Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
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. And I imagine these will change quite a bit between now and mid-March.
In case you missed it, I believe the Southern White to be the strongest White Division, and the rankings reflect it. Matching up teams between divisions was very difficult, and Morris County’s top schools came out well thanks to the strong play of Mountain Lakes. Pascack Valley’s weak schedule and MKA’s lack of quality wins hurt the Northern and Southern teams, while the CVC teams appear extremely weak.
White/Blue Top 20 (records as available through 12/28/03)
1—Middletown North (8-1, 7-1 Southern White)
This Week: 1/4 vs. MD
Lions have been the most consistent in the South, losing only to RFH and beating Bridgewater.
2—Montgomery (6-3, 5-3 Southern White)
This Week: 12/29 SCT Final vs. Pingry, 1/4 @ MidS
Cougars seem to be finding their offense in recent wins over MonDon, RFH, and Bridgewater.
3—Rumson/Fair Haven (6-2-1, 4-1-1 Southern White)
This Week: 12/29 vs. TRS, 12/30 @ Ran
Bulldogs have been hard-hit by the flu and other injuries but beat Middletown North.
4—Monsignor Donovan (3-4-1, 1-4-1 Southern White)
This Week: 1/2 @ Wall, 1/4 @ MidN
Griffins started very slowly but upset TRN and TRE to win Toms River Mayor’s Cup.
5—Toms River South (6-2, 4-0 Southern White)
This Week: 12/29 @ RFH
Indians went a surprising 0-2 in Mayor’s Cup after unbeaten start but have beaten Mtgry and MD.
6—Pascack Valley (6-0, 5-0 Northern White)
This Week: 1/4 vs. SJMont
Indians have won four of five Northern White games by two goals or less but keep on winning.
7—Montclair-Kimberley (5-4, 4-0 Central White)
This Week: idle
Props to the Cougars for a tough non-league schedule, but eventually they’ll have to beat a good team.
8—Mountain Lakes (4-0-3, 4-0-1 MCSSIHL Charette)
This Week: 1/2 vs. Cha, 1/3 vs. Rwood
Nobody quite knows how the Lakers are unbeaten, but adventurous scheduling has earned quality points.
9—Jefferson (6-1, 5-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: 12/30-1 vs. Mtville, TBD in Mustang Tourney, 1/2 @ Vero, 1/3 vs. Vero
Falcons face scheduling conflict with an illegal four-game week but will be tested by upper-division Mustangs.
10—Morristown (2-2-1, 2-1-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
This Week: idle
Defending Haas Cup champions were wise to stay in the Haas, but they lost only 5-3 to Montclair.
11—Old Bridge (3-5, 1-3 Southern White)
This Week: idle
Sixth place will get you in the rankings with wins over Cra and Mtgry. Knights still lack depth, discipline.
12—Cranford (2-4, 1-0 Central White)
This Week: 12/29 vs. Men
We’ll find out today if the Cougars’ 7-0 shellacking of Mendham was a fluke before they hit division play.
13—Millburn (7-0, 6-0 Central Blue)
This Week: 1/3 @ WV
Somehow everybody has trouble taking the Millers seriously when WO and WatH are quality wins.
14—Watchung Hills (5-2, 2-1 Central Blue)
This Week: 1/3 @ PcV
Warriors are a quality Blue Division team that can compete with the lower half of North/Central White teams.
15—West Milford (4-2-1, 2-1 Northern White)
This Week: 12/29 PCT Final vs. Clifton, 1/2 @ PC, 1/4 vs. NH
Highlanders face a huge week with two Red Division opponents and a crucial White Division game.
16—Indian Hills (4-1-1, 3-0 Northern Blue)
This Week: 12/30-1 vs .MH, TBA in Mustang tourney, 1/3 vs. Rmsy
Braves are best of a surprisingly competitive Northern Blue lot, losing 3-1 to PkV and tying WM.
17—Fair Lawn (2-3-1, 0-1-1 Northern White)
This Week: 12/29 OT, 1/2 vs. RD
A preseason division favorite, the Cutters started slow but showed well in the Bayonne tournament.
18—West Orange (6-2, 3-1 Central Blue)
This Week: 1/3 vs. Liv
Mountaineers avenged one loss with 5-2 win over Nutley for Hillbilly title and only other loss was to Millburn.
19—Old Tappan (2-3-2, 2-1-1 Northern White)
This Week: 12/29 FL
Golden Knights are perhaps the most Jekyll & Hyde team in the state, tying FL and Rmpo but losing to Mah and WayH.
20—Steinert (3-2-1, 3-1-1 CVC Valley)
This Week: idle
Another inconsistent story here, as the Spartans beat division rival Princeton 4-3 but lost points by losing 6-0 to WWPS.
Previous Polls: Dec. 29