Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
Am I allowed to upgrade the Southern White to Red Division status? And maybe part of the Northern White too? Big wins over Red Division teams for the top three in this week’s poll, while Mountain Lakes beat Mennen Division opponent Chatham in its biggest win ever. Northern White wins over Red Division teams are tough to take seriously due to the incredible weakness of the bottom of that division, but West Milford’s tie with Paramus Catholic was made credible by the Paladins’ tie with St. Joseph’s Metuchen. All in all, still a ton to play for.
This is the only ranking for the bottom half of New Jersey high school ice hockey. To make it organized, I have chosen to rank the White and Blue Division of the NJIHL, the Haas and Charette Divisions of the MCSSIHL, the Valley and Patriot Divisions of the CVC, and the three public-school independents (Vernon, Point Pleasant Boro, and Red Bank Regional). This comes to 59 teams, more than half of New Jersey’s total. There is hardly enough interregional play to put together these rankings, but I’ve done my best.
White/Blue Top 20 (records as available through 1/5/04)
1—Middletown North (10-1, 8-1 Southern White)
This Week: 1/8 @ TRS, 1/11 vs. BE
Lions beat BM 8-4 Monday night, more than halfway through Southern White schedule.
2—Montgomery (8-3, 5-3 Southern White)
This Week: 1/6 vs. SA
Somerset County champions face No. 9 St. Augustine Prep Tuesday.
3—Rumson/Fair Haven (7-4-1, 4-2-1 Southern White)
This Week: 1/9 @ BE
Bulldogs split tough upper-division contests, losing 2-1 to Ran and beating RBC 1-0.
4—Toms River South (7-2, 5-0 Southern White)
This Week: 1/8 vs. MidN
Indians get their chance against MidN Thursday after 2-1 win over RFH.
5—Mountain Lakes (5-0-4, 4-0-1 MCSSIHL Charette)
This Week: 1/10 Peq
Perhaps No. 5 is a bit high, but the Lakers’ trap has not allowed more than two goals since the first game of the year.
6—Jefferson (9-1, 5-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: 1/10 vs. Vero
Even if all their offense is generated through one defenseman, Falcons won Mustang Invitational and are well-coached.
7—Monsignor Donovan (5-5-1, 3-5-1 Southern White)
This Week: 1/9 @ RBC
Griffins play in an extremely tough division, and the Toms River Mayor’s Cup is their claim to fame.
8—Pascack Valley (8-0, 6-0 Northern White)
This Week: 1/10 @ Rmsy, 1/11 @ OT
Indians remain unbeaten, virtually untested in Northern White.
9—Montclair-Kimberley (5-4, 4-0 Central White)
This Week: 1/7 @ John, 1/10 vs. Sum
Cougars need some quality wins to stay this high. Maybe they should schedule Notre Dame.
10—Fair Lawn (5-3-1, 3-1-1 Northern White)
This Week: 1/7 @ Pri, 1/9 @ NH
Cutters will soon be notorious for their slow starts, blasting OT 7-1 and beating WM 4-2 this week.
11—Old Bridge (3-6, 1-4 Southern White)
This Week: 1/8 vs. Msqn
Knights lost a tough 6-5 decision to MonDon; still riding early-season win over Cranford.
12—Cranford (3-5, 2-0 Central White)
This Week: 1/7 @ West
Speaking of which, the Cougars finally get some Central White action this month.
13—Morris Hills (4-3-1, 2-2-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: idle
I wouldn’t have thunk it either, but the Scarlet Knights had a dramatic tourney run and played Jef tough.
14—Millburn (8-0, 6-0 Central Blue)
This Week: 1/7 @ Day, 1/10 vs. WatH
Play somebody! At least Watchung Hills poses a threat to the unbeaten Millers.
15—West Milford (6-3-2, 3-2 Northern White)
This Week: 1/7 @ OT, 1/11 vs. Rwood
Passaic County champions play better against Red Division teams (2-0-1) than White/Blue (4-3-1).
16—Indian Hills (7-2-1, 5-0 Northern Blue)
This Week: 1/10 vs. Dem, 1/11 @ Hac
Maybe a bit underrated as runaway Northern Blue leader, but MoHills loss hurt.
17—Parsippany Hills (4-3, 4-2 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: 1/7 Peq, 1/8 Reg
Not especially deep, but the addition of SHP transfer Adam Gorelick made such a difference Monday…
18—Morristown (2-3-1, 2-2-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: 1/8 MO, 1/10 Kin
…against these guys. Colonials have two-line depth to recover from one-goal loss but have trouble finishing.
19—Steinert (4-2-1, 4-1-1 CVC Valley)
This Week: 1/7 Ham (non-league)
Spartans are the best of a weak CVC Valley/Patriot lot.
20—Watchung Hills (6-2, 3-1 Central Blue)
This Week: 1/8 vs. WO, 1/10 @ Mill
Pair of huge games for the Warriors this week.
Previous Polls: Dec. 29