For the fourth straight season, Malden Catholic ended the boys' hockey season as the No. 1 team in our statewide MIAA Top 25 poll.
The Lancers, four-time repeating Super 8 champions, have now finished in the top spot in each one of our ESPN Boston end-of-season polls, after beating Austin Prep in the D1A final for a second straight year.
For the complete poll, click HERE.
Rockets blast off: Reading, champions of the state Division 1 tournament, was the first non-Super 8 team to appear in the poll, checking in at No. 9.
After seeing a great deal of turnover with a deep and talented senior class last year, the Rockets played their best hockey to run through the North tournament and beat Braintree (No. 10) at the Garden. While Reading suffered a four-game losing streak late in the season, the Rockets won 11 of their last 12 games, including the postseason, to skate away champions at the Garden for the first time since their Super 8 win in 2008.
Dominance: Both Div. 2 champion Beverly and D3 winner Shrewsbury found their way into the poll. The Panthers, predictably, were the highest ranked non-Division 1 team, slotting in at No. 13, after losing just one game all season.
Meanwhile, the Colonials flexed their muscle at the Garden, beating Eastern Mass. champion Hanover, 7-1, and finished the season at No. 24. Shrewsbury was the only D3 entrant in our preseason poll, as well.