After a two-week hiatus due to all the snowed out games, the SB Nation Massachusetts High School Hockey Power Rankings are back. And fittingly, the region is experiencing yet another major winter storm that has cancelled school for the majority of the state.
Malden Catholic and Springfield Cathedral remain the only two undefeated teams in the state outside of Division 3 Norwell. The Lancers and Panthers appear to be on a collision course at the Cathedral Tournament next week and, quite possibly again, in the Super 8.
Here's this week's SB Nation Massachusetts High School Hockey Power Rankings:
|1. Springfield Cathedral||16-0-2||1||The Panthers have continued to run roughshod over much of their opponents. Brian Foley's team came away with a big 4-2 win at BC High last week that included a two-goal performance from John Leonard, who is arguably the best '98 in New England. Cathedral has two very, very good lines and a good third line. '99 goaltender Keith Petruzzelli has led the way for a defense that has allowed just 19 goals in 18 games.|
|2. Malden Catholic||11-0-2||2||What makes Malden Catholic so good? The Lancers just dominate the puck possession battle. The zone exits are good, the team is well coached and has good offensive schemes. No team in the state utilizes the trailer, scouts opponents and cycles as well as John McLean's team. Matt Filipe has been a force, but players like Jack Adams, Jake Witkowski, Brendan White and Will Lawrence have really stepped up. Alex Reissis and Kyle Casey have been solid in net when called upon.|
|3. Austin Prep||14-1-0||3||Count this observer as one of several who had severely underestimated Louis Finocchiaro's group in the preseason. Led by Eric MacAdams and Cam Russo down the middle the Cougars have a solid group of forwards who can all skate well. AP is a notch below the top two, but it has consistently taken care of business all season long. The team's only loss came at the hands of MC in the Serino Christmas Tournament back in December.|
|4. BC High||10-3-1||4||It's been an up-and-down season for John Flaherty's squad. The Eagles have some key pieces, but depth could end up being an issue. Having seen BC High more than any other team in the top 10, it is obvious that when the team is playing its best, it is keeping things simple, forechecking hard and staying disciplined. When the Eagles have tried to get too fancy, that's when things have fallen apart.|
|5. St. John's Prep||9-5-1||8||Kristian Hanson's team has impressive wins over top 10 foes Woburn, Central Catholic and Xaverian and a tie against Malden Catholic, but looked woefully overmatched in a 6-0 thumping at BC High. The Eagles have two good goaltenders and two good forward lines, but can the young defense hold up down the stretch?|
|6. Xaverian||12-5-0||5||The Hawks have been up and down when facing the upper echelon of the Catholic Conference and have dispatched everyone else in sight. Dave Spinale's team is a tough one to read, but not too many teams will want to face '98 goaltender Aidan Murphy in the first round of the Super 8.|
|7. Central Catholic||12-5-1||6||The hype surrounding freshman sensation and BU recruit Jake Wise has certainly been well-deserved. Remember, he's been going up against kids three to four years older than him on many nights. The Raiders have taken care of business against teams they should have, but the results haven't been as kind against the cream of the crop. In four games against the top three teams in these rankings, CC is 0-4 and has been outscored 22-2.|
|8. Woburn||12-1-2||10||The Tanners' top line of Justin Alves, Evan McDonald and Tim Doherty has been super and second line pivot Joe Santullo has provided important secondary scoring. Not to be ignored, the defense, led by Connor Power and goaltender Sam Best, has been more than solid. Jim Duran's team has run through the Middlesex League gauntlet undefeated so far, but face a rematch with Burlington Monday night, weather permitting, and have to take on a Reading team that is much better than its record indicates again.|
|9. Burlington||8-1-1||7||The Red Devils haven't lost since the second game of the season, a 2-1 setback at the hands of Woburn. Bob Conceison's team has buckled down defensively, having allowed two goals or fewer in seven of its past eight games including three shutouts. Senior John Manfredi and junior Robbie McLean have paced the offense, but don't sleep on juniors Tommy Hanafin and Anthony Nikolopoulos.|
|10. Wellesley||13-1-2||--||The Raiders have coasted through a very easy schedule so far. The most impressive wins so far for Paul Donato's team are against Braintree and Framingham. The Raiders lost to Milton in one of the other big games so far. Over the last four games Wellesley will get a chance to prove its Super 8 worth with a rematch against Milton and a non-league match against Winchester. Senior goaltender Jack Maxwell has led a defense that has allowed just 12 goals in 16 games.|
On the Bubble: Arlington Catholic, Duxbury, Barnstable, Franklin, St. Mary's (Lynn)
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.