Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
Okay, this may have been the most difficult week to compile rankings I’ve ever had. Of last week’s top 20 teams, 16 had a loss or a tie this week. After making the list, I realized how important goaltending is this year, probably thanks in part to the dearth of true scorers this year. Seven of the top eight teams have goalies capable of stealing a game; in fact, most have already taken at least one just to get their team ranked this high. Also, props to most Gordon Conference teams (notable exceptions: Seton Hall Prep, Bergen Catholic) for good non-conference scheduling. The Gordon reputation has taken a hit this year, but it’s games like those that keep people interested in the Gordon.
Top 20 (records as available through 1/29/06)
1—Seton Hall Prep (12-0-2, 10-0-2 Gordon) Last Week – 1
This Week: 2/3 @ SJV
A no-doubter. The Pirates have clearly proven themselves as the state’s top team.
2—Delbarton (8-5-1, 6-4-1 Gordon) Last Week – 3
This Week: 1/30 @ SPP, 2/3 @ PJ
This might be the most unconvincing No. 2 team ever. Green Wave just 3-4 in January.
3—Pope John (6-3-4, 2-3-4 Gordon) Last Week – 7
This Week: 2/3 vs. Del, 2/5 vs. CBA
Bosco’s Sunday meltdown helped out the Lions, but they should be more worried about other types of meltdowns.
4—Don Bosco Prep (8-6-1, 6-5-1 Gordon) Last Week – 2
This Week: 2/3 vs. LaSalle (Pennsylvania)
Ironmen looked uninspired when I saw them against St. Peter’s Prep, and BC took advantage Sunday.
5—Bishop Eustace (10-4-2, 6-2-1 Southern Red) Last Week – 14
This Week: 2/3 @ RBC
Crusaders are 6-0-2 since Jan. 3 loss to Delbarton, including wins over PDS, St. Peter’s Prep, TRN, and St. Augustine Prep.
6—Morris Knolls (14-2-1, 9-1-1 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 9
This Week: 2/1 @ BR, 2/3 vs. MH
What an infuriating team. But, shot counts aside, they went 2-0-1 against one of the top two non-Gordon divisions in the state.
7—Morristown-Beard (13-3, 8-3 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 4
This Week: 1/31 vs. Ran
Tuesday’s game will feature two teams that skate well but cannot score in big games.
8—St. John Vianney (8-5-1, 4-4-1 Gordon) Last Week – 5
This Week: 2/3 vs. SHP, 2/5 @ BM
Just to prove me wrong, watch the Lancers win on Friday. They have the goaltending to do it.
9—Bergen Catholic (2-8-4, 2-7-2 Gordon) Last Week – 12
This Week: 2/4 vs. SPP
10—St. Augustine Prep (10-2, 9-1 Southern Red) Last Week – 10
This Week: 1/31 @ CBA, 2/3 vs. MidS
Needless hype aside, the Hermits have lost twice, both one-goal decisions to legit teams.
11—CBA (3-5-7, 1-5-6 Gordon) Last Week – 6
This Week: 1/31 vs. SA, 2/1 vs. RBC, 2/5 @ PJ
Everyone knows I’m all for publics competing with privates, but CBA should have found a way to win on Friday.
12—St. Peter’s Prep (7-5-3, 1-4-3 Gordon) Last Week – 8
This Week: 1/30 vs. Del, 2/3 vs. WatH, 2/4 @ BC
Marauders another team that fell prey to a non-league foe, but Delbarton cannot have good Pershing Field memories entering tonight’s contest.
13—Randolph (10-3-2, 7-2 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 13
This Week: 1/31 vs. MB, 2/2 vs. Cha
A make-or-break weak for the Rams, who showed very well (four lines!?) against CBA Friday.
14—Montgomery (14-1, 8-0 Central White) Last Week – 15
This Week: 1/31 @ Sum, 2/2 @ West
Cougars got the necessary win over Bridgewater and have a decent schedule remaining to prepare for the state tournament.
15—Hillsborough (17-1, 10-0 Central Blue) Last Week – 16
This Week: 2/3 vs. SB, 2/4 @ Liv
I would have liked them to be a little more convincing against Ridge, and they only have two more tests until the state tournament.
16—Chatham (14-3-1, 8-2-1 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 20
This Week: 2/2 vs. Ran
Cougars now have two ‘plus’ results this year, both against Morris Knolls. Beat somebody else, and then we’ll talk.
17—Old Bridge (10-2-2, 6-1-2 Southern White) Last Week – NR
This Week: 1/30 @ MD, 2/2 vs. Rid, 2/5 @ Wall
Win over TRN enough for now, but this week will prove a lot about a public with less than 15 skaters that is the sole H.S. tenant at its rink.
18—Toms River North (11-6, 5-5 Southern Red) Last Week – 17
This Week: 2/2 @ MidN
Mariners managed to steal the win against Bridgewater but have some work to do back in the Southern Red.
19—Monsignor Donovan (6-6-2, 5-4-2 Southern Red) Last Week – 18
This Week: 1/30 vs. OB, 2/2 @ MidS
Griffins likely to finish in a dead heat with TRN, unless Middletown South rises to the occasion again.
20—Red Bank Catholic (7-8-2, 5-5-1 Southern Red) Last Week – 11
This Week: 2/1 @ CBA, 2/3 vs. BE
Caseys could very well be staring at a sub-.500 mark, but it says here they deserve an at-large bid.
No. 19 Bridgewater-Raritan (12-4-1, 9-0-1 Central Red)
Best of the Rest (ranks 21-32, alphabetically)
St. Joseph Metuchen