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ESPNBoston.com's boys' hockey Top 25

3/23/2015

Below is our 2014-15 top 25 MIAA hockey poll, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 3/23/15)

1. St. John's Prep (18-5-1): The Eagles shocked the state hockey circle with their first tournament championship since 1985, dethroning four-time defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic. Head coach Kristian Hanson completed one of the more impressive coaching performances in recent memory in the run up to the final, including Prep's semifinal win over No. 1 seed Springfield Cathedral.

2. Malden Catholic (19-2-2): The Lancers' last-minute comeback bid against Prep in the Super 8 final came up short, ensuring Catholic Memorial's streak of consecutive title wins is safe -- at least for now.

3. Springfield Cathedral (22-1-2): MC wasn't the only top seed upset by Prep on its run to the Super 8 championship, as the Panthers (who entered as the No. 1 seed) were toppled in the semifinals by a dogged Eagles defensive game plan. Still, no player had a more impressive tournament than Mr. Hockey candidate and UMass-Amherst commit Johnny Leonard (6 goals).

4. Austin Prep (21-3-1): Again, the Cougars saw their Super 8 dreams and season dashed by MC -- this year coming in the semifinals. The good news is freshman goaltender Dylan Regan truly emerged with strong play in the tournament.

5. Central Catholic (16-7-2): The Raiders gave AP everything it could handle and more, pushing the teams' first-round series to a decisive Game 3. Watch out for this team as a potential tournament favorite next year with talented freshman Cam Gendron and Jake Wise slated to return.

6. BC High (13-7-2): Near the midway point of the season, it looked as though the Eagles might be primed for a Super 8 finals run, but they were unable to escape the first round, losing to eventual champion Prep in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed swing matchup.

7. Woburn (16-4-4): If the Tanners can keep their young nucleus together going forward, dare we say that they might even be a dark horse to win the Super 8 next year. As long as they have Sammy Best in between the pipes, they'll be better than good.

8. Franklin (17-4-3): We'll see what heights the Panthers reach next after making their first Super 8 tournament appearance in their second year at the Division 1 level, following a play-in game win over Xaverian. Still, another marked step forward for the program despite their first-round ouster.

9. Hingham (16-8-3): Instead of crying in their milk, the Harbormen picked themselves up by the bootstraps after being shut out of the Super 8 and did the next best thing, winning the Division 1 state championship.

10. Arlington Catholic (18-5-1): The Cougars bested town rival Arlington in the Battle of the Ed Burns Arena to claim the Division 1 North sectional title, before falling to Hingham in a back-and-forth state title game.

11. Burlington (16-3-4): The Red Devils weren't able to make it out of the quarterfinals, but we think this is about the right spot for them considering they were bounced from the tournament by the eventual North sectional champions after making a Super 8 tournament play-in game appearance.

12. Xaverian (17-7-1): The Hawks' Super 8 dreams were dashed by Franklin in an overtime, play-in game loss, but they were able to rebound while making a push to the Division 1 South final.

13. Arlington (16-4-4): The Spy Ponders were unable to get through in the Battle of Arlington, falling to AC in the D1 North final at Tsongas. Still, a great season had by a squad backboned by senior goalie Ryan Cote.

14. Barnstable (15-6-1): The Red Raiders were bounced by eventual state champion Hingham in the D1 South semifinals, but the biggest loss came after the season when longtime head coach Scott Nickerson announced he was stepping down from his post.

15. Duxbury (14-6-5): The Dragons just weren't able to get past to Xaverian, who bounced them from the D1 South tournament in the semifinals, after suffering a loss to the Hawks in the regular season as well.

16. Chelmsford (12-11-1): The Lions, who slipped into the tournament with a .500 record, made a valiant run to the Division 1 North semifinals, honoring their ailing head coach Mike McGrath, who's battling cancer.

17. St. Mary's of Lynn (12-7-3): The Spartans were dealt their tournament exit by Arlington, but the good news is they have a young core of talent, led by sophomores Dante Marabito, Eric Pedro and Mike Zampanti.

18. Watertown (16-3-7): The Raiders skated to the Division 3 state championship with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Agawam. For a team that plays most of its regular-season schedule against Division 1 opponents, this seems like the most obvious ranking.

19. Melrose (18-5-1): The Red Raiders were another victim of Chelmsford's emotional run, dropping a 2-1 decision in overtime.

20. Marshfield (10-10-4): A rather young and inexperienced Rams team was bounced in the D1 South quarterfinals by Barnstable, but if the returning roster remains intact, this will be a team to watch next year.

21. Braintree (10-6-6): The Wamps were nipped by Xaverian in the D1 South quarterfinals in a defensive struggle. But there should be plenty of goals in the coming years behind sophomore Evan Googins.

22. Westwood (20-2-2): The Wolverines' stout defense in front of goaltender Chris Dyson held opponents to just 24 goals in 24 game on the road to their Division 2 state championship.

23. Wellesley (15-3-4): The Raiders were shut out by Hingham in the Division 1 South quarterfinals, but the efforts of senior goaltender Jack Maxwell shouldn't be lost, after posting a 0.76 GAA and 96.6 save percentage.

24. Catholic Memorial (6-10-4): The Knight were goal-starved down the stretch and, as a result, missed out on the Division 1 tournament.

25. Framingham (9-9-5): The Flyers met a quick exit from the tournament with a tough first-round matchup against Bay State rival Braintree in Division 1 South after being shut out in a 1-0 defeat.

Last 10 Out: Agawam (18-4-2), Billerica (10-9-4), Canton (16-7-1), Concord-Carlisle (14-7-4), Medfield (18-4-1), Milton (13-7-3), Newton North (14-6-3), North Middlesex (19-2-2), Tewksbury (16-5-0).Weymouth (10-5-6).