Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
Cup tournament gave us a bit of top-20 movement, mostly from Chatham and St. Augustine Prep winning and thereby freeing up some of the Gordon teams for a bit of movement. I cant see anybody supplanting Seton Hall Prep for the top spot when I do final rankings in a month, but the state tournaments will obviously have a major effect on the rest of the spots.
Top 20 (records as available through 2/26/06)
1 Seton Hall Prep (16-0-2, 11-0-2 Gordon) Last Ranking 1
State Tournament: Private No. 1 3/8 vs. RBC/SJMont
Beating Delbarton three times in one season just added to the credentials of this unbeaten team.
2 Delbarton (11-6-5, 8-4-2 Gordon) Last Ranking 2
This Week: 2/28 vs. SJMont, 3/1 @ BE
State Tournament: Private No. 2 vs. MD/Pin
Green Wave showed well against Seton Hall Prep but still came up short and face a tough state draw.
3 Pope John (11-5-4, 6-4-4 Gordon) Last Ranking 3
State Tournament: Private No. 3 vs. SJMet/GC
CBA loss cannot rule out third-place season, but how far will the inexperienced Lions go?
4 Don Bosco Prep (12-10-1, 7-6-1 Gordon) Last Ranking 8
State Tournament: Private No. 4 vs. PC/MKA
Ironmen were very impressive in Gordon Cup semifinal but will have a tough task to get a SHP rematch.
5 St. Peters Prep (10-8-4, 3-6-4 Gordon) Last Ranking 7
This Week: 3/1 vs. MK
State Tournament: Private No. 9 3/7 @ BE
You have to love Joe Maione adding the Knolls game this week, and the rematch with Eustace should be a great game.
6 CBA (10-6-8, 2-6-6 Gordon) Last Ranking 9
State Tournament: Private No. 7 vs. SA
CBA more than capable of pulling off state tournament upsets with strong coaching and goaltending.
7 Morris Knolls (20-3-1, 11-1-1 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Ranking 5
This Week: 3/1 @ SPP
State Tournament: Public No. 1 3/4 vs. West/GR
I think Thursdays loss may have dented their aura of invincibility, even for non-Chatham public schools.
8 Morristown-Beard (19-4-1, 10-3 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Ranking 6
State Tournament: Private No. 5 3/6 vs. BC
Crimson captured first outright Mennen Cup since 1983 but will have to match up against the Gordon a few more times.
9 Chatham (18-6-1, 8-4-1 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Ranking 17
State Tournament: Public No. 4 3/4 vs. MH/RBR
Still havent beaten anybody besides Knolls, but they deserved more in 3-2 regular-season loss to Beard.
10 St. John Vianney (9-10-1, 4-9-1 Gordon) Last Ranking 10
State Tournament: Private No. 6 vs. ND
Lancers are in the weakest of the four sections of the private bracket.
11 St. Augustine Prep (13-5-1, 10-2 Southern Red) Last Ranking 13
State Tournament: Private No. 10 @ CBA
Hermits avenged regular-season losses with emphatic Handchen Cup win over three-time defending champion Bishop Eustace.
12 Bishop Eustace (15-5-2, 9-2-1 Southern Red) Last Ranking 4
This Week: 3/1 vs. Del
State Tournament: Private No. 8 vs. SPP
Crusaders had 13-game unbeaten streak snapped by St. Augustine Prep and face tough first-round game.
13 Randolph (15-6-3, 9-4 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Ranking 11
State Tournament: Public No. 2 vs. OT/Reg
Rams drop due to big weeks for Chatham and St. Augustine Prep but still have to be favorites to reach the public final.
14 Bergen Catholic (4-10-4, 3-9-2 Gordon) Last Ranking 12
State Tournament: Private No. 12 3/6 @ MB
One of the most popular choices to pull a state-tournament upset.
15 Toms River North (16-7-1, 6-5-1 Southern Red) Last Ranking 14
State Tournament: Public No. 3 vs. NH/Kin
Mariners very respectable in 3-2 loss to Bishop Eustace and should be well prepared, considering their tough schedule.
16 Montgomery (20-2, 11-0 Central White) Last Ranking 15
State Tournament: Public No. 5 vs. Para
Van Cott Cup champion Cougars could be part of a very intriguing matchup against Chatham if they can reach the quarterfinals.
17 Bridgewater-Raritan (17-6-1, 11-0-1 Central Red) Last Ranking 16
State Tournament: Public No. 6 3/3 vs. WM/TRS
Panthers won McInnis Cup championship, but injuries to leading scorer Kevin Tino must be a postseason concern.
18 Hillsborough (22-3, 12-0 Central Blue) Last Ranking 18
State Tournament: Public No. 7 3/3 vs. WatH/Msqn
Raiders breezed to Central Blue title but will play no more games as easy as their league schedule.
19 Clifton (17-3-4, 8-2-2 Northern Red) Last Ranking 20
State Tournament: Public No. 13 vs. Spa
Everybody has them down as vulnerable, but a dominant talent like Anthony Yelovich and strong goaltending can be enough.
20 St. Joseph Metuchen (11-7-3, 7-2-3 Central Red) Last Ranking NR
State Tournament: Private No. 14 vs. GC
Falcons impressed in reaching the McInnis Cup final and could have a shot against Pope John if they make the first round.
No. 19 Ridge (13-5-4, 7-2-2 Central Red)
Best of the Rest (ranks 21-32, alphabetically)
Red Bank Catholic