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Top 25 Michigan hockey rankings for Dec. 16, 2019: Brother Rice is new No. 1, five teams make debut in rankings

By: SEAN BALIGIAN, December 16, 2019, 12:08 pm

Plenty of movement in Sean Baligian’s second edition of the bi-weekly STATE CHAMPS! hockey rankings, with a new No. 1 — as Brother Rice leapfrogs over Hartland after beating the Eagles — and five new teams in the top 25.

Here is the final top 25 of 2019: 

1 BIRMINGHAM BROTHER RICE — The Warriors are off to a 6-1-1 start, and have two impressive wins in a row over De La Salle and Hartland. (Last ranking: 2)

2 LIVONIA STEVENSON — The Spartans are unbeaten in State at 5-0-1, and coming off a thrilling 2-1 win over Trenton at the MIHL/KLAA showcase. (Last ranking: 3)

3 NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL — The Shamrocks have a five-game winning streak that has seen them outscore opponents 29-0. (Last ranking: 5)

4 HARTLAND — The Eagles sit at 7-1, and as back-to-back Division 2 champs, the road to a championship this season will likely go through Hartland yet again. (Last ranking: 1)

5 CALUMET — The Copper Kings are 5-0, but host Houghton on Tuesday in what is an early test for bragging rights in Copper Country. (Last ranking: 7)

6 SALEM — The Rocks are unbeaten in state, and many coaches I talked to at the MIHL/KLAA showcase made a point to say “Look out for Salem.” (Last ranking: 9)

7 TRENTON — The Trojans sit at 5-2, and being led by player of the year candidate in goaltender Joey Cormier. (Last ranking: 6)

8 GROSSE POINTE SOUTH — The Blue Devils are off to an 8-1 start, and are a serious threat to anybody, regardless of division. (Last ranking: 13)

9 DETROIT COUNTRY DAY — The defending back-to-back D-3 champs are 5-2, with the only losses coming to Hartland and Livonia Stevenson. (Last ranking: 4)

10 HOUGHTON — The Gremlins are 6-2, and all eyes will be on Calumet Tuesday night when they face the Copper Kings. (Last ranking: 8)

11 GRANDVILLE — The Bulldogs are riding a five-game win streak, as a young team from last season is growing up quickly this season. (Last ranking: 25)

12 GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL — The Cougars are 3-1-2 in state, and handed Grandville their only loss on this young season. (Last ranking: 12)

13 SAGINAW HERITAGE — The Hawks have become a tremendous program under coach J.J Bamberger, and a couple of games coming up against Davison and Salem qualify as can’t miss games. (Last ranking: 16)

14 MIDLAND DOW — The Chargers are 6-0, and player of the year candidate Luke Blasy is leading the way with six goals and six assists. (Last ranking: 18)

15 DETROIT U-D JESUIT — The Cubbies are another team that can make life miserable for anybody in Division 3. (Last ranking: 19)

16 BAY REPS — A 5-1-1 start to the campaign suggests that they are ready for another deep run come playoff time. (Last ranking: 20)

17 HOLLAND WEST OTTAWA — A 4-1-2 start to the season has the Panthers, yet again, a team to look out for on the west side of the state. (Last ranking: 10)

18 TRAVERSE CITY WEST — The Titans are at 5-1 on the season, and have a big game looming Wednesday when they renew acquaintances with Traverse City Central. (Last ranking: 23)

19 BRIGHTON — The Bulldogs are off to a 5-3-1 start on the year, and being led by player of the year candidate Will Jentz, who has 12 points to start his quest. (Last ranking: 15)

20 TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL — The Trojans are off to a 4-0-2 start and are a team to keep an eye on moving forward as Coach Chris Givens is not only a hall of fame coach, but one of the true gentlemen in the game as well. (Last ranking: N/R)

21 BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK-KINGSWOOD — The Cranes put up two big wins in two days knocking off Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Plymouth this past weekend. (Last ranking: N/R)

22 RIVERVIEW GABRIEL RICHARD — Three straight wins put the Pioneers in our top 25 as coach Rick Desana and his staff continue to have a tough team to play against. (Last ranking: N/R)

23 PLYMOUTH — Three big games for the Wildcats this week as the face Howell, Salem and a vastly improved Canton squad. (Last ranking: 14)

24 ANN ARBOR SKYLINE — The Eagles are off to a 5-0 start, and a player to keep an eye on is Isaac Lippert, who has put up 16 points already this season. (Last ranking: N/R)

25 LIVONIA CHURCHILL — The Chargers have won three straight, and getting solid play from Junior Goaltender Bryant Riley. (Last ranking: N/R)

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CLICK HERE for the initial top 25 rankings of the 2019-20 season.

CLICK HERE to vote for the Michigan High School Hockey Player of the Year.