It was time to switch things up. I had been posting boys basketball rankings first each week but quiet Tuesday night on the high school hockey scene provided the perfect scenario to lead off this week’s blog action with the latest boys hockey power rankings.
Essex continues to hold down No. 1 for the second week in a row after topping Spaulding in one of last week’s marquee clashes and rallying to beat Colchester. The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, rebounded from that game to hand South Burlington its second defeat of the season in another top-3 showdown. What changed when the dust settled? Read on.
This week’s rankings:
1. Essex (9-0-2): For the better part of three periods against Colchester, it looked like the Hornets were about to end up with the same fate as their predecessor at No. 1. But then Jacob Gaboriault equalized three minutes from the final horn and Mike Croce scored the 2-1 winner 34 seconds into overtime. That, plus the convincing win over Spaulding, keeps Essex at the top. Last week: 1.
2. Spaulding (8-2-1): The Crimson Tide responded to last Wednesday’s loss to top-ranked Essex by rallying to beat No. 2 South Burlington. Logan Copeland netted the game-winner and Justin Laperle stopped 34 shots — and Spaulding leap-frogs the Rebels. Last week: 3.
3. South Burlington (7-2-2): Since starting the season unbeaten through eight games, the Rebels have cooled off by starting 2015 1-2. The lone victory is last Wednesday’s 4-1 result against rival Champlain Valley. Last week: 2.
4. BFA-St. Albans (5-3): If not for a pair of losses to Spaulding, the Bobwhites would likely be higher in the standings at this point in the season. Was last Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Colchester a sign that BFA is hitting its stride? Last week: 5.
5. Champlain Valley (5-4-1): The Redhawks’ 4-1 loss to South Burlington halted what was a three-game winning streak and costs them a spot in this week’s rankings. CVU’s 10-day break ends Saturday with upcoming games against Essex, Colchester and Spaulding. Last week: 4.
6. Rutland (6-4): A 1-0 win over North Country helped right the ship for the Raiders after a three-game skid, but goals have been scarce since their 5-1 start. They stay above Colchester on their head-to-head record for now. Last week: 6.
7. Colchester (3-7-1): The Lakers were only three minutes away from handing another No. 1 team a loss last week — a sign of just how close they are to being much higher in the rankings. Their record so far includes four one-goal defeats and a 3-3 tie with South Burlington. Last week: 7.
8. Harwood (8-3): Arguably the hottest team in Division II, Harwood has won six of seven since a 2-2 start to the season. Their 5-3 win last week over Missisquoi, the league’s early front-runner, vaults them to No. 8 this week. Last week: 10.
9. Woodstock (7-2): Like the Highlanders, the Wasps have won six of their last seven games — but only beaten one team with a winning record (St. Johnsbury). Their game against Milton on Friday is another. Last week: 9.
10. Missisquoi (8-3): Seemingly cruising with seven wins in eight games. the Thunderbirds hit a snag against Harwood last week, just their second loss in Vermont. Last week: 8.
On the Bubble: Middlebury (4-3-2), Milton (5-4-1).