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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Breaking down updated boys' hockey Top 25

By Scott Barboza

Before we drop the puck on a busy night of MIAA hockey across local barns tonight, let's take a quick look at the movement in our latest boys' hockey Top 25 poll.

DIV. 2 MOVEMENT
Our Top 8 teams remained virtually unchanged, minus the flip-flop between Central Catholic and Austin Prep, but Beverly snuck into the Top 10 this week after Wlimington fell 10 spots to No. 19, following an opening night loss to Woburn.

The Panthers are the top-ranked Division 2 team in our poll, and make no mistake about it, expect Beverly to hang with the big boys all year long. In fact, we might even go as far as saying the Panthers should get a long and hard look from the Super 8 committee when things are all said and done.

Yet, the greatest victory for Beverly last week came with the return of head coach Bob Gilligan behind the bench. Gilligan's been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the last two years.

BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE
As previously mentioned, the biggest upset of Week 1 might have come with Woburn's 3-1 win over Wilmington on opening night. The previously unranked Tanners jumped all the way to No. 14, but face a large task at home when No. 16 Burlington invaded for the "Battle of Winn Street."

Also cracking the poll for the first time since the middle of the 2011-12 season, Danvers slides into the 25th spot. The Falcons looked strong while picking up four points last week against Lynnfield and Marblehead, while beating their opponents by a combined 8-2 margin.

Falling out of the poll from our preseason poll were Framingham (No. 15 previously) and Natick (No. 25).