Believe it or not, folks, we are a little more than two weeks away from Super 8 Selection Saturday. The Super 8 watch list has been compiled (and listed below), and the postseason picture is beginning to come into focus.
Before we delve into another weekend of high school puck, here is one reporter’s best guess as to what that Division 1A picture will ultimately look like, as well as some teams who could force their way in with some late-season magic.
Five that are in:
1. BC High (11-0-3)—A member of the Catholic Conference has held the Super 8’s top seed every season since 2003. Even with a loss to Malden Catholic this upcoming Saturday, the Eagles appear poised to keep that streak alive.
2. Malden Catholic (11-3-0) – It took a six-game win streak for Malden Catholic to even get a play-in game last year before they rolled to their third-consecutive Super 8 title. The Lancers won’t have to worry about getting one of the top six bids this year.
3. Austin Prep (9-3-4) – The runner-ups to Malden Catholic last winter took a while to get their skates under them, but have notched impressive results as of late. Twice the Cougars came back from two-goal third period deficits to take a win and a tie against Arlington Catholic and St. Mary’s of Lynn, respectively.
4. Springfield Cathedral (12-2-3) – The Panthers have been in the Div. 1A pool the last five seasons. With impressive ties against BC High and Austin Prep – two potent, disciplined teams – Cathedral won’t have to do too much to make it six in a row.
5. St. Mary’s of Lynn (12-4-2) – It isn’t Austin Prep who sits at the top of the Catholic Central – it’s St. Mary’s of Lynn. The remarkable turnaround continues for the Spartans, who missed the playoffs for the first time in 18 years last winter.
The two probables:
1. Burlington (8-1-6) – Whichever team emerges from the clustered Middlesex League will likely earn a spot in the Super 8. Even as Burlington looks up at Melrose and Watertown in the Freedom Division, there are few teams in the state with more postseason experience than the Red Devils, and that makes them dangerous in must-win games.
2. Central Catholic (10-3-2) – The Raiders have hit a bit of a bump as of late, getting blown out by Malden Catholic before losing a close contest to Austin Prep, but they have plenty of quality wins on their resume. A Middlesex Valley/Dual County League title could all but cement their spot.
The two that need help:
1. Duxbury (10-2-3) – The Dragons won 10 in a row with impressive wins over Marshfield and Hingham, but the majority of their wins came against Div. 2 opponents in the Patriot League. For Duxbury to have a seat at the table come Super 8 selection, they will need to do some serious damage in the Buddy Ferreira Classic in Falmouth.
2. Marshfield (10-5-0) – The Rams appear to be more mortal as of late since dropping the Coaches vs. Cancer Green Cup to Duxbury, narrowly hanging on against one-win Plymouth North before dropping a 5-3 decision to Falmouth. If Marshfield wants in on the party, positive results against St. Mary’s of Lynn, Barnstable and Malden Catholic in the next two weeks would do the trick.
1. Milton (13-2-1) – One could argue that the Wildcats’ two toughest games on the season resulted in losses to Walpole and Barnstable. One could also argue that they decimated Div. 1 talent on a pretty frequent basis.
2. Watertown (11-1-4) – It’s more than a month until college basketball’s March Madness, but even that may fail to provide a better Cinderella story than that of Watertown hockey. The Div. 3 school not only has a legitimate shot at the Middlesex League title, but come Selection Saturday, the Raiders could have the most compelling public school argument in the field.
Below is the Super 8 Watch List that was compiled by the Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association and includes updated records.
Super 8 Watch List
Archbishop Williams (8-4-2 overall, 4-3-0 Catholic Central)
Arlington Catholic (10-3-1 overall, 5-3-1 Catholic Central)
Austin Prep (9-3-4 overall, 5-0-3 Catholic Central)
BC High (11-0-3 overall, 5-0-1 Catholic Conference)
Beverly (16-0-1 overall, 9-0-0 Northeast Conference)
Burlington (8-1-6 overall, 7-1-6 Middlesex)
Catholic Memorial (9-3-2 overall, 3-1-1 Catholic Conference)
Central Catholic (10-3-2 overall, 5-0-2 Merrimack Valley/Dual County)
Duxbury (10-2-3 overall, 7-0-1 Patriot)
Malden Catholic (11-3-0 overall, 4-2-0 Catholic Conference)
Marshfield (10-5-0 overall, 9-1-0 Atlantic Coast)
Melrose (10-3-4 overall, 7-2-4 Middlesex)
Milton (13-2-1 overall, 10-1-1 Bay State)
Reading (10-7-2 overall, 9-2-2 Middlesex)
St. John’s Prep (6-8-1 overall, 0-7-1 Catholic Conference)
St. John’s (S) (9-4-3 overall, 2-1-1 Catholic West)
St. Mary’s (12-4-2 overall, 6-1-2 Catholic Central)
Springfield Cathedral (12-2-3 overall, 3-0-1 Catholic West)
Watertown (11-1-4 overall, 8-1-3 Middlesex)
Winchester (8-3-5 overall, 7-1-5 Middlesex)
Xaverian (7-3-5 overall, 1-3-3 Catholic Conference)