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Top 25 Michigan hockey rankings for Feb. 9, 2020: Novi and Lumen Christi join top 25, while Livonia Stevenson holds on to No. 1

By: SEAN BALIGIAN, February 9, 2020, 7:32 pm

With a number of key match-ups at the MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase helping further separate the wheat from the chaff, the rankings are beginning to solidify even more. Livonia Stevenson held on to the No. 1 ranking on the back of a pair of impressive wins, but the Spartans weren’t the only team to impress in Trenton over the weekend. 

Here are Sean Baligian’s updated STATE CHAMPS! Hockey rankings for the week of Feb. 9, 2020: 

1 LIVONIA STEVENSON (20-1-1) — Two coaches of top-10 teams told me after the MIHL Showcase that last week there was a debate who No. 1 was, but after the Spartans beat No. 3 Calumet (3-1) and No. 4 Saginaw Heritage (6-2) there is now no debate. Keep an eye on defenseman Nick Justice; he has developed into one of the best in the state. (Last ranking: 1)

2 NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL (16-5) — The Shamrocks have won seven straight, and are looking dominant in the process. Another week, another No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-up, as they host Livonia Stevenson Saturday at USA Hockey Arena. (Last ranking: 5)

3 CALUMET (17-2-1) — The Copper Kings gave No. 1 Stevenson all they could handle in a 3-1 loss, and knocked off a solid Trenton team in their own backyard, 2-1. Scott Loukus scored both of the goals in the win over the Trojans,  and he is part of one of the most dangerous lines in the state. (Last ranking: 2)

4 SAGINAW HERITAGE (17-2) — The Hawks scored five goals at the Showcase, and Brady Rappuhn scored four of them and added an assist. He now has an incredible 33 goals and 31 assists in only 19 games, to establish himself as one of the best in the state. The Hawks beat No. 5 Brother Rice and fell to No. 1 Livonia Stevenson, but reminded everybody that they will be a tough out in division 1 come playoff time. (Last ranking: 8)

5 BIRMINGHAM BROTHER RICE (15-5-1) — The Warriors remain in our top five, and must be considered one of the favorites in Division 2. The line of Ryan Murphy, DJ Dixon and Nick Marone could also make the claim of “best line in the state.” (Last ranking: 3)

6 DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (16-3) — Perhaps no team looked as impressive as the Yellowjackets at the showcase. They knocked off a good Grandville squad, 7-4, and followed that up with a 7-0 win over a good No. 22 Midland Dow team. The term “playoff hockey” comes to mind when you think of the back-to-back champions from Division 3. (Last ranking: 6)

7 GROSSE POINTE SOUTH (16-4) — The Blue Devils split a pair at the showcase, falling to Salem, before bouncing back against Grandville. Sophomore Jacob Spitz is developing into a fantastic blue-liner in front of our eyes, and head coach Paul Moretz deserves coach of the year consideration for his efforts to constantly make sure his team is playing the right way. (Last ranking: 4)

8 TRENTON (14-5-1) — The Trojans knocked off Cleveland St. Ignatius before falling to No. 3 Calumet in a couple of one-goal games. Senior goaltender Joey Cormier gives them a chance to win every single night, as he continues to show why he is one of the best in the state. (Last ranking: 7)

9 MARQUETTE (19-3) — The Redmen continue to roll, as they have won 14 of their last 15, including three wins in three days at the Michigan Public High School Hockey Showcase in Chelsea. Freshman goaltender Liam Beerman has been incredible so far with a 1.26 GAA and a sparkling .938 save percentage. (Last ranking: 11)

10 BRIGHTON (14-6-2) — Per usual, the Bulldogs seem to be finding their stride right around playoff time. They had an impressive 5-0 win over a solid Grand Rapids Catholic Central squad at the showcase, and are not giving teams a lot of room to breathe on the ice as of late. (Last ranking: 16)

11 SALEM (13-8) — The Rocks made a big statement with a come-from-behind win over No. 7 Grosse Pointe South, before falling in a shootout to No. 15 Detroit U-D Jesuit at the showcase. Division 1 really stepped up their bragging rights out in Trenton, and the Rocks are most certainly in that group to watch in D1. (Last ranking: 12)

12 HARTLAND (13-5-2) — The Eagles went 1-1 against a pair of MIHL teams at the showcase, knocking off Cranbrook-Kingswood, before falling to No. 2 Catholic Central. Part of the reason the Eagles have been so successful in recent years is the tough schedule they play, and the next couple weeks are an example as such, as they host a dangerous Orchard Lake St. Mary’s squad, and have road tilts against No. 11 Salem and No. 4 Saginaw Heritage. (Last ranking: 10)

13 GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS CENTRAL (17-4) — The Rangers have been on a tear, winning 16 of 17, and really made a statement in Trenton with wins over Flint Powers and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. The top line of Mason Kelly, Cole Beaufait and Ryan Jeffreys have been on a tear, as the Rangers have solidified their claim as the best on the west side of the state. (Last ranking: 14)

14 TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL (17-3-2) — The Trojans went 1-1 in Trenton, falling to Orchard Lake St. Marys, before bouncing back with a win over a good Forest Hills N/E team. TCC is 17-2-2 in state, and being led by forward Charlie Douglass, who is putting together quite the season with 21 goals and 22 assists in only 22 games. (Last ranking: 9)

15 DETROIT U-D JESUIT (11-10)— Two one-goal victories over No. 22 Midland Dow and Salem at the showcase remind everybody that the Cubbies can play with anybody. This is a dangerous team, and one of the reasons why many feel that Division 3 might be the most intriguing division come playoff time. (Last ranking: 15)

16 RIVERVIEW GABRIEL RICHARD  (15-6) — The Pioneers have won six straight, and had a big week with wins over Ann Arbor Pioneer, and wins at the showcase over Howell and No. 17 Houghton. This is a team playing like it wants a return visit to USA Hockey Arena in March. (Last ranking: 24)

17 HOUGHTON (14-8) — The Gremlins bounced back from the loss to No. 16 Riverview Gabriel Richard, to post a nice win over Cranbrook-Kingswood, 2-1. It bears repeating that you better bring your lunch when you face a Corey Markham team, they are always one of the hardest-working teams in the state. (Last ranking: 13)

18 BAY REPS (13-4-1) — With an 11-2 record in their last 13, the Reps are being led by Kaleb Miller up front, with 17 goals and 38 points, Judd Larson in net, who has a 1.80 GAA and .926 save percentage. (Last ranking: 19)

19 SOUTH LYON UNIFIED (19-2) — It’s 15 straight wins now, and a sweep over two KLAA teams in Northville and Livonia Churchill, that move SLU into our top 20. The top line of Jon Gardiner, Mitchell Skamiera, and Caleb Mulchay have combined for 71 goals and 161 points between them. (Last ranking: 21)

20 JACKSON LUMEN CHRISTI (19-2) — The Titans have won nine straight, but they have outscored opponents by an eye-popping 65-8 margin during the streak. They were not at the showcase, but they had a lot of coaches talking about them at the showcase, based on this recent hot streak. (Last ranking: N/R)

21 ANN ARBOR SKYLINE (16-3) — The Eagles now sit at 16-3 on the season, and split a pair of games at the showcase with a win over East Grand Rapids and a loss against an improving, No. 25-ranked Novi squad. (Last ranking: 20)

22 MIDLAND DOW (17-4) — The Chargers fell to two pretty good teams at the showcase in No. 15 Detroit U-D Jesuit and No. 6 Detroit Country Day, but still boast a 16-4 mark on the season. Luke Blasy is leading the way with 14 goals and 39 points in 19 games. (Last ranking: 17)

23 RIVERVIEW (17-5) — The Pirates have won seven of eight. Junior Gavin Holmes is putting together a monster season 37 goals and 55 points in 22 games. (Last ranking: 22)

24 ANN ARBOR PIONEER (17-3-1) — The Pioneers have a big rematch against Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard looming on Wednesday. Jack Ceccacci is putting together a fine season with 14 goals and 34 points in only 13 games. (Last ranking: 18)

25 NOVI (9-10-2) — The Wildcats have won six of seven, and are getting exceptional goaltending from Sophomore Austin Muirhead, who has gone 6-1 in his last seven, with a 1.14 GAA and .947 save percentage, with three shutouts, in that span. “Austin has been our MVP the second half of the season, and his play has inspired his teammates to play harder in front of him,” head coach Mark Vellucci said about his young goalie, after a 4-2 win over Lake Orion at the Showcase. (Last ranking: N/R)


DROPPED OUT: No. 23 Okemos; No. 25 Macomb Dakota


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

CLICK HERE for the rankings update from Dec. 16

CLICK HERE for the rankings update from Jan. 13

CLICK HERE for the rankings update from Jan. 27

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