this particular comparison.

Belmont Hill now beats Cushing in their JSPR comparison.  With the Hillies 5-3 win over Tabor last night, Belmont Hill has moved ahead of Tabor in the mutual opponents comparison, and now defeat the Penguins in the Comparison.

To sum things up, yesterday's results moved Belmont Hill up three spots in the JSPR standings, Cushing up two spots, and Exeter up one spot. Westy, Salisbury, and Tabor each moved down a spot. Other teams held their position.

Cushing, Milton, and NMH are in a three-way tie for the last two playoff spots.  Salisbury and Avon are both sniffing around should multiple teams ahead of them slip up.

Here are the standings:

 1.  Kent (15)
 2.  Gunnery (14)
 3.  Nobles (13)
 4.  Belmont Hill (10)
 5.  Westminster (10)
 6.  Choate (9)
t7.  Cushing (8)
t7.  Milton (8)
t7.  NMH (8)
10.  Salisbury (7)
11.  Avon (6)
12.  KUA (4)
13.  Berkshire (3)
14.  Exeter (2)
15.  Tabor (2)
16.  Dexter (1)

RPI Standings:

1) Nobles, 2) Kent, 3) Cushing, 4) Gunnery, 5) Milton, 6) Choate, 7) KUA, 8) Bel Hill, 9) NMH, 10) Dexter, 11) Westminster, 12) Salisbury, 13) Avon, 14) Berkshire, 15) Exeter, 16) Tabor, 17) Andover, 18) Brewster, 19) Deerfield, 20) St. Paul's, 21) Governor's, 22) Hotchkiss, 23) Winchendon, 24) Lawrence, 25) Tilton, 26) Pomfret, 27) Hebron, 28) South Kent, 29) Taft, 30) St. George's, 31) Berwick, 32) St. Seb's, 33) Groton, 34) Brunswick, 35) Proctor, 36) BB&N, 37) Williston, 38) Vermont, 39) Middlesex, 40) New Hampton, 41) Trinity-Pawling, 42) Canterbury, 43) Rivers, 44) Holderness, 45) Hoosac, 46) Loomis, 47) Thayer, 48) Millbrook, 49) Albany, 50) Kents Hill, 51) NYA, 52) Worcester, 53) Brooks, 54) St. Mark's, 55) Pingree, 56) Kingswood-Oxford, 57) Roxbury Latin, 58) Portsmouth Abbey.

Note: Harvey, Rye CD, and King-Low will not have played the 15 required NEPSIHA games needed to qualify for the RPI ratings. Hoosac will just squeeze in, as they are playing their 15th NEPSIHA game today.

Click to View Detailed RPI Standings

Final Day Highlights
Milton Stuns Nobles in OT

Milton, Mass. - A T.J. Schneider goal at 4:28 of overtime put the coup de grâce on a dramatic Milton come-from-behind win that sent powerful Nobles to their first defeat in 19 games and, more importantly, gave Milton a spot in the Elite 8.

This was a scintillating game between two natural rivals played before a loud, jam-packed crowd - and it didn't disappoint when it came to entertainment value. Afterward, the place was buzzing, with all but perhaps some Nobles fans agreeing that this was about as good a prep hockey game as they'd seen in a long time.

After a scoreless first period, Nobles got on the board at 2:46 of the second when, on the power play, senior defenseman Gus Young took  a pass from Kevin Hayes in the low slot and snapped one top corner behind Milton junior goaltender Sean Dougherty.

Just 28 seconds into the third, Nobles went up 2-0 when, on the penalty kill, Nick Raffone picked up a Jonathan Mleczko turnover and broke in for a shorthanded goal. Mleczko, severely hampered in the second period due to an injury, was skating with limited mobility and it cost.

However, his teammates picked him up. About six minutes later, with the two teams skating 4x4, freewheeling Milton junior defenseman Pat McNally picked up a turnover in the neutral zone, broke in alone, put a deke on Nobles goalie Gene Lane, and then tucked it behind him to cut Nobles' lead to 2-1.

Suddenly, the crowd was energized.

About five minutes later, Milton d-man Aaron Deutsch was tripped as he drove to the net and was awarded a penalty shot, which energized the home crowd even more. Deutsch, however, didn't get off a good shot, and Lane made a routine save.

But Milton kept coming. The momentum was going their way, even if the clock wasn't. Finally, with time running out, and the extra attacker on, there was a scrum in front of the Nobles net and Milton junior Woody Hudson, with 14 seconds in regulation, got a whack at a loose puck which deflected off the shin pad of a Nobles defenseman standing in the crease, and right into the net. It was a 2-2 game.

The game moved to OT. Hudson had a chance 15 seconds in to win it for Milton, but couldn't convert. Nobles' Hayes came back the other way on a rush and winged a shot that Dougherty made a big glove save on.

With play moving into the final minute a Milton player pushed the puck up to center ice where Hudson tipped it past the Nobles D, allowing big Dan Merenich to break in 2-on-1 with Schneider, who carried the puck down the right side with speed, unleashing a low, hard shot that beat Lane far corner and setting off a huge celebration.

It was a mirror image of the overtime goal Schneider tallied at Belmont Hill on Feb. 17. That overtime goal was Schneider's first goal of the season. Now, he has three, and two are overtime game winners.

Afterward, Milton coach Paul Cannata said "This little stretch run here - the wins over Belmont Hill, KUA, Nobles - those have all been one-goal games. It's really a testament to the kids and all the work they do off-ice in the fall. That's carried over into the winter. This is a group of kids that has legs, they just keep coming. They have really good energy."

"Milton-Nobles is a long-time rivalry, but we haven't had a lot of success against them, so this was great for us. It's been a great run. After exams we went 7-2 and now... well, it's a new season, and we're in the mix."

Asked about Schneider's OT success, Cannata said, "That's the beauty of the game."

Down the hall, Nobles coach Brian Day said, "Once we got up 2-0, I thought we had things in control, but we got very irresponsible in the last half of the period. We just weren't responsible with the puck. Milton is a good team and, like all good teams, they capitalized on their opportunities. I'm proud of our guys. We've come a long way from the beginning of the season, but we really have to clean up some things if we want to be playing next weekend."


In Other Action:

@ Kent 5, Choate 2
– In a hard-fought game, Kent’s Dave Dupuis (2g,2a) figured in four of his team’s five goals. For Choate, Dan Linell had a pair of goals. This game had a downside for both teams, as Kent goaltender Marco De Filippo and Choate defenseman Joe Depietto were ejected for fighting with about a minute left in the third. Both will miss their team’s quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

@ Avon Old Farms 9, Loomis-Chaffee 2 – Quinn Smith (1g,2a), Mark Naclerio (2g), and Connor Doyle (3a) led the Winged Beavers attack..

@ Gunnery  2, Berkshire 1 – Alex Vazzano kicked out 31 of 32 shots and Terrence Wallin and Shane Gorman scored the goals as Gunnery finished the regular season 25-4-2.

NMH 6 @ Tabor 6 – In a back-and-forth game, NMH entered the third period trailing Tabor, 6-4, but got goals from Garrett McMullen and Andrew Bonazza to pull out the 6-6 tie.

Salisbury 10 @ Canterbury 1 – Gunnar Hughes (4g,1a) led the way for Salisbury.

Cushing 10 @ Rivers 3 – Conor Sheary had four goals and Mike Conderman three for the Penguins. Marco Eberth had two goals for Rivers.

Exeter 4 @ Andover 3 – Exeter had a 4-1 lead in the final minutes of this edition of the ancient rivalry when Exeter coach Dana Barbin pulled Max Fenkell to give his backup goalie some ice time. However, Andover quickly pumped in two goals on three shots. Barbin put Fenkell, who finished with 33 saves on 34 shots, back in and Exeter escaped with the 4-3 win.

Westminster 5 @ Deerfield 3 – Nick Lanza (3g,1a) led the attack for Westminster, who never trailed in this game. Nick Lovejoy had two goals for the Big Green.

Brewster Academy 5 @ Proctor 2 – Brewster, with the help of a 40-save effort by Carl Maltais-Beland, advances to Sunday’s Lakes Region championship game against Tilton.

St. Sebastian’s 3, Thayer 2 (at Walter Brown Arena; BU) -- St. Seb’s, trailing Thayer 2-1 late in the third, got a power play goal from Stephen Brown and, with 46 seconds left in regulation, the game winner from Tommy O’Regan, his second goal of the game.

@ South Kent 7, Winchendon 3 – Holden Anderson and Joe Tebano each had a pair of goals for South Kent. Dan Wegrzyn had two goals for Winchendon.

Lawrence 2 @ St. Paul’s 1 (OT) – In a game moved from St. Paul’s to Lawrence due to a power outage at St. Paul’s, ‘visiting’ Lawrence, on a Matt Baldino PPG in overtime, edged ‘home’ St. Paul’s. Jordan Nathan kicked out 28 of 29 shots for Lawrence. Derick Roy stopped 32 of 34 for St. Paul’s.

Hebron 5 @ Kents Hill 0 – Andrew Bettencourt (1g,3a) and Peter Quigley (2g) led the Lumberjacks attack. Anthony Avitable stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn the shutout.

Brunswick 2, Lawrenceville 0 – Gryphon Richardson stopped all 25 shots he faced to earn the shutout in an Empire Cup Tournament game at Trinity-Pawling.

Brooks 2 @ BB&N 1 – Tyler Stillings stopped 52 of 53 shots to lead Brooks to victory in a game in which they were outshot 53-25.

@ St. George’s 6, Middlesex 1 – Penn Sednaoui and Michael Violette each had two goals and Paul Roche stopped 29 of 30 shots to earn the win.


Small School Tournament Controversy
Three teams currently contending for a spot in the ‘small school' prep tournament -- Pomfret, Tilton, and South Kent -- could, despite qualifying by NEPSIHA rules, be bounced from the tournament by a New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) rule banning sub-.500 teams from post-season play.

As most USHR readers know, when Div. II folded up shop after last season and the ranks of Div. I hockey schools swelled to 61, a new playoff formula was adopted, and the playoffs were expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

In the new formula, strength of schedule, manifested in the form of the RPI, plays a huge role. While teams competing in the top tournament qualify under a combined RPI and JSPR ranking, teams in the other two tournaments - the so-called ‘large school' and ‘small school' tournaments - are chosen strictly from the RPI. This is something the NEPSIHA coaches voted on in the off-season.

Now, the NEPSAC executive board, headed up by Williston-Northampton AD Mark Conroy, is citing the NEPSAC rule that states that "to be considered for a NEPSAC invitational tournament, a team must have at least a .500 record in NEPSAC play."

The board refuses to waive the rule, but left the window for those schools open a bit by saying, in an email to league coaches, that "we think it is important for the selection committee to use the human factor to interpret the rankings in order to award the most deserving schools tournament berths. If the committee feels that there is an under .500 team or two that merits a berth, these cases would be appealed to me and our co-directors of championships - Jim McNally from Rivers and Kathy Noble from Lawrence. We will be available on Sunday if this is the case. We know that it is inevitable that deserving teams will be left out and not happy but this is the case each year in every tournament."

We here at USHR don't think much of this decision, and feel that last line is a cop-out. We do not think that it is ‘inevitable' that deserving teams will be left out. The new formula virtually guarantees that deserving teams are not left out. The reason those three school are ranked higher is simply that all three schools play a significantly more demanding schedule than any of the three teams that would supplant them if the sub-.500 NEPSAC rule is upheld. If the season ended today, Pomfret, Tilton, and South Kent should be in the tournament. It's as simple as that. To keep them out would be grossly unfair, and an embarrassment.

Can this whole issue be avoided by Pomfret, Tilton, and South Kent reaching .500?  It's possible, but four games would all have to fall a certain way for that to happen.

Here's what would have to happen:

#5 Pomfret (11-11-4), which hosts Williston tomorrow, must win.

#6 Tilton (11-13-4) must beat Holderness today in the Lakes Region Tournament play-in game. If they can do that, they will travel to Kimball Union for a semi-final game tomorrow. They must win that one, too. That's a tall task.

#8 South Kent (12-13-1) hosts Winchendon tomorrow. They must win.

John Gardner, Avon Old Farms head coach and NEPSIHA president, said, "My opinion is that we should go with the criteria the coaches voted on and adopted."

The teams that could move up and take the spots of a sub-.500 team are St. George's, Berwick, and Groton. Could the coaches of those teams, if thrust into the playoffs, decline the invitation to the tournament? No. Coaches, due to Jack Foley's refusal to take his Thayer team to the short-lived "1-A" prep tournament a number of years back, are not allowed to decline a tournament invitation. To do so would subject them to a five-year ban.

It's up to Conroy and the board to do the right thing.

Update: All three schools won the games they had to, and the below-.500 scenario never became an issue. However, unless it's dealt with in the off-season, this problem will likely come up again next year. When you have a field of 58 eligible teams, as was the case this year, and 24 teams get in and strength of schedule is heavily weighted, you're going to have teams under .500. There's no getting around it. And if teams are penalized for playing tough schedules, a whole different set of problems will arise. The prep hockey coaches want the sub-.500 rule waived, and it's important that the NEPSAC executive board acts on their recommendation.

Prep Playoff Standings Shaken Up

We've plugged Wednesday's results into the JSPR system used to determine playoff ranking, and have some interesting findings to take into the final weekend.

KUA has fallen out of the top eight, and, with no games remaining against the top 16 teams, look to be out of the hunt for the elite eight.  By losing to Milton, KUA currently ranks 7th in RPI, while Choate is at 6th.  This was enough for Choate to best KUA in their JSPR comparison and earn a vital point.

Belmont Hill did win at St. Paul's in OT yesterday, but their results - three losses in their last four games -- haven't been very good recently, and a loss to Tabor on Friday will most likely knock them out of the playoff picture. We said earlier in the month that Belmont Hill looked like a lock to make the playoffs barring any unforeseen circumstances. Well, they found that unforeseen circumstance.  

Gunnery's win over Westminster gave them the second-best record against teams under consideration and was enough to push them over the top against Nobles and into second place.  Kent, Gunnery, and Nobles have separated themselves from the pack and look to have a home playoff game on Saturday wrapped up.  Westminster took a big hit in the RPI thanks to their loss to Gunnery, but currently are hanging onto the last home playoff game, thanks to winning a four-way tiebreaker between themselves, Cushing, Choate, and Belmont Hill. 

Avon has also fallen out of playoff position, but not by their own immediate hand.  Wins by Salisbury and Choate yesterday have increased those two schools' records against mutual opponents to the point that they are better than that of Avon's. So, while Avon did nothing to hurt their chances yesterday, Salisbury and Choate helped themselves by winning.  Avon's largest undoing in this category was their 5 - 4 OT loss to Hotchkiss on January 13th.  Both Choate and Salisbury have positive results against the Bearcats, and this has hurt Avon.

Finally, we have the eighth and final playoff spot.  Currently Milton, NMH, and Salisbury are all tied for the final spot.  The tiebreaker is currently deadlocked as well, thus leaving the three teams in a tie.  With all three teams having games remaining this week, and NMH and Milton both facing top 16 opponents, those games will obviously be huge - everything, actually - in determining who gets in, and who is left out. We really are running right down to the wire here in the 2009- 10 season, and every team in the top 16 could use wins right now, whether for home ice, seeding, or the chance to make it.

On a side note, with Andover's lose to NMH yesterday, the top 16 looks to be fairly set.  Andover would need to beat Exeter in the marquee rivalry matchup on Saturday -- and get a fair amount of help (including a Tabor loss to Belmont Hill tomorrow) -- to crack the top 16, and really shake things up.

Here are the current JSPR results:

 1.  Kent (15)
 2.  Gunnery (14)
 3.  Nobles (13)
 4.  Westminster (9)
 5.  Cushing (9)
 6.  Choate (9)
 7.  Belmont Hill (9)
t8.  Milton (8)
t8.  NMH (8)
t8.  Salisbury (8)
11.  Avon (6)
12.  KUA (4)
13.  Berkshire (3)
14.  Tabor (2)
15.  Exeter (2)
16.  Dexter (1)

Here are the large and small school playoff standings.  Given the three-way tie between three large schools for the final playoff spot, we will list the top nine teams including the three in the tie for the elite tournament.

Large School Tournament:

3.  Avon
4.  Berkshire
5.  Exeter
6.  Tabor
7.  Andover
8.  Deerfield

Small School Tournament:

1.  KUA
2.  Dexter
3.  Brewster
4.  Winchendon
5.  Pomfret
6.  Tilton
7.  Hebron
8.  South Kent

Current RPI Standings:

1) Nobles, 2) Kent, 3) Cushing, 4) Gunnery, 5) Milton, 6) Choate, 7) KUA, 8) NMH, 9) Bel Hill, 10) Dexter, 11) Salisbury, 12) Westminster, 13) Avon, 14) Berkshire, 15) Exeter, 16) Tabor, 17) Andover, 18) Brewster, 19) Deerfield, 20) St. Paul's, 21) Governor's, 22) Hotchkiss, 23) Winchendon, 24) Lawrence, 25) Pomfret, 26) Tilton, 27) Hebron, 28) South Kent, 29) Taft, 30) St. George's, 31) Berwick, 32) St. Seb's, 33) Williston, 34) Brunswick, 35) Groton, 36) Proctor, 37) BB&N, 38) Vermont, 39) Middlesex, 40) New Hampton, 41) T-P, 42) Canterbury, 43) Rivers, 44) Canterbury, 45) Hoosac, 46) Loomis, 47) Thayer, 48) Millbrook, 49) Kents Hill, 50) Albany, 51) Worcester, 52) Brooks, 53) NYA, 54) St. Mark's, 55) Pingree, 56) Roxbury Latin, 57) K-O, 58) Portsmouth Abbey. N/A: Harvey, Rye CD, and King-Low.

Click to view RPI standings broken by category


Wed. Feb. 24 Highlights

Milton Stays Alive

@ Milton Academy 3, Kimball Union 2 - In a key battle to stay alive in the hunt for a berth in the top tournament, Milton, on the strength of a third period goal by junior Tyler Edwards, came out on top.

This was a tight game from beginning to end. Milton went up 1-0 6:22 in the first period when KUA goaltender Martin Oullette left a fat rebound out front and Mustang junior George Pantazopolous tapped it home.

Gabriel Veilleux got it back, lifting a shot high glove side from about five feet past Milton goaltender Sean Dougherty at 11:11 to tie the game up at 1-1.

In the second period, at 5:56, KUA junior Peter LaFosse made a nice pass across the top of the crease to sophomore Dennis Kravchenko to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. However, with 1:12 left in the period, a Michael Megnia shot from the left point found its way past Oullette - Pantazopolous was credited with the goal, his second of the game - and the two teams entered the second intermission tied at 2-2.

In the third, Milton got the only goal they needed when Jonathan Mleczko fed Edwards, who, at the 8:31 mark, winged a wrister from the top of the left face off  circle which beat Oullette top corner.

KUA had a chance to tie it up with about two minutes left, but Aaron Deutsch gloved a puck headed toward the open net out of the air, and Milton skated off with the big win. 

On Saturday, Milton will host Nobles (2:00 pm) in a game that could mean everything for the Mustangs, and certainly something for Nobles as well.

"These are two even teams," said Milton coach Paul Cannata afterward. "We played them for six periods this season. We got five goals; they got four. We were lucky to get one more than them. I thought the first period was a kind of feeling-out period. In the second period both teams had more jump. It was good to see Tyler Edwards score that goal. Mleczko hit him with a nice pass. I thought we played well in the second and third periods."

KUA coach Ryan Miller, whose team will have to settle for a berth in the small-school tournament now, said, "I give all credit to Milton. They won  a lot of 1-on-1 battles, a lot of races. They were hungrier. For some reason, we didn't have a lot of energy. We're a young program in terms of playing on this stage. We will take this as a lesson. It's been a great year, and we have a lot to be proud of. And there's a lot to be learned from a loss like tonight's."   

Delbarton Upset 

St. Augustine Prep 4, Delbarton 2 (Gordon Conference Semifinal) - Junior forward Roman Amiratto scored all four goals - the last an empty-netter -- to lead St. Augustine Prep to a 4-2 win and KO Delbarton's hopes for an undefeated season as well as a Gordon Conference championship.

Instead, St. Augustine, which had lost 6-1 to Delbarton back on Feb. 12, will play CBA in the Gordon Conference title game on Saturday night.

St. Augustine, coached by former University of Vermont forward Tim Fingerhut, also got big performances from sophomore John Stevens, the son of the ex-Flyers coach, who had four assists, and goaltender Joe Pantalone, who had 31 saves.

St. Augustine Prep, by the way, is the only school in New Jersey high school hockey history to finish with a perfect season, going 23-0 in winning the non-public championship in the 2006-07 season.

Delbarton, now 23-1 on the year, saw a 42-game unbeaten streak that extended back to last season come to an end.

Delbarton, which got early goals from Kenny Agostino and Tommy Davis to go up 2-0, will, as the #1 seed, advance to the state tournament, which begins next week. Delbarton has a bye in the first round.

Gunnery 6 @ Westminster 0 --  Alex Vazzano stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn the shutout and Joey Fiori had a pair of goals and an assist. Patrick Spano - five goals allowed -- had a rare bad day in goal for the Martlets and was lifted in favor of Nick Thompson. 

@ Trinity-Pawling 4, Taft 2 - T-P picked up their third straight win - and fourth in the last five games. Paul Falanga and Mike MacDonald each had two goals and Alex Burdekin stopped 30 of 32 shots.

@ Exeter 4, Pomfret 2 - Exeter trailed 2-0 going into the third but got four straight goals, the last an empty-netter to pull off the come-from-behind win. Max Fenkell had 23 saves.

@ NMH 4, Andover 1 - The Hoggers got goals from four different scorers en route to their 20th win of the season. Branden Komm stopped 25 of 26 shots.

@ Deerfield 3, Kent 2 - Connor Riley kicked out 27 of 29 and the Big Green got goals from three different scorers in their upset of Kent.

@ Choate 8, Loomis 0 - Nick BonDurant posted the shutout, kicking out 24 shots. Kyle Criscuolo (2g,1a), Alex Hagen (1g,2a), Dan Linell (1g,2a), and Adam Patel (1g,2a) each had three points for the Wild Boars.

Salisbury 6 @ Hotchkiss 3 - Hotchkiss had a 2-1 lead, but Salisbury struck for a pair of power play goals 40 seconds apart late in the second period to take the lead for good. Salisbury got goals from six different goal scorers and Gabe Antoni stopped 30 of 33 shots for the win.

Belmont Hill 5 @ St.Paul's 4 (OT) - Belmont Hill trailed 4-2 after two, but got third period goals from Brendan McNally (on a 5x3) and Jim Vesey to tie it up, and then won it on a Sean Gustin unassisted OT goal - a much-needed win for the Hillies, by the way.

BB&N 13 @ Roxbury Latin 3 - Chris Harlow had the hat trick, and Bob Pease and Luke Griffin each had two goals.

@ Nobles 6, Governors 3 - Jared Lackey had a pair of goals as Nobles won their 19th straight.  

Lawrence 5 @ St. Sebastian's 3 - Tyler Whitney (2g,1a) had three points and Nathaniel Heilbron stopped 33 of 36 shots for LA.

@ Dexter 10, New Hampton 4 - Cam Darcy had a hat trick and Barrett O'Neill had two goals as Dexter won their 20th.

@ Berwick 4, Pingree 2 - Nick Michaud (2g), Chris Atwood (1g,2a), and Kyle Lajeunesse (2a) led the Berwick offense.

@ St. George's 4, St. Mark's 2 -- Garrett Sider (2g,1a) and Michael Violette (3a) led the attack and Paul Roche had 31 save for the Dragons.

Groton 3 @ Middlesex 1 - Dale Adams stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead Groton.

@ Berkshire 12, Millbrook 1 - Trevor Mingoia, Michael Freitag, and Jake Goldberg each had two goals.

@ Avon Old Farms 10, Canterbury 1 - Kevin Teifenwerth and Morgan Mullen each had two goals and Josh Dionne had 16 saves for the Winged Beavers.

Rivers 7 @ Brooks 2 - Connor Dempsey and Jack Brewer each had two goals and Tim Corey kicked out 30 of 32 shots to pick up the win.

@ Hebron 9, NYA 0 - Shane Hearn had a hat trick.
Brunswick 8 @ Rye Country Day 2 - John Kelly had a hat trick for Brunswick.

Brewster 7 @ Holderness 6 - Ridge Garbutt (3g,3a) and Brian Hart (4g) led the way for Brewster. Jacob Scott (3g,3a), Derek Pimentel (2g,2a), and Eric Rochefort (4a) racked up some points for Holderness.

Snowed-out games:
Tilton @ Worcester Academy (there will be no makeup)
Proctor @ Cushing (again, there will be no makeup)
Hoosac @ Vermont Academy (ditto)

Late-arriving scores:
@ Albany Academy 7, Williston 6 (OT)
@ Kingswood-Oxford 2, Portsmouth Abbey 0

Another Winter Storm
It's raining in Boston and points south, but to the north, it's snowing. So far, we have one game that has been scratched: Proctor @ Cushing. We will let you know if we get others.


Hoosac @ Vermont Academy, and Tilton @ Worcester have also been wiped out by the weather. None of these games will be made up.


The Math Behind The Rankings

We here at USHR have been receiving a lot of questions about how the new playoff system works.  Instead of replying to multiple emails with the same information we will do our best to explain the mathematics the formula is built on, and hopefully address  many of the questions that have been sent to us.

In order to understand the system one must first start with the calculations for RPI.  RPI, which stands for Ratings Percentage Index, is set up as a way to rank all of the NEPSIHA teams in an equitable manner, taking into account both results and strength of schedule. The RPI is split into three categories.  The first is winning percentage, which is self-explanatory. This is worth 25% of the final RPI calculation.  The second category measures your opponents' winning percentage.  In other words, how good are the teams that you are playing? This category is worth 21% of the RPI calculation, which you will note recognizes that how you play -- your own winning percentage - is of greater weight than how your opponents play, i.e the second category.  The third category is opponents' opponents' winning percentage and is worth 54% of the RPI calculation.  This category is  truly a strength of schedule component and it was created to reduce the variation that happens for some teams on a yearly basis. It also eliminates any benefit that might come from running up gaudy won-loss records vs. weak teams.

Once the RPI numbers are calculated, the top 16 teams (based on the RPI) are then put into what is known as the JSPR system, which ultimately determines the seedings for what we have been calling the ‘big tournament', i.e the elite 8. The JSPR system offers a  deeper comparison of the relative strengths of  the Top 16 RPI Teams - aka  "Teams Under Consideration." It does so based on four criteria that we will get to shortly.

We should first mention that teams under consideration have been limited to 16 teams because it was determined that 16 teams provides a large enough sampling to determine the top eight teams overall. It would be extremely time consuming and of dubious benefit to evaluate all NEPSHIA teams under the JSPR system because of the fact that if a team doesn't make the top 16 in RPI, there is virtually no chance that they would crack the top eight in the JSPR system - they simply would not have won enough games against the top teams.  Teams within the top 16 in RPI have a legitimate chance of cracking the top eight of the JSPR system and making it to the big tournament.

OK, how does the JSPR system work? What is does is take the top 16 teams in the RPI, and then, using four separate categories, compares each of those teams to the other fifteen teams. In many cases, there are head-to-head results, but let's say that we wanted to do a virtual comparison of Kent and Nobles. These two teams have not and will not meet in the regular season so there is no way to say one team is better than the other based on head-to-head play. What the JSPR system does is utilize  statistical data to determine which team would come out on top in this hypothetical matchup.  It would be great to set up a computer simulation, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of every player on each team, but since that is not possible, we can only look at the numbers that we have access to.  The four categories the JSPR system uses in order to compare two teams are as follows.


1. Head- to-head result (if the teams have actually played on the ice the team who won should get credit for that).

2. Comparing the two teams RPI (how do the two teams stand against all other NEPSHIA teams)

3. Record against mutual opponents (if the two teams have played the same teams on the ice the results against those teams gives us a good indicator about the teams being compared)

4. Record against teams under consideration (how have the two teams played against the top sixteen teams in NEPSHIA)

After the two teams under consideration are compared in these four categories, a virtual winner is declared.  For purposes of illustration, let's go back to our example of Nobles and Kent, our two top RPI teams.

Since Nobles and Kent have not faced each other, that first category gets thrown out - no winner there. In the second category, Nobles has a higher RPI, so they pick up a point there. In the third category, Kent has a better record vs. mutual opponents, so they earn a point. In the fourth category, Kent has a better record against the top 16 RPI teams - aka ‘Teams Under Consideration' - and picks up a point there as well. So, the finally tally is, Kent 2, Nobles 1. And Kent is declared the winner of the hypothetical matchup. 

We should point out that, because there is an even number of categories being compared, there is always the chance that two teams will be tied in our simulation. If that is the case, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head play (the best indicator of comparative strength of these teams), the second is RPI (the most all-encompassing category), the third is record against mutual opponents, and the fourth is record against teams under consideration.  In the end the ‘winner' of the virtual comparison, Kent, is placed into a table similar to the one shown below.

This entire process is repeated for each possible matchup, of which there are 120, and each team is involved in 15 of them.  The total number of ‘wins' is then added and the team with the most ‘matchup points' garners top seed in the tournament.  Second highest amount of points gets the second seed, and so on.  Should teams get equal amounts of points in the final table, the winner of their JSPR comparison gets the higher seed. 

In summation, the RPI portion of the system takes the results on the ice, and finds the teams that get the best results out of the most difficult schedule.  From there, the best teams are compared to each other through the JSPR which rewards teams for winning games on the ice against the best teams in New England.  So, in the end, the teams that win the most games against the iron of prep hockey will be the top seeds.

We should point out that when USHR publishes the current RPI or playoff standings they are for that week only. In other words, the teams in the top 16 based on RPI can change each time a new set of games is played.  Also, when teams in the top 16 play each other it can change their comparisons and consequently their  JSPR ranking. It's all very fluid.  Naturally, the greater number of games remaining to be played the greater the potential volatility in the rankings. Just as in the past, the best teams will go through to the playoffs, and, with three tournaments now, more teams will be playing playoff hockey.

The JSPR system is not utilized for the second and third tournaments, the so called ‘large school' and ‘small school' tournaments. The seedings of those are determined strictly by RPI. In other words, once the elite 8, which is open to both large and small schools, is determined, those eight teams are taken off the RPI list. From this shortened list, the eight highest-ranked large schools are placed in one tournament, and the eight highest-ranked small schools are placed in the other.


One Week To Go

The final week of the 2009-10 NEPSIHA regular season is here. In other words, it's crunch time. Heading into Monday's slate of games the playoff picture looks like this:

1.  Kent (15)
2.  Nobles (14)
3.  Gunnery (13)
4.  Westminster (12)
5.  Belmont Hill (9)
6.  Avon (9)
7.  Cushing (8)
8.  KUA (7)
9.  NMH (7)
10. Choate (7)
11. Salisbury (6)
12. Milton (6)
13.  Berkshire (3)
14.  Tabor (2)
15.  Exeter (2)
16.  Dexter (0)

Here are some things to key on:-

-- The game that may determine the entire course of the playoffs is Saturday's historic rivalry between Exeter and Andover.  Exeter currently sits 16th in RPI at .554, and Andover sits 17th in RPI at .551.  If Andover were to beat Exeter, the two teams would most likely flip flop, and thus put Andover into the teams under consideration. (We say ‘most likely' because the results of other games could affect the RPI in such a way that the Andover-Exeter game is less than crucial to the overall playoff picture. However, right now, it looks to be a big game.) Anyway, if Andover were to pull ahead and step into the top 16, it would improve Dexter's record against teams under consideration from 0-1-0 (losing to Tabor) to 1-1-0. The ripple effect would affect other teams in the top 16, as Andover has wins against the following top 16 teams: Nobles, Westminster, Belmont Hill, Cushing, and Tabor.

-- The impact of games between teams under consideration is huge.  For example, if Choate had won yesterday's game vs. NMH, they would have beaten the Hoggers in the JSPR comparison between the two teams, and they would have been catapulted over NMH and KUA into the final playoff spot. 

-- Here are the remaining regular season games between teams currently under consideration:

Wed 2/24: Gunnery @ Westminster, KUA @ Milton

Fri 2/26: Tabor @ Belmont Hill

Sat 2/27: Nobles @ Milton, Choate @ Kent, NMH @ Tabor, Berkshire @ Gunnery

Here are the current RPI standings:

1) Nobles, 2) Kent, 3) Cushing, 4) Gunnery, 5) KUA, 6) Choate, 7) Milton, 8) Belmont Hill, 9) Westminster, 10) NMH, 11) Dexter, 12) Salisbury, 13) Avon, 14) Berkshire, 15) Tabor, 16) Exeter, 17) Andover, 18) Brewster, 19) St. Paul's, 20) Deerfield, 21) Governor's, 22) Hotchkiss, 23) Winchendon, 24) Taft, 25) Pomfret, 26) Tilton, 27) South Kent, 28) Hebron, 29) Brunswick, 30) Lawrence, 31) St. George's, 32) Berwick, 33) Proctor, 34) St. Sebastian's, 35) Williston, 36) Groton, 370 BB&N, 38) Vermont Academy, 39) New Hampton, 40) Middlesex, 41) Canterbury, 42) Hoosac, 43) Trinity-Pawling, 44) Rivers, 45) Holderness, 46) Loomis, 47) Kents Hill, 48) Thayer, 49) King-Low, 50) Millbrook, 51) Albany, 52) Worcester, 53) Brooks, 54) NYA, 55) St. Mark's, 56) Portsmouth Abbey, 57) Pingree, 58) Kingswood-Oxford, 59) Roxbury Latin, 60) Rye CD, 61) Harvey. 



This Week's Schedule

Mon. Feb. 22

Kingswood-Oxford @ Avon Old Farms, 4:15 pm
Gunnery @ Canterbury, 4:15 pm
Belmont Hill @ St. Sebastian's, 4:45 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Roxbury Latin @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Lawrence @ Thayer, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Brunswick @ Portledge, 5:30 pm

Wed. Feb. 24
Canterbury @ Avon Old Farms, 2:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Choate, 2:30 pm
Gunnery @ Westminster, 2:30 pm
Taft @ Trinity-Pawling, 2:30 pm
Groton @ Middlesex, 3:00 pm
St. Mark's @ St. George's, 3:00 pm
Salisbury @ Hotchkiss, 3:30 pm
Belmont Hill @ St. Paul's, 3:30 pm
BB&N @ Roxbury Latin, 3:45 pm
Pingree @ Berwick, 3:45 pm
Andover @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 4:00 pm
Pomfret @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Milton, 4:15 pm
Tilton @ Worcester Academy, 4:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Albany Academy, 4:00 pm
Brunswick @ Rye Country Day, 4:00 pm
NYA @ Hebron, 4:00 pm
Hoosac @ Vermont Academy, 4:00 pm
Rivers @ Brooks, 4:00 pm
Kent @ Deerfield, 4:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Bridgton Academy, 4:00 pm
Millbrook @ Berkshire, 4:15 pm
Brewster Academy @ Holderness, 4:15 pm
Lawrence @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30 pm
Proctor @ Cushing, 4:45 pm
Governor's @ Noble & Greenough, 4:45 pm
New Hampton @ Dexter, 5:00 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Kingswood-Oxford, 5:00 pm

Fri. Feb 26
Empire Cup Tournament (Day 1 of 2; see schedule below)
Lakes Region Championship (Day 1 of 3; see schedule below)
Dexter @ Roxbury Latin, 3:45 pm
Governor's @ Rivers, 5:00 pm
Rye CD @ Kingswood-Oxford, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 12/9)
Winchendon @ Williston-Northampton, 5:00 pm
Groton @ BB&N, 5:30 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Tabor @ Belmont Hill, 5:45 pm
Academie St. Louis @ St. George's, 6:00 pm
Sat. Feb. 27
Empire Cup Tournament (Day 2 of 2; see schedule below)
Lakes Region Championship (Day 2 of 3; see schedule below)
Hebron @ Kents Hill, 12:00 pm
NYA @ Pingree, 1:00 pm
Brooks @ BB&N, 2:00 pm
Cushing @ Rivers, 2:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Milton, 2:00 pm
Lawrence @ St. Paul's, 2:30 pm (game moved to Lawrence Academy rink; same starting time)
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Tabor, 3:00 pm
Winchendon @ South Kent, 3:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Dexter, 3:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Exeter @ Andover, 4:00 pm
Salisbury @ Canterbury, 4:00 pm
Berkshire @ Gunnery, 4:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Pomfret, 4:00 pm
Thayer vs. St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm (at BU - Walter Brown Arena)
Groton @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Middlesex @ St. George's, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Hotchkiss, 4:15 pm
Choate @ Kent, 4:30 pm (moved back from 2:30 pm)
Westminster @ Deerfield, 6:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Avon Old Farms, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 28
Lakes Region Championship (Day 3 of 3)

Championship game, 1:00 pm (game does not count in NEPSIHA standings)


Lakes Region Tournament:

Here are the standings for the Lakes Region:

#1 Kimball Union       12-0-0=24
#2 Proctor                   8-4-0=16
#3 Brewster                 7-4-1=15
#4 Tilton                     7-5-0=14
#5 Holderness              4-7-1=9

#6 New Hampton          2-10-0=4
#7 Vermont                  1-11-0=2

Friday Feb. 26:
Play-in Game:
#5 Holderness @ #4 Tilton, time TBA

Sat. Feb. 27:
Winner of Holderness vs. Tilton @ KUA, time TBA
#3 Brewster @ #2 Proctor, 4:00 pm
#7 Vermont @ #6 New Hampton (consolation game)

Sun. Feb. 28:
Championship Game:
Semifinal Winners, 1:00 pm (@ St. Anselm College). 


Empire Cup

Friday, February 26th
Game 1: Hoosac vs. Lawrenceville, 5:00 pm (@ Millbrook)
Game 2: Millbrook vs. Portledge, 7:30 pm (@ Millbrook)
Game 3: Brunswick vs. Albany Academy, 5:00 pm (@ Trinity-Pawling)
Game 4: Trinity-Pawling vs. Wyoming Seminary, 7:30 pm (@ Trinity-Pawling)

Saturday, February 27th
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 12:00 pm (@ Millbrook)
Game 6: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2:30 pm (@ Millbrook)
Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 12:00 pm (@ Trinity-Pawling)
Game 8: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2:30 pm (@ Trinity-Pawling)

Championship Game: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7, 7:00 pm (@ Millbrook)         


Midwest Prep Hockey League Playoffs

-- at Gilmour Academy; Gates Mills, Ohio

Fri. Feb. 26
Play-in Games:
9:00 am -- Game 1: Shady Side vs. St. Francis (Arena 2)
11:10 am -- Game 2: Ridley vs. Loyola Academy (Arena 2)
3:20 pm -- Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Lake Forest Academy (Arena 2)
7:00 pm -- Game 4: Edge School vs. Gilmour Academy (Arena 1)
9:10 pm -- Game 5: Winner Game 2 vs. Stanstead College (Arena 1)
7:50 pm -- Game 6: St. Andrews vs. National Sports Academy

Sat. Feb. 27

6:40 pm -- Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 6 (Arena 2)
7:00 pm -- Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (Arena 1)

Sun. Feb. 28
9:20 am -- Game 9: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (Arena 1)

A New #1
Nobles, on the strength of an 18-game winning streak, has moved into the #1 spot in this week's USHR Prep Poll.

Last week was a strange one, as many teams shot themselves in the foot. Nobles didn't - they went 3-0. Milton went 3-0 as well. Salisbury had an easy win over Kingswood-Oxford and a hard-fought tie with Avon. The other seven teams in the poll had at least one loss, and Belmont Hill had two. 

KUA and NMH got the boot this week, though they are bubbling under, and are extremely close to the pack. However, room had to be made for Milton and Salisbury, returnees to the top 10. 

To show how mutable things are, consider Avon. The Winged Beavers blasted then-#1 Gunnery 6-0, lost 2-1 in OT at Choate, then tied 1-1 at Salisbury. On paper, that's a .500 week, but considering the quality of opponents, a 'good' .500 week, so they moved up three slots. Whether they actually make the big tournament or not is another question. They really should have cancelled their Xmas Classic this winter. 

Anyway, a lot of teams had a chance to make a statement over the past week, but flubbed the opportunity -- and that's the story of the penultimate week of the regular season.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 22, 2010

Sat. Feb. 20 Highlights
@ Cushing 3, Kimball Union 1 - In a game between a pair of teams on the bubble of the big tournament, host Cushing came out on top.  KUA jumped on top 33 seconds in as Gabe Veilleux converted a perfect Dennis Kravchenko pass - but that was all the Wildcats would get past Cushing goaltender Chad Hardy. Cushing would score a pair of goals in a span of under three minutes midway through the first. With the teams skating 4x4, Conor Sheary, trailing the play with speed, drilled a rebound of a Mike Conderman shot past KUA goaltender Martin Ouellette at the 10:54 mark. Cushing's next goal was a rebound goal too, as Collin Bourque banged home a puck that had bounced off Ouellette's right pad at 12:07. Robbie Baillargeon added an insurance goal in the third.

Cushing coach Rob Gagnon was happy with his team's win. "I thought we came together as a team well. All three lines stepped up, and when they didn't, our goalie came up big. We won battles on the half wall to get pucks into the neutral zone better than we've done all year - and that‘s something we've been working on in practice. Also, when our guys didn't have a play they recognized that, and just got it deep. And I would put the Conderman-Baillargeon-Sheary line up against any in New England."

Kimball Union coach Ryan Miller liked his team's effort. "I thought we played a pretty good road game," he said. "Our team played well. Our inability to finish hurt us, but we won't be taking any negatives away from this one. We just have to refocus and look ahead."

Avon Old Farms 1 @ Salisbury 1 - Avon, needing wins to get into the big tournament, had to settle for a tie at Salisbury. Defenseman Matt Caito scored a second period power play goal for Salisbury, and was answered five minutes later by Avon's Chad Hollenshade, who scored a power play goal of his own. Josh Dionne had 40 saves for Avon, while Salisbury's Gabe Antoni 33.  

Choate 4 @ Taft 1 - This one was 1-1 midway through the third, when the Wild Boars, fighting for a spot in the big tournament, busted through with goals by Joe Raush and Dan Schuler, who would also add an empty-netter. Dan Rivellini stopped 32 of 33 shots to earn the win for Choate.  

@ Trinity-Pawling 5, Hotchkiss 4 - After a scoreless first period, the goals came cascading forth in the second, as host T-P busted out to a 5-2 lead. In that period, Travis Ritter had a pair for T-P, and Ken Matheson had a pair for Hotchkiss. Late in the third, the Bearcats scored a pair - both off the stick of Matt Coleman - to make things interesting. This was a tough loss for the Bearcats, who were knocking on the door of the large-school tournament.

Berkshire 3 @ Westminster 2 - Mike Singsigalli (2g,1a) figured in all three goals and Mitch Gillam stopped 28 of 30 shots to lead the Bears to a victory that keeps their hopes of a berth in the large school tournament very much alive.

@ Kent 7, Canterbury 2 - Noel Acciari (2g,2a) and Drew Brown (2g,2a) led the Lions' attack, and Matt Madrazo stopped 20 of 22 shots.

@ Gunnery 11, Albany Academy 2 - Derek Army had four goals.

Deerfield 4 @ Exeter 2 -- Alex Ward (1g,2a) and Matthew Doyle (1g,2a) led the offense for the Big Green. Josh Richards scored both Exeter goals. Connor Riley stopped 22 of 24 shots for the win.

Tabor 5 @ Holderness 4 - Tim Coffey scored a power play goal with 25 seconds lift to lift the Seawolves to the win. It was Coffey's second goal of the game. Derek Pimentel (2g,1a) figured in three of Holderness' four goals.

@ Lawrence 4, St. Mark's 2 - Lawrence got goals from four different scorers, the final one an empty-netter, and outshot St.Mark's 49-22.  Michael Comitini had 46 saves for St. Mark's.

@ NMH 6, Loomis 2 - The Hoggers got goals from six different scorers and Branden Komm kicked out 24 of 26 shots.

Milton 8 @ BB&N 0 - Sean Okita had a pair of goals for the Mustangs.

Pomfret 6 @ Millbrook 3 - Defenseman Shayne Anderson (2g,1a) led the Pomfret attack. Dany Potvin had a pair of goals for Millbrook.

@ Governor's 5, St. Sebastian's 4 - Brian Ward's second goal of the day, which put Governor's up 5-4 midway through the third, held up as the game-winner. St. Seb's made it interesting with a pair of late goals. Governor's was outshot, 42-23. Luke Montoni had 38 saves and picked up the win.

St. Paul's 3 @ Thayer 1 - St. Paul's, looking to sneak into the large-school tournament, got a pair of goals from Jonathan Liau, the latter an empty-netter. Luke Sisler had a short-handed goal for SPS, and added an assist. Derick Roy stopped 18 of 19 shots for the win.

Andover 4 @ Brooks 1 - Will Gray (2g), Trevor Braun (2a), and Brian Safstrom (2a) led the Andover offense, and Tyler Kirsch had 25 saves for the win. Brooks' goaltender Tyler Stillings kicked out 48 of 52 in taking the loss.

Hebron 3 @ Tilton 3 - A Justin Ducharme goal lifted Tilton to the tie. Both of these teams appear likely to advance to the small school tournament.

@ Pingree 5, Worcester Academy 2 - Pingree got goals from five different scorers, and Daniel Prawdzik stopped 21 of 23 shots.

@ Portsmouth Abbey 9, Harvey 1 - Dan Welch, Morgan Green, and Garrett Behan each had two goals for the Abbey.

Middlesex 3 @ Rivers 3 - With the extra attacker on, and 23 second on the clock, Joe Pascucci scored his second goal of the game to lift visiting Middlesex to a 3-3 tie at Rivers. Both goalies - Zach Arnold and Dillon Pieri - stopped 40 shots.

@ St. George's 3, Groton 2 - Michael Violette scored his second goal of the game - and his second power play goal - with 29 seconds on the clock to give the Dragons a home win.

Brewster Academy 6, Vermont Academy 3 - In a game played at Hooksett, NH, Ridge Garbutt scored the first two goals of the game to jump-start Brewster Academy.

@ Lawrenceville 4, Shady Side Academy 1 - Nick Jasset kicked out 35 of 36 shots to lead L'ville.

RPI (Updated Through Fri. 2/19)
Here is the RPI ranking, updated as of this morning. The RPI is a key component in computing the JSPR ratings figures used to determine rankings for the NEPSIHA playoffs.

1) Nobles, 2) Kent, 3) KUA, 4) Gunnery, 5) Cushing, 6) Choate, 7) Westminster, 8) Milton, 9) Belmont Hill, 10) Dexter, 11) NMH, 12) Salisbury, 13) Exeter, 14) Avon, 15) Berkshire, 16) Tabor, 17) Andover, 18) Hotchkiss, 19) Brewster, 20) St. Paul's, 21) Deerfield, 22) Governor's, 23) Taft, 24) Winchendon, 25) Pomfret.


 -- Milton Academy, even though they did not play yesterday, moved up two spots, from #10 to #8.

-- Andover's win over Tabor yesterday brought the two schools closer together - they are at #16 and #17 respectively -- and gave Andover's hopes for a slot in the large school tournament a boost.   


Updated Playoff Standings

Here are the playoff standings as of this morning:

  1. Kent (15)
  2. Gunnery (13)
  3. Westminster (13)
  4. Nobles (12)
  5. Belmont Hill (11)
  6. Choate (9)
  7. Salisbury (9)
  8. KUA (8)
  9. Cushing (6)
  10. Milton (5)
  11. Avon (5)
  12. Tabor (4)
  13. NMH (3)
  14. Exeter (3)
  15. Berkshire (1)
  16. Dexter (0)

If the season were to end this morning, the quarterfinal playoff matchups would be:

#8 KUA @ #1 Kent
#5 Belmont Hill @ #4 Nobles
#6 Choate @ #3 Westminster
#7 Salisbury @ #2 Gunnery

Some Observations:

With Milton beating Belmont Hill in overtime, the Mustangs jumped from 14th to 10th, and are now scratching on the door of the playoffs. Belmont Hill dropped from #2 - from hosting a playoff game - to 5th place, which would see them facing off against a Nobles team that has won their last 17 games. (But why wait until the playoffs? Belmont Hill faces off tonight at 5:00 at Nobles.)

Another overtime 'upset' was Choate beating Avon 2-1 on Wednesday. The two teams basically switched places in the tournament, with Choate jumping from 9th to 6th, while Avon dropped five spots to 11th.

While Hotchkiss pulled off a 5-2 upset at #1 Kent, this did little to shake up the standings at the top of the league. Hotchkiss, however, has momentum now and is making a push for the postseason: they are now only one spot out of the large school tournament. As it stands now, the top 14 large schools have some form of postseason play to look forward to. If # 8 KUA drops out of the top eight in the JSPR rankings, there will be 15 large school teams playing after the season ends. On Saturday KUA goes on the road to face off against Cushing (4:00 pm) in a game that means a lot for both of these teams' chances. Cushing, currently in the 9th spot, and looking in on the main tournament, is the top-ranked remaining large school and boasts an RPI better than four teams currently in the elite eight. However, Cushing gets hurts by another aspect of the formula: record vs. teams under consideration.

Time is running out for #13 NMH. The Hoggers have a key tilt at #6 Choate on Sunday at 3:00.

Another game that carries major implications this weekend is Avon @ Salisbury (3:30 pm. on Sat.). And Choate needs to keep winning. The Wild Boars are at Taft (2:30 pm on Sat.). 

Large School Tournament Observations:

Note that Andover, barely in the playoffs, has four games remaining and must play near perfection to hold or improve their position. They play three games against teams above them within the next two weeks: @ Tabor, @ NMH and at home vs. Exeter. Hotchkiss, right behind Andover, will be at Trinity-Pawling on Saturday. Deerfield, already owner's of the league's hardest schedule, has the opportunity to make a splash as their games against Exeter, Kent, and Westminster will definitely play a role in the final standings.

Large School Tournament Standings:

1. Cushing


2. Milton


3. NMH


4. Exeter


5. Tabor


6. Avon


7. Berkshire


8. Andover
















St. Seb's








New Hampton










Roxbury Latin


Small School Tournament Standings:

1. Dexter


2. Brewster


3. Winchendon


4. Pomfret


5. Hebron


6. Tilton


7. Berwick


8. South Kent




St. George's














King Low


Kents Hill




St. Mark's








Rye Country Day


Portsmouth Abbey








The small school division, except at the top, is still wide open. In fact, three teams -- Pomfret, Tilton, and South Kent -- would be in the playoffs with a .500 or lower winning percentage.


RPI (Updated Through Wed. 2/17)
1. Nobles, 2. Kent, 3. Gunnery, 4. KUA, 5. Cushing, 6. Choate, 7. Westminster, 8. Belmont Hill, 9. Dexter, 10. Milton, 11. NMH, 12. Salisbury, 13. Avon, 14. Exeter, 15. Tabor, 16. Berkshire.

Nobles, Gunnery, KUA, Choate, Westy, Milton, and Exeter each moved up one spot. Kent, NMH, and Tabor each moved down one spot. Cushing and Bel Hill each moved down two spots. Dexter, Salisbury, Avon, and Berkshire all stayed where they were before the start of today's games.

Wed. Feb. 17 Highlights
Milton 4 @ Belmont Hill 3 (OT) - A T.J. Schneider goal at 1:47 of overtime lifted the Mustangs to a big road win at Belmont Hill. Milton was down 3-1 midway through the second and came back with two goals in regulation, the latter being an Aaron Deutsch power play goal with 1:19 left in regulation that forced OT. Milton outshot Belmont Hill, 45-24.

@ Choate 2, Avon Old Farms 1 (OT) - A Philippe Hudon goal at 1:58 of OT lifted the Wild Boars to a big home win over an Avon team also scrapping to make the big tournament.

Hotchkiss 5 @ Kent 2 - Mike Borge (3g,1a) and Ken Matheson (1g,3a) led the way as  the Bearcats knocked off the Lions.

@ Andover 6, Cushing 2 --  Trevor Braun (2g,1a) and Garnet Hathaway (1g,2a) led the Andover offense. Conor Sheary scored both Cushing goals. A tough loss for the Penguins, who are fighting for a slot in the big tournament.

@ Gunnery 8, South Kent 2 - Shane Gorman and Derek Army each had two goals for Gunnery. Alex Vazzano stopped 21 of 23 shots for the win.

Westminster 2 @ Loomis 1 - Nick Thompson stopped 28 of 29 shots and Nick Lanza and Connor McBride scored third period goals to lead the Martlets. Loomis' Steve Michalek stopped 34 of 36 in a losing cause.

@ Exeter 4, Northfield-Mt. Hermon 2 --  Josh Richards (1g,3a), Eric Neiley (2g), and Tim Mitropoulos (3a) led the Exeter offense, and Max Fenkell kicked out 26 of 28 shots for the win. This was a tough loss for the Hoggers and their hopes for a berth in the big tournament.

Tabor 7 @ Thayer 4 - Cam Spiro notched four consecutive goals, and added an assist. Tim Coffey (2g,4a) had a six-point afternoon.

Kimball Union 5 @ Proctor 1 - Peter LaFosse and Phil Boucher each had a pair of goals and Martin Oullette stopped 19 of 20 shots for the win.

Salisbury 11 @ Kingswood-Oxford 0 - Mike McCann and Kyle Hughes each had a pair of goals. Evan Casamento stopped all ten shots he faced for the shutout win.

@ Nobles 4, BB&N 0 - Kevin Hayes scored a pair of power play goals and added an assist. Gene Lane stopped all 22 shots he faced for the shutout. BB&N's Anthony Moccia stopped 49 of 53 shots he faced in a losing cause.

@ Winchendon 11, Holderness 0 - Jon Baldwin had four goals for Winchendon. Greg Homer stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout.
@ Governor's 2, Lawrence 1 (OT) -  A Cody Ferriero goal at 4:49 of OT lifted Governor's to victory. Rory Burke stopped 27 of 28 to earn the win.

@ Trinity-Pawling 5, Millbrook 1 - Josh Roberts (2g), Brendan MacDonald (1g,2a) led T-P's scorers. Zach Kizitaff kicked out 15 of 16 shots for the win.

@ Williston-Northampton 8, Canterbury 2 - Ben Kravitz (1g,4a) and PJ McCadden (2g,2a) led the way for Williston.

@ Tilton 8, Brewster 0 --  Kenny Craig (2g,3a) and Max Balaban (2g,1a) led the Rams offensively and Williams Flachsbinder posted a 27-save shutout.

@ Hebron 7, New Hampton 4 - Andrew  Bettencourt (2g,2a) figured in four of Hebron's goals.

Middlesex 6 @ Portsmouth Abbey 0 - Carl Hesler (3g), AJ Lucchese (3a) and Mike Kenny (2g) had big days for Middlesex.

@ Taft 2, Deerfield 0 - Corbin McGuire scored a third period powerplay goal and John Barr added an empty netter for the Rhinos. Mike Petchonka posted a 28-save shutout. Connor Riley stopped 28 of 29 for Deerfield.

Hill 4 @ Wyoming Seminary 2 - Steve Messina stopped 44 of 46 shots to lead the Hill.

Delbarton 8 @ LaSalle 2 - Kenny Agostino (2g,3a), Michael Ambrosia (2g,3a), and Mike Pirovano (2g,2a) paced Delbarton's attack.

St. Paul's 2 @ St. Sebastian's 1 - Sam Courcelles and Luke Sisler scored third period goals to lift St. Paul's to a come-from-behind road win. Derick Roy topped 16 of 17 shots for SPS while Gordon Donnelly stopped 25 of 27 in a losing cause.

@ Rivers 5, St. Mark's 4 - Connor Dempsey (2g,1a) led the way for Rivers. Matt Heise had a couple of goals for St. Mark's.

@ Worcester Academy 6, Pingree 5 (OT) -  A Derek McAdam powerplay goal at 3:38 of OT lifted Worcester to victory.

Brunswick 6 @ Hoosac 4 - Brunswick got goals from six different scorers. Elijah Brassard had a pair of goals for Hoosac.

Berwick 4 @ Kents Hill 2 - Nick Michaud (2g) and Chris Atwood (3a) led the Berwick offense.

St. George's 7 @ Roxbury Latin 4 - Garrett Sider (2g,4a) figured in six of the Dragons' seven goals.

Berkshire 7 @ Pomfret 2 -- Keith Sullivan and Keith Veronesi each had two goals, and five of Berkshire's goals came on the powerplay.


The Playoff Standings

With today's games we enter the final ten days of the regular season. Yesterday, we posted a look at the RPI standings, and, using this data combined with the game results reported to us at USHR, we applied the playoff formula to determine the current playoff standings for the big tournament. Here are the results:

 1. Kent (15)
 2. Belmont Hill (13)
 3. Westminster (12)
 4. Nobles (12)
 5. Gunnery (12)
 6. Avon (8)
 7. KUA (8)

 8. Cushing (8)
 9. Choate (7)
10. NMH (6)
11. Salisbury (6)
12. Tabor (4)
13. Exeter (3)
14. Milton (3)
15. Berkshire (1)
16. Dexter (1)

If the season were to end this morning, the quarterfinal playoff matchups would be:

#8 Cushing @ #1 Kent
#5 Gunnery @ #4 Nobles
#6 Avon @ #3 Westminster
#7 Kimball Union @  #2 Belmont Hill

Some observations: The RPI top six all made the playoffs, with the other two playoff teams being Westminster (RPI #8) and Avon RPI (RPI #13).  At this point, Kent, Belmont Hill, Westminster, Nobles, and Gunnery are all near locks to make the big tournament.  Dexter, on the basis of their 1-1-1 record against Pomfret, Andover, and Tabor, have lost virtually all of their steam and now have little chance to make the big tournament.  Remaining games that will heavily impact the standings are games between top sixteen teams, and there are three such matchups today: #6 Avon @ #9 Choate (2:30 pm), #14 Milton @ #2 Belmont Hill (3:30 pm), and #10 NMH @ #13 Exeter (4:00 pm). Hotchkiss @ #1 Kent (2:30 pm) is another game to keep an eye on.

With the new system this year, each game affects the RPI, but most games have an impact on the results of the JSPR comparison as well.  When two teams play, they increase the number of opponents they play and, as they play more opponents, the components of the  JSPR comparison can be affected by a change in records against mutual opponents as well as in their record against teams under consideration.  This is in addition to every result impacting the RPI. 

The last team out of the comparison was Choate, at #9, but with games against Avon, NMH, and Kent they have plenty of opportunity to strike in the final days and make the big tournament. 


Today's RPI Standings

First off, yesterday's Avon win over Gunnery enabled Cushing to pass over Gunnery for third in RPI. In addition, by winning, Avon pushed themselves out of a virtual tie with Exeter and now stand alone in 13th place. The impact of Monday's game will be more significant in the final JSPR comparison as Avon and Gunnery have many mutual opponents.

Here is the ranking of teams we see as having a realistic chance at finishing the season as a Team Under Consideration (top 16 in the RPI). The top 16 teams, in order, right now are Kent, Nobles, Cushing, Gunnery, KUA, Belmont Hill, Choate, Westminster, Dexter, NMH, Milton, Salisbury, Avon, Tabor, Exeter, and Berkshire.



Opp. WP

Opp. Opp. WP

































Belmont Hill
































































































St. Paul's






Nobles has played the hardest schedule to date, with their opponents' opponents' winning 54.76% of their games. Cushing is second at 54.70%, followed by Milton, Deerfield, and Kent. The easiest schedule of any team under consideration is Dexter, with their opponents' opponents' winning percentage at 48.60%.

The top five teams' winning percentage are Dexter at 92.11%, Kent at 90.48%, Gunnery at 87.50%, Nobles at 84.78%, and Cushing at 81.82% The lowest winning percentage of any team under consideration is Tabor at 57.50%.

What about the large and small school tournaments?

As you may know, after the top eight teams are chosen from both large and small schools, the remaining top eight large schools are selected based solely on RPI for their tournament, and the remaining top eight small schools are also selected based solely on RPI for their's. Below is a chart of all large schools and all small schools with their RPI. Their rank (by size) and male enrollment is also attached.

Large Schools


Small Schools


14. Kent-285



41. Gunnery-178


23. Nobles-228



48. KUA-160


16. Cushing-269



56. Dexter-136


19. Belmont Hill-247



35. Brewster-196


3. Choate-423



39. Pomfret-186


25. Westminster-223



49. Winchendon-160


7. NMH-342



57. Hebron-134


9. Milton-321



52. South Kent-153


10. Salisbury-304



58. Berwick-130


4. Avon-407



43. Groton-175


15. Tabor-285



47. Tilton-161


2. Exeter-536



44. St. George's-174


26. Berkshire-218



59. Vermont-125


8. Deerfield-323



61. Hoosac-71


1. Andover-543



42. Middlesex-175


12. Hotchkiss-296



37. Canterbury-193


17. St. Paul's-263



45. Rivers-172


13. Taft-293



50. Holderness-155


27. Governor's-216



54. Kents Hill-140


29. Lawrence-210



53. Millbrook-141


18. St. Sebastian's-254



40. St. Mark's-186


6. Brunswick-342



38. Brooks-192


28. Proctor-211



60. NYA-104


21. BB&N-241



34. Albany-198


30. New Hampton-210



32. Rye Country Day-203


24. Williston-226



33. Portsmouth Abbey-198


11. TP-300



46. King Low-163


5. Loomis-370



51. Pingree-154


22. Thayer-241



36. Kingswood-Oxford-194


20. Worcester-242



55. Harvey-138


31. Roxbury Latin-206





In case you are wondering why we haven't run quite as many articles this February concerning playoff standings, it's primarily because the new playoff system, aside from taking longer to calculate, no longer depends on the arbitrary .500 level plateau. This means that as we near the end of the season, there is less variation at the top of the standings because of the results of teams hovering around the .500 mark. Changes can still be made and teams can jump in, however this year there will be fewer surprises in the final weekend based on the RPI. In other words, the teams at the top know where they are and their own play determines where they will be come time for the playoffs.

Concerning the 15 game limit:

There are currently seven teams that are below the 15 game minimum necessary for their records to count towards the RPI standings and be eligible for any of the three playoff tournaments. The schools (and games played) are Portsmouth Abbey (14), Roxbury Latin (14),  Hoosac (13), Middlesex (13), Rye Country Day (8), Harvey (7), and King-Low (2). Of these nine schools, all but Roxbury Latin are considered small schools under NEPSIHA's definition*. After looking at hypothetical finishes to the season, it appears that any team under ten wins will not reach the 15 game minimum and once their games are removed from all standings, Hoosac and Portsmouth Abbey will have played exactly 15 games. This means that there could be quite a snowball effect if games late in the season are canceled. This is because many of the teams above depend on Hoosac and Portsmouth Abbey reaching the 15 game plateau in order for their games to count. Although the current highest-ranked team in this group is St. George's (currently ranked 12th for small schools in RPI), having one of these teams' records invalidated would create a lot of changes for the playoffs.

* With a male enrollment of 206, Roxbury Latin is the smallest of the large schools with only three more male students than small school Rye Country Day.


Avon Plays Stopper, Blanking #1 Gunnery
Avon once again played the stopper, today adding a 6-0 home win over #1-ranked Gunnery to a couple of previous biggies, specifically a 4-1 Jan. 16 home win over Kent (#1 at the time) and a 4-1 Jan. 30 home win over Choate (#3 at the time).

Today's game wasn't quite as lopsided as the score would indicate. Avon capitalized on a couple of Gunnery mistakes late in the first period, going up 1-0 on a power play goal when a rather soft Kyle Quick shot from the left point eluded Gunnery goaltender Alex Vazzano, who appeared to be screened by Mike Pereira. Several minutes later, Pereira picked off an errant Salisbury pass at the offensive blueline and broke in alone, backhanding one high on Vazzano to make it 2-0, much to the delight of the white-clad and very loud student section.

In the second period, George Welles banged home the rebound of a Dylan Shamburger shot to make it 3-0 at the 10:11 mark. A little over a minute later, Pereira roofed one short side to make it 4-0.

At 14:18 of the third period, Quinn Smith added an empty-netter to make it 5-0. A minute and a half later, skating 5-on-4, Welles added his second of the day to make it 6-0.

Avon outshot Gunnery, 37-34. Josh Dionne stopped everything that came his way, though he wasn't called on to stand on his head.

Gunnery, after those two first period goals was never able to get back into it, mainly because Avon didn't allow them to. Gunnery certainly had chances - hitting a number of posts - but never got even a single goal that might have planted a seed of doubt in the minds of the Avon players, who kept focused from beginning to end.

The tempo of the game was quick and, despite the score, was entertaining, as both teams were quick to the puck, and offered up plenty of up-and-down action. Avon was very focused and stayed on their game for the full three periods.

"We played hard and with a lot of emotion," said Avon head coach John Gardner afterward. "It was a do-or-die game for us. Gunnery is a very good offensive team. They must have hit three or four posts. I'm pleased - it was a great win - but I told the team that we now have to go on the road Wednesday (Choate) and Saturday (Salisbury)and win there. We have the ability, but we don't always finish. Today, though, we did."

Gunnery coach Chris Baudo chose to look at the glass as half-full. "I'm proud of our guys," he said. "They played well. I thought we came out hard and controlled a lot of the play early. But Avon capitalized. They made the most of their chances. Anyone who sees the score will think I'm nuts, but I'm happy with the way we played. If we were totally outplayed it would be different, but this was a good learning experience and will help us going forward. It will refocus us. I honestly thought there were many positives. I love that our guys never quit."

"But," Baudo added, "Avon absolutely deserved to win. I have to reiterate that."


This Week's Schedule
Mon. Feb. 15

Malden Catholic @ Billerica HS, 2:00 pm
Coyle-Cassidy vs. Xaverian, 3:00 pm (at Bridgewater Tournament)
Mount St. Charles @ Catholic Memorial, 4:00 pm
Delbarton @ Bishop Eustace, 4:00 pm
Gunnery @ Avon, 4:45 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Berwick @ Exeter, 5:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Governor's, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
St. Paul's @ Milton, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Loomis @ Deerfield, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
CBA @ St. Peters Prep, 5:00 pm
BC High vs. TBA, 5:00 pm (at Cape Cod Classic, Falmouth, Mass.)
Berkshire @ Millbrook, 5:15 pm
St John's Prep @ St Johns Shrewsbury, 7:15 pm

Wed. Feb. 17
Catholic Memorial @ Fairfield Prep, 1:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Proctor, 2:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Rivers, 2:15 pm
Avon Old Farms @ Choate, 2:30 pm
Millbrook @ Trinity-Pawling, 2:30 pm
Brewster Academy @ Tilton, 2:30 pm
Westminster @ Loomis-Chaffee, 2:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Kent, 2:30 pm
South Kent @ Gunnery, 3:00 pm
Brunswick @ Hoosac, 3:00 pm
Brooks @ Groton, 3:00 pm
Cushing @ Andover, 3:15 pm
Lawrence @ Governor's, 3:30 pm
Milton @ Belmont Hill, 3:30 pm
Hill School @ Wyoming Seminary, 3:30 pm
St. George's @ Roxbury Latin, 3:45 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
Berkshire @ Pomfret, 4:00 pm
Tabor @ Thayer, 4:00 pm
Holderness @ Winchendon, 4:00 pm
New Hampton @ Hebron, 4:00 pm
Middlesex @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:00 pm
Salisbury @ Kingswood-Oxford, 4:15 pm
Deerfield @ Taft, 4:15 pm
Canterbury @ Williston-Northampton, 4:30 pm
St. Paul's @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30 pm
Berwick @ Kents Hill, 4:30 pm
Harvey @ King-Low, 4:30 pm
Delbarton @ LaSalle, 4:45 pm
BB&N @ Noble & Greenough, 5:15 pm
Fri. Feb. 19
Pingree @ Middlesex, 4:00 pm
Proctor @ Holderness, 4:00 pm
NYA @ Dexter, 4:45 pm
BB&N @ St. Mark's, 5:00 pm
Thayer @ Rivers, 5:00 pm
Belmont Hill @ Noble & Greenough, 5:00 pm
Roxbury Latin @ Brooks, 5:00 pm
Hebron @ Cushing, 6:00 pm
South Kent @ Winchendon, 6:00 pm
Tilton @ Lawrence, 6:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Brunswick, 6:00 pm
Andover @ Tabor, 6:30 pm
Berwick @ Governor's, 6:45 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Deerfield, 7:00 pm
Hoosac @ Kents Hill, 7:00 pm
Stanstead College @ Vermont Academy, 7:00 pm
Shady Side Academy @ Lawrenceville, 7:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 20
St. Mark's @ Lawrence, 1:30 pm
Shady Side Academy @ Lawrenceville, 1:30 pm
Tabor @ Holderness, 1:45 pm
Milton @ BB&N, 2:00 pm
Albany Academy @ Gunnery, 2:00 pm
Middlesex @ Rivers, 2:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 2:15 pm
Brewster Academy vs. Vermont Academy, 2:15 pm (at Hooksett, NH)
Choate @ Taft, 2:30 pm
Groton @ St. George's, 2:30 pm
St. Paul's @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Harvey @ Portsmouth Abbey, 3:00 pm
Hoosac @ NYA, 3:15 pm
Avon Old Farms @ Salisbury, 3:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Trinity-Pawling, 3:30 pm
Andover @ Brooks, 4:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Cushing, 4:00 pm
Deerfield @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Governor's, 4:00 pm
New Hampton @ Proctor, 4:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ Pingree, 4:00 pm
Hebron @ Tilton, 5:00 pm
Pomfret @ Millbrook, 5:30 pm
Berkshire @ Westminster, 7:00 pm
Canterbury @ Kent, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 21
Jr. Bruins (EJHL) vs. Northwood, 2:00 pm (at UMass-Amherst)
Worcester Academy @ Winchendon, 2:30 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Choate, 3:00 pm

Mon. Feb. 22
Kingswood-Oxford @ Avon Old Farms, 4:15 pm
Gunnery @ Canterbury, 4:15 pm
Belmont Hill @ St. Sebastian's, 4:45 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Roxbury Latin @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Lawrence @ Thayer, 5:00 pm (rescheduled from 2/10)
Brunswick @ Portledge, 5:30 pm

A Helping Hand, Please
We're requesting that coaches, players, parents, fans - anyone - who sees a single game missing from any school's team results page on USHR to email us the missing result(s) at

It is extremely important for us to have a 100% accurate record as we head down the stretch, and playoff implications abound.

Even if the team you follow has had a disappointing season, and is not in playoff contention, we ask that you check your team's results page to make sure that no game is missing.

Thanks in advance.

Once Again, Gunnery Tops USHR Prep Poll
Once again, the Gunnery holds the top spot in the USHR prep poll, with Kent and Nobles right behind.

After that, things have changed around a little bit.

Two teams that have been bounced out this week are Milton (14-6-2) and Dexter (17-1-1). Both are very good, well-coached teams that get the most out of their personnel, but are a player or two away.

Salisbury (12-5-4) is another noteworthy team bubbling under. They're underwhelming offensively, but are strong enough defensively that on any given day they can beat anyone. They just haven't been able to do it with regularity.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 15, 2010


Schedule Note:
Wednesday's snowed-out game between Avon and #1 Gunnery has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Monday Feb. 15 at 4:45 pm (at Avon). 

Sat. Feb. 13 Highlights

@ Tabor 3, Dexter 2 - In a taut, evenly-played game, #10-ranked Dexter came up a little short, bowing to Tabor, 3-2, on the road. Tim Coffey had two goals for Tabor, the second on a 5-on-3 power play that put the Seawolves up 2-1 late in the first. Heath MacLean then knocked home a pass off the wall from Coffey just 26 seconds into the second to put Tabor up 3-1. Midway through the second, Cam Darcy scored his second goal of the game for Dexter, a short-handed effort to cut it to 3-2. That was as close as Dexter was able to get, though they poured it on late in the period, forcing Tabor goaltender Robbie Kang to come up with some nice saves, including a big glove save on John Magliozzi, who was alone in front with about six minutes left in the second. Kang came up with another nice save on Brendan Fitzgerald midway through the third.

"They've got a good team," said Tabor coach Gerry Dineen afterward. "We expected them to be good, and they were. They were very good down low, cycling the puck to create chances. Robbie (Kang) bailed us out a few times. We needed this win."

Dexter coach Dan Donato said, "I thought we played hard and played well. They beat us on a 5-on-3 power play goal. Their goalie made some nice saves and was the difference in this game."

Donato said his kids, having taken their first loss of the season, were down a little after the game. "I told them that if someone at the beginning of the season had said we'd be 18-1-1 now that I'd be very happy."

@ Nobles 4, Milton 3 --  In another taut game between two good teams,  #3 Nobles got a shorthanded goal from Gus Young at 4:05 of the third period that put them up 4-2 and would turn out to be the game-winner. Sean Okita scored for #8 Milton at 11:25 of the third to cut it to 4-3. But that's where it ended, as Nobles rolls on. There were three short-handed goals in this game, all by Nobles. Andrew Doane convered a Milton defensive zone turnover in the first. Mark Hourihan blasted one from the slot for a shorty in the second. And then Young came through in the third. Milton had a big stretch late in the second where they put heavy pressure on Nobles goalie Gene Lane, scoring twice in a span of 1:14 and coming close to picking up at least one more.    

@ Gunnery 5, Pomfret 1 -- #1 Gunnery got goals from five different goal scorers and Alex Vazzano stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced.

@ Westminster 2, Choate 1 - Just 13 seconds after #4 Choate had tied it at 1-1, Ryan Tyson netted the game-winner for #6 Westminster. Patrick Spano stopped 32 of 33 shots for the win. 

Kent 5 @ Trinity-Pawling 3 - Drew Brown had a hat trick (the third goal was an empty-netter) to lead #2-ranked Kent to a 5-3 road win at Trinity-Pawling. Brown also added an assist for a four-point day. Noel Acciari (1g,3a) also had a four-point game for Kent. Brandon Moore had a pair of goals for T-P.

@ Northfield-Mt. Hermon 3, Exeter 0 - J.C. Cangelosi (2g) and Brian Plungis (2a) each had two points and Branden Komm picked up the shutout, stopping all 33 shots he faced. Max Fenkell stopped 31 of 34, but took the loss.

Salisbury 4 @ Loomis 1 - Salisbury got goals from four different scorers and Jon Gillies stopped 20 of 21 for the win. Salisbury outshot Loomis, 55-21.

Hotchkiss 5 @ Taft 4 - Hotchkiss came back from a 3-1 deficit on the road to edge the Rhinos, 5-4. Mike Borge (1g,3a), Peter Placek (1g,2a), and Ken Matheson (2g) led the Bearcats attack. For Taft, Aidan Cavallini had a pair of goals.

Kimball Union 8 @ Holderness 2 - Dennis Kravchenko (2g,1a), Andrew Bates (2g,1a), and Gabriel Veilleux (1g,2a) each had three-point days for KUA.

Avon Old Farms 3 @ Deerfield 3 - A Steven Victor power play goal in the third period lifted host Deerfield to a 3-3 tie with #7-ranked Avon Old Farms. The Winged Beavers outshot Deerfield, 52-26, but Big Green goaltender Connor Riley came up with 49 saves.

Cushing 3 @ Canterbury 1 - Jake Butler (2g) and Mike Conderman (2a) each had a couple of points, and Chad Hardy stopped 25 of 26 shots for the #9-ranked Penguins.

@ St. Mark's 5, Middlesex 3 -Matt Heise had a hat trick for St. Mark's (the third goal was an empty-netter) and also added an assist.

@ Rivers 7, Roxbury Latin 1 - Marco Eberth, Mike Whouley, and Connor Dempsey each had two goals and Dillon Pieri kicked out 33 of 34 shots .

St. Paul's 6 @ Proctor 4 - Brendan Bourgea (3g) and Jonathan Liau (2g) led the SPS attack and Derick Roy stopped 39 of 43 shots. For Proctor, Nik Tasiopoulos (2g,2a) figured in all four goals.

@ Governor's 3, Hebron 2 - Brett Riley (1g,1a) and Jack Ceglarski (2a) each had two points and Rory Burke stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win.

@ Winchendon 6, Berkshire 4 - Berkshire had leads of 3-1 and 4-3,but gave up three third period goals, the last an empty-netter, to fall 6-4.

@ BB&N 2, Thayer 1 (OT) - An Alex Quinn goal 33 seconds into overtime lifted BB&N. Anthony Moccia stopped 35 of 36 shots for the win. Thayer's Chris Tasiopoulos came up big, too, stopping 32 of 34 but taking the loss.

Williston-Northampton 8 @ Millbrook 3 - T.J. Powers (2g,2a) and P.J. McCadden (2g) led the Williston attack.

@ South Kent 5, Tilton 4 - South Kent got goals from five different goal scorers.

Albany Academy 4 @ Lawrenceville 2 - Ben Halford stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced to earn the win.


Revised Schedule for Thurs. Feb. 11
Please add the following games to your schedule for Thurs. Feb. 11. They are makeup games from yesterday:

Cushing @ Tabor, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Salisbury, 4:15 pm
NMH @ Williston, 4:30 pm
Canterbury @ T-P, 4:45 pm
Hill vs. South Kent (@ West Point), 5:00 pm
Hotchkiss @ Westminster, 5:00 pm
Rivers @ St. George's, 5:30 pm
Brooks @ St. Mark's, 5:30 pm
Kent @ Berkshire, 5:30 pm

Originally scheduled games for Thursday:

Brunswick @ NYA, 4:00 pm
St. Mary's (Lynn) @ Malden Catholic, 7:00 pm

Note from New Jersey:

The Delbarton @ Christian Brothers Academy game, which had been rescheduled for Thursday night at 7:00 pm is now off again. Not sure of all the details, but CBA has cancelled school again tomorrow. Power outages may have something to do with it, too. At any rate, the game has been scratched again, and  there is no makeup date in the works.

Storm Watch for Wednesday
There's a winter storm watch in effect for Connecticut and Massachusetts starting Wednesday morning and extending through late Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Snowfall amounts of over 12" are predicted, with less the farther north you go. We will have all the latest postponements and cancellations here. A note for coaches: please email with the relevant info, and update your team's schedule on USHR in order to ensure that the changes appear on future weekly composite schedules. Thanks.

Notes: The Gunnery @ Avon game is no longer on -- just cancelled. It appears that games to the north of the Mass Pike will be played. The Brewster @ Winchendon game is still on. Ditto for Andover @ KUA. And Proctor @ Exeter. And Berwick @ Hebron.

Wed. Feb. 10 Snow-outs:

Lawrenceville @ Brunswick -- no makeup date yet
Pomfret @ Choate -- cancelled; game will not be made up
Delbarton @ CBA -- cancelled; game will not be made up
Cushing @ Tabor -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 4:00 pm
Taft @ Salisbury -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 4:15 pm
NMH @ Williston -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 4:30 pm
Canterbury @ T-P -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 4:45 pm

Hill vs. South Kent (@ West Point) -- rescheduled to Thurs 2/11 at 5:00 pm
Hotchkiss @ Westminster -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 5:00 pm
Rivers @ St. George's -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 5:30 pm
Brooks @ St. Mark's -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 5:30 pm
Kent @ Berkshire -- rescheduled to Thurs. 2/11 @ 5:30 pm
Gunnery @ Avon -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/15 @ 4:45 pm
Nobles @ Governor's -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/15 @ 5:00 pm
Loomis @ Deerfield -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/15 @ 5:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Milton -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/15 @ 5:00 pm
Roxbury Latin @ Middlesex -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/22; time TBA
Belmont Hill @ St. Sebastian's -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/22 @ 4:45 pm
Lawrence @ Thayer -- rescheduled to Mon. 2/22 @ 5:00 pm
Groton @ BB&N -- rescheduled to Fri. 2/26 @ 5:30 pm
K-O @ Dexter -- rescheduled to Sat. 2/27 @ 3:00 pm

This Week's Schedule

Mon. Feb. 8
New Hampton @ Holderness, 4:30 pm
St John's Prep @ Catholic Memorial, 4:30 pm
Delbarton @ St. Peter's Prep, 5:00 pm
Hingham HS @ Malden Catholic, 6:00 pm
St. George's @ Portsmouth Abbey, 6:30 pm (postponed to Mon. 2/15)

Wed. Feb. 10 -- snow is forecasted
Northwood vs. Green Mountain Glades (EJHL), 1:30 pm (at Plattsburgh State)
Tilton @ Holderness, 2:00 pm
Kents Hill vs. Vermont Academy, 2:00 pm (at Phillips Exeter)
Gunnery @ Avon Old Farms, 2:30 pm
Canterbury @ Trinity-Pawling, 2:30 pm
Hotchkiss @ Westminster, 2:45 pm
Brooks @ St. Mark's, 3:00 pm
Kent @ Berkshire, 3:00 pm
Cushing @ Tabor, 3:30 pm
Brewster Academy @ Winchendon, 3:30 pm
Andover @ Kimball Union, 3:45 pm
Proctor @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
Hill School vs. South Kent, 4:00 pm (at West Point)
Millbrook @ Albany Academy, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Salisbury, 4:00 pm
Hoosac vs. Portledge, 4:00 pm (at Rye, NY)
New Hampton @ Stanstead College, 4:00 pm
Lawrence @ Thayer, 4:00 pm
Harvey @ Hamden School, 4:00 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Williston-Northampton, 4:30 pm
Belmont Hill @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30 pm
Berwick @ Hebron, 4:30 pm
Rivers @ St. George's, 4:30 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Deerfield, 4:30 pm
Pomfret @ Choate, 5:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Milton, 5:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Brunswick, 5:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Dexter, 5:00 pm
Roxbury Latin @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm
Delbarton @ CBA, 5:00 pm
Groton @ BB&N, 5:45 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Governor's, 5:45 pm
Milton HS @ Xaverian, 6:00 pm
Arlington Catholic @ St John's Prep, 7:30 pm
BC High @ Coyle-Cassidy HS, 7:45 pm

Thurs. Feb. 11
Brunswick @ NYA, 4:00 pm
Saint Mary's (Lynn) @ Malden Catholic, 7:00 pm

Fri. Feb. 12
Brunswick @ Kents Hill, 3:00 pm
Middletown North @ CBA, 3:30 pm
Berwick @ Portsmouth Abbey, 3:45 pm
Pingree @ Roxbury Latin, 3:45 pm
Tilton @ St. Paul's, 4:00 pm
Hoosac @ New Hampton, 4:00 pm
Loomis-Chaffee @ Gunnery, 4:45 pm
BB&N @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm
Delbarton @ St. Augustine, 5:00 pm
Thayer @ Belmont Hill, 5:00 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Lawrence, 5:15 pm
Governor's @ Andover, 6:30 pm

Sat. Feb. 13
Roxbury Latin @ Rivers, 12:00 pm
Milton @ Noble & Greenough, 12:45 pm
Rothesay High School @ Kents Hill, 1:00 pm
BC High @ Hingham High School, 1:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Vermont Academy, 1:30 pm
Thayer @ BB&N, 2:00 pm
Middlesex @ St. Mark's, 2:00 pm
Albany Academy @ Lawrenceville, 2:00 pm
Choate @ Westminster, 2:30 pm
Springfield Cathedral @ St John's Prep, 2:30 pm
Avon Old Farms @ Deerfield, 2:45 pm
Kimball Union @ Holderness, 3:00 pm
Salisbury @ Loomis-Chaffee, 3:00 pm
Exeter @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 3:30 pm
Dexter @ Tabor, 3:30 pm
Brooks @ St. George's, 3:30 pm
Cushing @ Canterbury, 4:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Proctor, 4:00 pm
Berkshire @ Winchendon, 4:00 pm
Hoosac @ Worcester Academy, 4:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Millbrook, 4:15 pm
Hotchkiss @ Taft, 4:15 pm
Pomfret @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
Hebron @ Governor's, 5:00 pm (moved up from 6:00 pm)
Brewster Academy @ NYA, 5:15 pm
Tilton @ South Kent, 6:00 pm
Kent @ Trinity-Pawling, 7:00 pm
Central Catholic @ Catholic Memorial, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 14
Albany Academy @ Hill School, 1:00 pm
Winchendon @ Canterbury, 1:30 pm
South Kent @ Lawrence, 2:30 pm

Mon. Feb. 15
Malden Catholic @ Billerica High School, 2:00 pm
Xaverian vs. Coyle-Cassidy HS, 3:00 pm (at Bridgewater, Mass.)
Mount St. Charles @ Catholic Memorial, 4:00 pm
Berwick @ Exeter, 5:00 pm
CBA @ St Peters Prep, 5:00 pm
Berkshire @ Millbrook, 5:15 pm
St John's Prep @ St Johns Shrewsbury, 7:15 pm

Gunnery Remains #1 in USHR Prep Poll
The Gunnery, for the second straight week, holds onto the top spot in the weekly USHR Prep Poll.

It also introduces a new team, as Dexter makes its first-ever appearance in USHR's Div. I poll.

The team booted out this week is Kimball Union (16-5-2). They, along with Salisbury (11-5-3) are 'bubbling under' and could easily move back into the top ten. Indeed, a persuasive argument could be made for having them there right now. 

You may have noticed that we used the acronym TUC in several of our comments in the poll. It stands for 'Teams Under Consideration' which, quite simply, is the mathematics of things, i.e. the current RPI.

Here's how that looks right now: 1) Kent, 2) Nobles, 3) Gunnery, 4) Cushing, 5) Choate, 6) KUA, 7) Belmont Hill, 8) Dexter, 9) Westminster, 10) Milton, 11) Salisbury, 12) NMH, 13) Avon, 14) Berkshire, 15) Tabor, 16) Exeter.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 8, 2010

Sat. 2/6/10 -- Today's Northwood @ Hill game and tomorrow's Northwood @ Lawrenceville game have both been cancelled due to the blizzard hitting those areas.   

Wed. Feb. 3 Highlights
Westminster 3 @ Avon Old Farms 2 (OT) – A Ryan Tyson goal with 19 seconds left in regulation and the goalie pulled tied it at 3-3, and sent it to OT, where, just 33 seconds in, Tyson struck again. Patrick Spano (31/33) got the win for #9-ranked Westminster.   

Choate 5 @ Hotchkiss 4 – Dan Linell had a hat trick to pace the #6-ranked Wild Boars past the Bearcats. Castan Sommer (1g,2a) had three points for Hotchkiss.

@ Belmont Hill 7, Lawrence Academy 1 --  Mike McNamara (2g,1a), John Caldwell (1g,2a), and Brandon McNally (1g,2a) each  had three points as #4 Belmont Hill rolled on.

Milton 2 @ St. Sebastian’s 0 – Sean Okita scored in the first, and Woody Hudson added an empty-netter for the #7-ranked Mustangs. At the other end of the ice, Sean Dougherty stopped all 16 shots he faced.

@ Kent 3, Taft 2 – A Ryan Rosenthal third period goal lifted #2-ranked Kent to victory. Marco De Filippo stopped 25 of 27 shots for the victory.

@ NMH 6, Kimball Union 2 -- Freshman Austin Cangelosi (3g,1a) figured in four of the Hoggers’ goals. Branden Komm (29/31) earned the win in net.

Nobles 5 @ Thayer 2 --  A P.J. Falvey goal with four seconds left in the second period broke a 2-2 tie. Nick Raffone and Kevin Hayes added third period goals. The win streak remains intact for #3-ranked Nobles.

Gunnery 5 @ Millbrook 1 – Jake Wood had a pair of goals and Alex Vazzano stopped 20 of 21 shots to lead #1-ranked Gunnery.

Pomfret 3 @ Dexter 3 – Dexter, with second-period goals from Cam Darcy and Matt Furey, came back from a 3-1 deficit and remains undefeated. Shots were 22-22 in this one.

Groton 3 @ Rivers 2 (OT) – A Nils Martin goal at 3:24 of OT lifted Groton to victory. Dale Adams got the win in net, kicking out 25 of 27 shots.

@ New Hampton 4, Bridgton 2 – Troy Thibodeau had a hat trick for New Hampton.

Brewster 6 @ Proctor 4 – Ridge Garbutt, Brian Hart, and Yegor Bezuglyy each had two goals for Brewster. Nik Tasiopoulos had a pair for the Hornets.

@ Andover 5, Deerfield 4 – A Brian Safstrom goal with 1:13 left in regulation tied it up, and a Trevor Braun goal with 26 seconds on the clock gave host Andover a come-from-behind win over Deerfield.

Exeter 6 @ Holderness 0 – James Shannon scored four of Exeter’s goal, and Max Fenkell posted a 22-save shutout.

@ South Kent 10, Albany Academy 3 – Jimmy Gabrione, Dan Meiselman, and Matt Chartrain each had a pair of goals for South Kent.

@ Berkshire 5, Canterbury 1 --- Kevin Sullivan had a pair of goals and Mitch Gillam stopped 15 of 16 shots to lead the Bears.
Williston-Northampton 4 @ Loomis 3 – A T.J. Powers third-period goal lifted Williston past Loomis. It was Powers’ second goal of the game. Bobby Bowden got the win, stopping 45 of 48 shots.

@ Governor’s 8, St. Paul’s 7 (OT) – A Cody Ferriero goal at 3:34 of OT lifted the Governors. Ferriero (3g,2a) and Josh Adinolfo (2g,3a) each had five points.

Delbarton 6 @ Lawrenceville 0 – Bobby Kaminski only needed to make 12 save to earn the shutout. Kenny Agostino (2g,1a) and Michael Longo (3a) each had three points for Delbarton, which remains undefeated.

@ Salisbury 9, Trinity-Pawling 0 --  Connor Cunningham (3g) and MikeMcCann (2g,1a) led the Salisbury attack. Jon Gillies stopped all 19 shots he faced in the Salisbury net.

Brooks 4 @ Berwick 4 – A third-period goal by Nick Potter – his second of the game – gave Brooks a tie on the road despite being outshot 48-15.
@ Worcester Academy 6, Portsmouth Abbey 4 – Billy Lane had a pair of goals for the Hilltoppers, and Dan Welch had a pair for the Abbey.

Hebron 7 @ NYA 1 – Andrew Bettencourt (2g,3a) figured in five of the Lumberjacks goals. Colin Taylor (14/15) got the win.
Roxbury Latin 7 @ St. Mark’s 4 --  Danny O’Regan had a hat trick and Thomas Buckley had a pair to lead Roxbury Latin.

@ Winchendon 5, Hoosac 1 – Phil Arnone had a pair of goals – the first two goals of the game, actually -- for Winchendon.


Tues. 2/2/10  Note: Tomorrow's Westminster @ Avon game has been moved up a half hour, and is now a 2:00 pm start. Also, tomorrow's St. George's @ Middlesex game has been scratched - we're not exactly sure why - and will be made up at a later date.

Needed: Photos
This month, we'll be looking for photos to accompany our news articles and prep game recaps. If any photographers at prep games have one or more shots they are happy with, please send them along (as JPEG attachments) and we just might use one. To be honest, we're a little worried about getting masses of shots from a lot of games. That would quickly overwhelm us. So be kind, and keep in mind that we are only looking for a very small number of quality photos. Try not to send us more than three. You be the editor: pick out your best and send them to . So we can write a caption, please be sure to tell us, in one sentence, maybe two, what is happening in the photo, i.e  who, what, when, and where. And if your pictures get used, please feel free to put it on your résumé. 


                        What if the Regular Season Ended Today?

With a little less than four weeks remaining in the regular season, the prep playoff picture is beginning to take shape. Under the new playoff system, the RPI is a much more ‘lively' factor than under the previous system, making a greater allowance for teams making late-season runs. However, the RPI is still only the first part of the playoff formula. The second part is computed after the season is done, and is centered on a comparison of each of the top 16 teams against each other in order to determine which team is the better of the two across four statistical categories.  For each victory a team wins in this comparison, they earn a point in the final standings.  The most points a team can earn is 15 (By winning all 15 of their comparisons against top 16 teams).  The teams are then ranked 1 - 8, and those are the teams that will vie for the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association Championship. 

The question of the day is this: will Dexter make the playoffs?

The answer is yes... if the season ended today. Dexter would be the sixth seed in the tournament. By virtue of their undefeated record, Dexter has maintained a strong place in the RPI (currently 7th ).  This high RPI, combined with zero games played within the top 16, caused Dexter to lose all of the hypothetical comparisons to teams with an RPI greater than their own, and win the remaining nine comparisons against teams with an RPI below their own.  For Dexter to make the playoffs, we believe that they have a margin of error of one or two games.  This week's matchups against potential top 16 teams Andover and Pomfret (both of whom have played numerous teams in the top 16) will be crucial for their playoff hopes.  Winning both will provide Dexter with two crucial victories that will carry a lot of weight when all the calculations are completed on Feb. 28.

So here is how things would stack up if the playoffs started today:

Top Tournament:

1.  Kent
2.  Gunnery
3.  Belmont Hill
4.  Nobles
5.  Westminster
6.  Dexter
7.  Avon Old Farms
8.  KUA

Large School Tournament:

1.  Cushing
2.  Choate
3.  Milton
4.  Salisbury
5.  Berkshire
6.  NMH
7.  Tabor
8.  Deerfield

Small School Tournament:

1.  Berwick
2.  Brewster
3.  Pomfret
4.  South Kent
5.  Hebron
6.  Tilton
7.  St. George's
8. Canterbury


This Week's Schedule
Mon. Feb. 1
St John Vianney @ CBA, 3:00 pm
Catholic Memorial @ Thayer, 4:00 pm
Trinity-Pawling @ Hotchkiss, 4:30 pm
Salisbury @ Brunswick, 5:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Taft, 5:00 pm
Westminster @ Williston-Northampton, 5:00 pm
BB&N @ Lawrence, 5:15 pm
South Kent @ Choate, 5:30 pm
Harvey @ Portledge, 5:30 pm
Malden Catholic @ Bishop Guertin HS, 6:00 pm
St John's Prep @ Framingham HS., 7:00 pm

Wed. Feb. 3
Taft @ Kent, 2:00 pm
Gunnery @ Millbrook, 2:15 pm
Westminster @ Avon Old Farms, 2:30 pm (new starting time: 2:00 pm)
Trinity-Pawling @ Salisbury, 2:30 pm
Choate @ Hotchkiss, 3:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 3:00 pm
Brewster Academy @ Proctor, 3:00 pm
Pomfret @ Dexter, 3:30 pm
Brooks @ Berwick, 3:30 pm
Deerfield @ Andover, 4:00 pm
Albany Academy @ South Kent, 4:00 pm
Williston-Northampton @ Loomis-Chaffee, 4:00 pm
Hoosac @ Winchendon, 4:00 pm
Hebron @ NYA, 4:00 pm
Bridgton Academy @ New Hampton, 4:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Stanstead College, 4:00 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Worcester Academy, 4:00 pm
Lawrence @ Belmont Hill, 4:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Thayer, 4:00 pm
Canterbury @ Berkshire, 4:15 pm
Tilton @ Cushing, 4:30 pm
Milton @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30 pm
Groton @ Rivers, 4:30 pm
Exeter @ Holderness, 5:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Governor's, 5:00 pm
St. George's @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm (postponed; makeup date TBA)
Roxbury Latin @ St. Mark's, 5:00 pm
Kingswood-Oxford @ Rye Country Day, 5:15 pm
Portledge @ Brunswick, 5:30 pm
Delbarton @ Lawrenceville, 5:30 pm
Xaverian @ BC High, 8:00 pm

Thurs. Feb. 4
Kimball Union @ Vermont Academy, 4:00 pm
Pope John @ Don Bosco Prep, 4:00 pm
Malden Catholic @ St John's Prep, 8:30 pm

Fri. Feb. 5
Holderness @ Cushing, 3:45 pm
Delbarton @ Bishop Eustace, 4:00 pm
Rivers @ St. Mark's, 4:15 pm
Fieldston Prep @ Harvey, 4:30 pm
Andover @ Belmont Hill, 5:00 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon vs. Berwick, 5:30 pm (@ UNH)
St. Paul's @ Noble & Greenough, 5:30 pm
Pingree @ NYA, 5:30 pm
Tabor @ BB&N, 6:30 pm
Brunswick @ Albany Academy, 7:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ St. George's, 8:00 pm (postponed; makeup date TBA)

Sat. Feb. 6
Brunswick @ CP Dynamo, 12:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Berwick, 1:00 pm
Kents Hill @ New Hampton, 1:00 pm
Proctor @ Tilton, 1:30 pm
St. Mark's @ Groton, 1:30 pm
Worcester Academy @ Kingswood-Oxford, 2:00 pm
Middlesex @ Brooks, 2:00 pm
Roxbury Latin @ St. George's, 2:00 pm (postponed; makeup date TBA)
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ NYA, 2:15 pm
Holderness @ Kimball Union, 2:30 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Tabor, 2:30 pm
Exeter @ Milton, 3:00 pm (moved back 30 min., to 3:30 pm)
Governor's @ Thayer, 3:00 pm
Belmont Hill @ Rivers, 3:00 pm
Albany Academy @ Winchendon, 3:15 pm
Dexter @ Andover, 3:30 pm
NSA @ Lawrenceville, 3:30 pm
BC High @ Catholic Memorial, 3:30 pm
Don Bosco Prep @ Seton Hall Prep, 3:45 pm
Northwood @ Hill School, 5:00 pm (cancelled, snow)
Malden Catholic @ Andover HS, 6:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 7
NSA @ Hill School, 12:00 pm
St John's Prep @ Xaverian, 12:00 pm
Northwood @ Lawrenceville, 12:15 pm (cancelled, snow)

Mon. Feb. 8
New Hampton @ Holderness, 4:30 pm
St John's Prep @ Catholic Memorial, 4:30 pm
Delbarton @ St. Peter's Prep, 5:00 pm
Hingham HS @ Malden Catholic, 6:00 pm
St. George's @ Portsmouth Abbey, 6:30 pm (postponed; makeup 2/15/10)


A New #1 in USHR Prep Poll
The Gunnery, which edged previous #1 Kent 2-1 last Monday, has taken over the top spot in this week's USHR Prep Poll.

To be honest, though, this is more of a #1 and #1-A scenario. Each team has beaten the other once. However, Gunnery's win came more recently - and that's really about all that separates these two teams. Even subjectively, it's hard to say which team is better, mainly because they play such wildly divergent styles. Kent is a big, strong, grinding, highly-defensive team. Gunnery has a fleet of quick forwards. They can put up fearsome numbers against pretty much everyone except... Kent. Both teams are getting excellent goaltending.

Nobles and Belmont Hill are nipping at their heels - neither team has lost a game since the Christmas Tournaments.

And the last two times we saw Avon - against Kent on Jan. 16 and vs. Choate on Sat. - they've looked like the best team in prep hockey. Quick, aggressive, hard-working. The Winged Beavers need to keep playing like that to wipe away the damage of December, when they hosted their annual Xmas Tournament and laid an inexplicable egg.

Here's a team to watch this week: Dexter. They are 16-0-0 and host Pomfret (Wed.) and hit the road to Andover (Sat.). The following Saturday, Feb. 13, they face Tabor. If they win all three, things could become very interesting indeed.

Other teams not in the Top 10, but bubbling under, are Salisbury, Berkshire, and NMH.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 1, 2010