- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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We're taking a further look at our preseason MIAA boys' hockey Top 25 poll, which was released yesterday.
You can find the full poll HERE.
Here's how it all breaks down:
LANCERS STAY ON TOP
Malden Catholic retains its stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in our poll. The Lancers went "box-to-wire" as the top team in the poll last year and have occupied the No. 1 ranking since midway through the 2010-11 season. MC will again boast a top line rife with Division 1 college talent in Mike Iovanna (UMass-Amherst), Ara Nazarian and Tyler Sifferlen (UMass-Lowell). The Lancers will be looking to fill some holes on the blue line, but are in good company with BC-bound Casey Fitzgerald and junior Nick Rolli looking to make strides in their development. The Lancers also return starting netminder Connor Maloney.
FAMILIAR SUPER 8 FIELD?
Reading the tea leaves of our Top 10 and projecting how those teams might fit into a patchwork of a Super 8 field (including play-in competitors), you'll find a lot of familiar names. Our top five teams (MC, BC High, Hingham, St. John's Prep and Springfield Cathedral) all made it Merrimack College last year. Moving on, however, we find some new blood moving in. There's plenty of buzz surrounding Austin Prep in the preseason. With a mix of veterans (Nolan Vesey), budding stars (freshman George Sennott, who played last year an eighth-grader) and in-coming transfer talent, the Cougars are poised to make their first Super 8 appearance since 2009-10. Central Catholic should again be in the thick of things with a strong returning core, including potential All-Staters Mike Kelleher and Lloyd Hayes.
From there on, we have a couple of other new entrants with Braintree, who is primed for a Bay State Carey title run, defending Division 2 state champion Wilmington and, of course, there's always Catholic Memorial, which will look to end a two-year playoff drought with a Super 8 appearance.
7dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
12dBrendan C. Hall
13dBrendan C. Hall
14dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
15dBrendan C. Hall