Boys Hockey State Rankings – Marquette and Traverse City West make top 25 debut
1. Birmingham Brother Rice. Wins over Rochester United and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep keep them in our top spot. The Warriors have not lost to an in-state team since December 20.
2. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. Wins over Port Huron Northern, U-D Jesuit and a revenge victory against Rochester United move the Cranes up a spot. They host Brother Rice on Friday at Wallace Arena.
3. Detroit Catholic Central. The Shamrocks are 2-1 since our last ranking with wins over Northville and Grandville, and a loss to Forest Hills Central. Still the team to beat in Division 1.
4. Houghton. Coach Corey Markham’s squad still only has two losses to in-state teams this season. Only Brighton and Trenton have knocked the Gremlins off.
5. Utica Eisenhower. The Eagles move back into the top 5 after a convincing win over Salem, and a victory over Wyandotte Roosevelt.
6. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. With wins over Detroit C.C., Plymouth and Brighton in the past 2 weeks, the Rangers have answered any questions about the quality of this team.
7. Rochester United. Coach Craig Staskowski had to endure the loss of the dynamic Max Harper but the team keeps fighting and remains in our top ten.
8. Livonia Stevenson. The Spartans jump back in the top ten with wins over Canton and U-D, and a tie against Brighton. Coach David Mitchell has his team playing playoff hockey before the tournament starts.
9. U-D Jesuit. The Cubs went 2-2 since our last ranking, but the two losses were against Cranbrook Kingswood and Livonia Stevenson. This is a top 10 team to be sure.
10. Grand Rapid Catholic Central. One of four teams from Division 3 in our top 10, the Cougars remain a team to watch in this top heavy division.
11. Brighton. The Bulldogs are known for making noise this time of year, but a slip just out of the top ten after losses to Grand Rapids C.C., and Forest Hills Central at the Showcase.
12. Romeo. The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last 13 at 12-0-1, and led by a player of the year candidate for 2016, in Logan Jenuwine.
13. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. The Knights went 2-1 since our last ranking with wins over Macomb Dakota and Flint Powers, and only their third in-state loss of the year to Hancock.
14. Hartland. The Eagles make our biggest jump in the rankings this week from No. 21. With three wins over Northville, Trenton and Hancock, they are rounding into playoff form.
15. Novi. 3 big wins against Salem, Escanaba and Livonia Franklin since our last rankings, with the only loss coming to surging Howell keeps Coach Mark Vellucci and the Wildcats at No. 15.
16. Grandville. The Bulldogs move up a spot after sweeping its Showcase schedule, and mixing in a big west-side win over East Kentwood.
17. Trenton. The Trojans move up 6 spots since our last ranking after going 4-1 in that time frame. Wins over Warren De La Salle, Grosse Pointe South, St. Mary’s Prep and Houghton, with the loss coming to surging Hartland.
18. Marquette. The Redmen make their debut in the top 25 with an overall record of 15-5-2, and a recent tear that includes wins over Berkley Unified and Rockford, and a tie against Romeo.
19. Grosse Pointe South. The Division 2 field is wide open after top-ranked Brother Rice, and the Blue Devils figure to be one of the teams that should make it interesting in a deep field.
20. Northville. The Mustangs fall out of the top 10 after three heartbreaking, one-goal losses to Hartland, Houghton and Saline, and a 4-0 loss to Catholic Central. Goal scoring has been an issue for Coach Clint Robert and the Mustangs, as the scored only three times in those games.
21. Wyandotte Roosevelt. The Bears are one of the reasons why many people around the state, including myself, feel that Division 3 might be the most intriguing at playoff time.
22. Traverse City Central. Coach Chris Givens and the Trojans make a return to our rankings with a sweep of Port Huron Northern and Detroit Country Day at the Showcase.
23. Traverse City West. Coach Jeremy Rintala and the Titans make their debut in our rankings with a 16-7 overall mark, and a sweep at the Showcase with wins over Grand Rapids Christian and Forest Hills Northern/Eastern.
24. Howell. Since we are in the welcoming mood, let’s welcome the Highlanders into the top 25 as well. Coach Mike Mantua and his squad are 15-5 overall, with only two losses in its last 15 games, both coming to Hartland.
25. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. The Eaglets stay in our rankings after going 2-2 since the last rankings. Wins over a solid Dearborn Divine Child squad and ranked Rochester United, and losses to ranked Brother Rice and Trenton.
Top 25 Breakdown by Division
Division 1: 10 Teams
Division 2: 9 Teams
Division 3: 6 Teams