5 hockey storylines to watch this week
February, 22, 2012
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
With Saturday’s tournament selection meetings quickly approaching, let’s take some time to digest five of the biggest storylines to follow during the remaining days of the regular season.
- Springfield Cathedral tournament and its Super 8 implications: Though you could call this tournament the Malden Catholic invitational, with the Lancers dominating its recent history, I’ll be intently watching tonight’s preliminary game between Springfield Cathedral and Needham. We have both the Panthers and Rockets penciled into our Super 8 field as of right now, more so Cathedral than Needham. I’d still like to see the Rockets come away with at least a couple of points from the tournament.
- Iris American Shootout and its potential Super 8 implications: Woburn might be a team that sees second life because of other teams faltering down the stretch. Granted, Burlington figures to represent the Middlesex League above any other team, what with their one-loss record, two wins over Woburn and 1-0-1 mark against Reading. But with Catholic Memorial failing to make the playoffs, fellow Irish-American participant Westford Academy stumbling in a loss to Acton-Boxborough, and Reading taking a digger against Woburn and a 2-2 tie with Andover, Woburn might sneak into a play-in game running the table at their host tournament.
- 3. Who’s No. 1 on the girls’ side? We’ve had Duxbury at No. 1 in our girls’ Top 25 poll for the last couple of weeks, but only until the last two weeks of the season have we truly had an opportunity to watch the top teams duke it out with each other. Duxbury has another chance to show their the best team on the South Shore in a rematch with Hingham, Thursday at the Cougar Classic championship. The regular season finished with a bang as well with Woburn and Acton-Boxborough tussling in a non-league matchup.
- 4. Inside track in D3 South: Although it might not get as much attention as some of the other tournaments around the state this week, Pembroke and Scituate will meet for the third time this season at the Gould Tournament in Pembroke. The Titans and Sailors have traded wins in their first Patriot League meetings, so what will the rubber match tell us about these two D3 favorties? Maybe not a whole heck of a lot because it could be a fourth meeting between the teams that decides the Div. 3 South tournament winner.
- 5. Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday: Reginald Kenneth Dwight had it right when he said it’s time to get a little action in. And there will be plenty of action centered around a conference table at MIAA headquarters in Franklin as the Super 8 selection committee meets. Of course, we’ll have you covered at the meeting with instant analysis. Also, look out for our final Super 8 projections coming to the blog on Friday.