Boys Hockey State Rankings – No. 1 Catholic Central to face No. 2 Rochester on Friday
1. Detroit Catholic Central. The Shamrocks suffered their first blemish, in-state, as they tied Cranbrook Kingswood 1-1. This upcoming week could not get much more difficult as the Shamrocks prepare to take on Birmingham Brother Rice on Wednesday (Jan. 21) and Rochester United on Friday (Jan. 23).
2. Rochester United. Coach Craig Staskowski’s team just keeps winning, and they can beat you at both ends of the ice. With C.C. this Friday at Compuware Arena, high school hockey doesn’t get much better than that until playoff time.
3. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The Cranes dropped only their second loss of the season when Orchard Lake St Mary’s beat them in overtime. I keep them here by virtue of a 1-1 tie against Catholic Central, and their other loss came to Rochester United.
4. Birmingham Brother Rice. The Warriors move up a spot this week as they are unbeaten thus far in January, and only have losses to C.C. and Cranbrook Kingswood on our list. They remain the team to beat in Division 2.
5. Utica Eisenhower. The Eagles suffered their second loss of the season as they fell to Marquette 3-0 at the North/ South Showcase in Traverse City this past weekend. However, with a 15-2 record, they remain firmly entrenched in this group.
6. Houghton. The Gremlins dropped their first game of the season to Brighton but still look to be the class of the Upper Peninsula, and in Division 3.
7. U. of D. Jesuit. The Cubs keep getting it done by limiting the opposition with great team defense. They’ve only given up 22 goals in their first 12 games.
8. Brighton. As an opposing coach told me in private last week, “they are doing it again". The "it" that he spoke of is that the Bulldogs have a tendency in recent years to get significantly better as the season progresses. Brighton is always a tough out in the state tournament. The Bulldogs are also getting a number of players back who were injured.
9. Northville. The Mustangs stand at 10-2-1 overall in the incredibly tough Kensington Lakes Activities Association Central Division with Brighton, Livonia Stevenson, Novi and South Lyon Unified.
10. Berkley Unified. The Bears have won eight straight but a big test looms Saturday (Jan. 24) against high powered Novi.
11. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. The Rangers are making a strong case for the "Best in the West" in regards to the west side of the state.
12. Plymouth. The Wildcats continue to be the class of the KLAA South Division. Their three losses on the season so far have been to teams in our top 25 (Rochester United, Livonia Stevenson and Dearborn Divine Child).
13. Livonia Stevenson. The Spartans turned a winless, four-game stretch into an unbeaten five-game stretch to start 2015. Coach David Mitchell has a fast, young team.
14. Orchard Lake St Mary’s. An up and down year so far for the Eaglets. The positives include a 7-1 victory over Port Huron Northern, and a 5-4 overtime win over Cranbrook Kingswood.
15. Novi. The Wildcats bounced back from a loss at Hancock with big wins over Hartland and Northville, and a tie against Brighton.
16. Trenton. The Trojans remain one of the teams to watch in Division 2. A game that you may want to watch is Livonia Stevenson travelling to the Kennedy Ice Arena on Wednesday (Jan. 21) in a big Division 2 rivalry game.
17. Grand Rapids Catholic Central. The Cougars have lost just twice and have arguably the best goalie in the state in Tommy Bailey.
18. Grandville. The Bulldogs are 10-2-2 on the season and remain one of the teams to watch in Division 1.
19. Salem. Coach Ryan Ossenmacher has the Rocks at 8-4-2, but don’t let those losses fool you. All four were hard-fought battles against four highly-ranked teams in Novi, Trenton, Plymouth and Rochester United.
20. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. The Knights ready to make another run in Division 3. They won it all in 2012.
21. Grosse Pointe South. The Blue Devils are making strides in separating themselves from the competitive pack that is the Metro League East.
22. Romeo. The Bulldogs make their debut in the top 25 and for good reason. They are 12-3 on the season in the tough Macomb Area Conference Red Division.
23. Flint Powers. The Chargers slip from No. 14 in this week’s rankings but remain a power in Division 3.
24. Wyandotte Roosevelt. Coach Mike Quint and the Bears had a nice win over Trenton recently mixed in with a loss to Grosse Pointe South in the Metro League East.
25. Saline. Coach Drew Denzin and the Hornets may be the class of the Metro League West. At 10-2 overall, with their only losses coming to Wyandotte Roosevelt and G.P. South, many are pointing to Saline as a Division 2 upstart that belongs in our Top 25.
Breakdown by Divisions: Division 1: 10 Teams. Division 2: 8 Teams. Division 3: 7 Teams.